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Procmail: Filter and Split Incoming Email


The procmail package provides a powerful mechanism for filtering incoming email, to split email that meet certain criteria into separate folders, and to forward different emails on to other users.

The procmail application will be invoked on any email that arrives for you by adding the following to your .forward file:

|/usr/bin/procmail

Note that there is potential for procmail to be invoked in rapid succession, and thus if two procmails try to write to the one file there could be a problem. Thus procmail uses lock files to ensure this does not happen. A lock file will slow procmail down ever so slightly, so it is kept as an option specified in the configuration file (.procmailrc) rather than a default.

At the heart of procmail is the .procmailrc file. This contains all the rules that are applied to an email to determine what should happen to that email.


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