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MAILDROPFILTER

MAILDROPFILTER

Section: Double Precision, Inc. (7) Updated: 05/10/2009
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maildropfilter - maildrop's filtering language  

Synopsis

FC/etc/maildroprcF[], FC$HOME/.mailfilterF[], FC$HOME/.mailfilters/*F[], and friends...  

DESCRIPTION

This manual page describes the language used by maildrop to filter E-mail messages. The mail filtering instructions are read from a file. The language is loosely structured, it is based on pattern matching. The language has a distinct lexical and syntactical structure, very similar to Perl's, but it is important to note that it is not Perl, and is very different from Perl, in certain cases.

If the filtering instructions do not exist, maildrop delivers the message to the default mailbox without doing any additional processing, making it indistinguishable from the usual mail delivery agent.

It is important to note that maildrop reads and parses the FCfilter fileF[] before doing anything. If there are any errors maildrop prints an error message, and terminates with the exit code set to EX_TEMPFAIL. A compliant mail transport agent should re-queue the message for a later delivery attempt. Hopefully, most simple syntax errors will not cause mail to be bounced back if the error is caught and fixed quickly.  

Environment

maildrop uses variables to access and manipulate messages. Variables are arbitrary text accessed by referring to the name of the variable, such as HOME, or DEFAULT. Text is placed into a variable by using an assignment statement, such as:



FILE="IN.junk"

This statement puts the text "IN.junk" (without the quotes) into a variable whose name is FILE. Later, the contents of a variable are accessed by using the $ symbol and the name for the variable. For example:

This will deliver the current message to the mailbox file (or a maildir directory) named "IN.junk".

maildrop initially creates variables from the environment variables of the operating system, UNLESS maildrop runs in delivery mode. Each operating system environment variable becomes a maildrop variable. When running in delivery mode, maildrop does not import the environment for security reasons. In all cases maildrop resets the following variables to their default values: HOME, DEFAULT, SHELL, PATH, LOCKEXT, LOCKREFRESH, LOCKSLEEP, LOCKTIMEOUT, MAILDIRQUOTA, SENDMAIL and LOGNAME.

There's one exception to this rule which applies to the version of maildrop that comes with the m[blue]Courier mail serverm[][1]. The following does not apply to the standalone version of maildrop: when running in delivery mode, if the -d flag was not used, or if it specifies the same userid as the one that's running maildrop, the following variables are automatically imported from the environment: HOME, SHELL, LOGNAME and MAILDIRQUOTA. These environment variables are initialized by the Courier mail server prior to running maildrop. Additionally, the initial value for the DEFAULT maildrop variable is imported from the MAILDROPDEFAULT environment variable. This is because the Courier mail server overloads the DEFAULT environment variable to store the defaulted portion of the local mailbox address. See the m[blue]dot-courier(5)m[][2] man page in the Courier mail server distribution. You can grab the Courier mail server's DEFAULT value by using the import command. Note, however, that this will clobber the old contents of DEFAULT, which is probably not what you want. The right way to do this would be something like this:



SAVEDEFAULT=$DEFAULT
import DEFAULT
LOCALDEFAULT=$DEFAULT
DEFAULT=$SAVEDEFAULT

All internal variables are exported back as environment variables when maildrop runs an external command. Changes to internal variables, made by the FCfilter fileF[], are reflected in the exported environment.  

Lexical structure

Most whitespace is generally ignored. The # character introduces a comment running to the end of the line, which is also ignored. Unlike other mail filters, maildrop parses the FCfilter fileF[] before taking any action with the message. If there are syntax errors in the file, maildrop displays an error message, and returns EX_TEMPFAIL. That should cause the mail message to remain in the queue, and, hopefully allow the problem to be corrected, without bouncing any mail.


Note

In maildrop, the end of line is a lexical token. In order to continue a long statement on the next line, terminate the line with a backslash character.

 

Literal text

Literal text in the maildrop filtering language is surrounded by either single or double quotes. In order to enter a single quote into a text literal surrounded by single quotes, or a double quote into a literal surrounded by double quotes, prefix it with a backslash character. Use two backslash characters characters to enter one backslash character in the text literal.


Note

A backslash followed by either a backslash, or a matching quote, is the only situation where the backslash character is actually removed, leaving only the following character in the actual text literal. If a backslash character is followed by any other character, the backslash is NOT removed.

Multiple text literals in a row are automatically concatenated, even if they use different quotes. For example:



FOOBAR="Foo"'bar'
SAVEDEFAULT=$DEFAULT
import DEFAULT
LOCALDEFAULT=$DEFAULT
DEFAULT=$SAVEDEFAULT

This sets the variable FOOBAR to the text "Foobar".  

Variable substitution

Variable substitution is performed on text literals that's surrounded by double quotation marks. The "$" character, followed by a variable name, is replaced by that variable's contents.



MAILBOX="$HOME/Mailbox"

This sets the variable MAILBOX to the contents of the variable HOME followed by FC"/Mailbox"F[]. Variable names must begin with an uppercase letter, a lowercase letter, or an underscore. Following that, all letters, digits, and underscores are taken as a variable name, and its contents replace the $ sign, and the variable name. It is possible to access variables whose name includes other characters, by using braces as follows:



MAILBOX="${HOME-WORD}/Mailbox"

Inserts the contents of the HOME-WORD variable. If the variable does not exist, the empty text literal is used to replace the variable name. It is not possible to access variables whose names include the } character.

If the $ character is not followed by a left brace, letter, or an underscore, the $ character remains unmolested in the text literal. A backslash followed by the $ character results in a $ character in the text literal, without doing any variable substitution.

Variable substitution is not done in text literals which are surrounded by single quotes (apostrophes).  

Command line arguments

maildrop initializes special variables: $1, $2, and so on, with additional parameters specified on the maildrop command line. A FCfilter fileF[] may use those variables just like any other variables.  

Predefined variables

The following variables are automatically defined by maildrop. The default values for the following variables may be changed by the system administrator. For security reasons, the values of the following variables are always reset to their default values, and are never imported from the environment:

DEFAULT

The default mailbox to deliver the message to. If the FCfilter fileF[] does not indicate a mailbox to deliver this message to, the message is delivered to this mailbox. The default mailbox is defined by the system administrator.

FROM

Message envelope sender. This is usually the same address as what appears in the FCFrom:F[] header, but may not be. This information may or may not be available to maildrop on your system. The message envelope sender is usually specified with the -f option to maildrop. If the -f option is not given, maildrop looks for the FCFrom_F[] line in the message. As the last resort, FCFROMF[] defaults to the userid which invoked maildrop. Note that FROM may be empty - the message envelope sender is empty for bounce messages.

HOME

Home directory of the user running maildrop.

HOSTNAME

Network name of the machine running maildrop. Obtained from gethostname(3).

LOCKEXT

Extension for dot-lock files (default: FC.lockF[]).

LOCKREFRESH

Refresh interval, in seconds, for dot-locks (default: FC15F[]). When maildrop dot-locks a mailbox, maildrop tries to refresh the lock periodically in order to keep other programs from removing a stale dot-lock. This is only required if a dot-lock exists for a prolonged period of time, which should be discouraged anyway.

LOCKSLEEP

Number of seconds to wait to try again to create a dot-lock file, if one already exists (default: 5).

LOCKTIMEOUT

Number of seconds to wait before removing a stale dot-lock file (default: FC60F[]). If a dot-lock file still exists after LOCKTIMEOUT seconds, maildrop assumes that the process holding the lock no longer exists, and the dot-lock file can be safely removed. After removing the dot-lock file, maildrop waits LOCKSLEEP seconds before trying to create its own dot-lock file, in order to avoid a race condition with another process which is also trying to remove the same stale dot-lock, at the same time.

LOGNAME

Name of the user to who the message is being delivered.

MAILDROP_OLD_REGEXP

Revert to using the old legacy pattern matching engine. Versions of maildrop prior to version 2.0 (included in the Courier mail server 0.51, and earlier), used a built-in pattern matching engine, instead of using the PCRE library (see the "Patterns" section). maildrop 1.x used a different syntax for patterns, which is no longer described in this manual page. The old pattern matching engine is still available, by setting MAILDROP_OLD_REGEXP to "1". Setting this variable will use the legacy pattern matching engine for the rest of the maildrop recipe file.

The pattern matching engine will be removed completely in a future version of maildrop. This setting provides for a transitional period of converting old recipes. MAILDROP_OLD_REGEXP can be set to "1" in the global FCmaildroprcF[] file, then reset to "0" in each individual maildrop recipe file, after it gets converted to the new syntax.

MAILFILTER

This is the name of the original FCfilter fileF[] that was given to maildrop on the command line. This is mostly usefull to FC-defaultF[] FCfilter fileF[]s, it allows them to obtain the m[blue]value of the -M optionm[][3] specified on the command line.

PATH

Command execution path. maildrop resets PATH to the system default (usually FC/bin:/usr/bin:/usr/local/binF[]).

SENDMAIL

The mail delivery agent. When maildrop is instructed to deliver the message to a mailbox whose name begins with the ! character, this is interpreted as a request to forward the message. The SENDMAIL command is executed to forward the message.

SHELL

The login shell. The shell is used to execute all commands invoked by maildrop.

VERBOSE

Current Debug level (default: FC0F[]). Setting VERBOSE to progressive higher values, between 1 and 9, produces debugging output on standard error. maildrop ignores the VERBOSE variable in delivery mode (in order not to confuse the mail transport agent).

UMASK

The file creation mode mask, in octal. The default setting of FC077F[] creates mailboxes that are readable and writable by the owner only. Use FC007F[] to create mailboxes that are readable/writable by both owner and the group. Use FC037F[] to create mailboxes that are readable by both owner and group, but writable by owner only. Permissions on existing mailboxes are not changed, this setting affects only new mailboxes. When delivering to maildirs this setting sets the permissions on new messages only. Access permissions on messages in maildirs are also affected by the permissions on the maildir directories.
 

Other special variables

The following variables are automatically used by maildrop when the FCfilter fileF[] is being processed:

EXITCODE

Return code for maildrop. When maildrop successfully delivers a message, it terminates with this exit code, which defaults to 0. When the to or the cc command is used to deliver the message to an external process, via a pipe, maildrop will set this variable to the exit code of the external process. Since maildrop immediately terminates after completing the to command this means that maildrop's exit code will be the exit code of the external process. If the to command does not deliver the message to a process you must set EXITCODE before the to command, since maildrop terminates immediately after finishing the delivery.

KEYWORDS

The KEYWORDS variable is used only when delivering a message to a maildir, and implements the optional IMAP keyword extension as implemented in the m[blue]Courier IMAP serverm[][1]. It may be optionally initialized to contain a comma-separate list of keywords. The to, or the cc command, delivers the message to the maildir normally, but also associated the list of keywords in KEYWORDS with the newly delivered message.

KEYWORDS must be set before the message is delivered to a maildir. The contents of KEYWORDS are ignored, when delivering on an mbox folder.

LINES

Number of lines in the current message. Note that this may be an approximation. It may or may not take into account the -A option, or any mbox "From_" lines. Use this as criteria for filtering, nothing more.

MAILDIRQUOTA

Set this variable in order to manually enforce a maximum size on ANY maildir where the message is delivered. This is an optional feature that must be enabled by the system administrator, see m[blue]maildirquota(8)m[][4] for more information.

RETURNCODE

This variable is set when maildrop runs the m[blue]xfilterm[][5] command, or a command that's specified within a pair of backtick characters ( command substitution ). The RETURNCODE variable will be set to the exit code of the command, after it completes.

SIZE

Number of bytes in the message. This may or may not include the -A option, and the mbox From_ line. Use this as a criteria for filtering, nothing more.
 

Unquoted text

All text strings in FCfilter fileF[]s should be in single, or double quotes. However, for convenience sake, quotes can be omitted under certain circumstances.

Text that includes ONLY letters, digits, and the following characters: FC_-.:/${}@F[] may appear without quotes. Note that this does not allow spaces, or backslashes to be entered, however the text is still variable-substituted, and the substituted text may contain other characters.

Also, note that patterns (see below) begin with the slash character. Normally, anything that begins with the slash is interpreted as a pattern. However, text immediately after "VARIABLE=" is interpreted as a string even if it begins with a slash. This is why something like:

works as expected. Using quotes, though, is highly recommended. You must use quotes to set a variable to a lone slash, because an unquoted slash is interpreted as a division sign.

Long double or singly-quoted text can be broken across multiple lines by ending the line with a lone backslash character, like this:

The backslash, the newline, and all leading whitespace on the next line is removed, resulting in "This is a long text string".  

Command substitution

Text enclosed in back-tick characters is interpreted as a shell command. The shell command is executed as a child process by maildrop. Its output is used in place of the command. For example:

places the names of the files in the current directory into the DIR variable.

The output of the command will have all newline characters replaced by spaces, and leading and trailing spaces will be stripped (multiple spaces are not removed, though). Also, the contents of the message being delivered is made available to the command on standard input.  

Patterns

The pattern syntax in maildrop is similar to the grep command's syntax, with some minor differences. A pattern takes the following form in the FCfilter fileF[]:

pattern specifies the text to look for in the message. pattern must not begin with a space, otherwise the leading slash will then be interpreted as a division sign. If you must search for text that starts with a space, use something like FC"/[ ] ... /"F[].

The general syntax of maildrop's patterns is described in the pcrepattern(3) manual page, with certain exceptions noted below. maildrop uses the m[blue]PCREm[][6] library to implement pattern matching. Not all features in PCRE are available in maildrop, and the "options" part, which follows the pattern specification, changes the pattern matching further. Consult the pcrepattern(3) manual page for more information, but note the following exceptions:

FCUTF-8F[] string matching is not presently supported.

• Internal options settings are not supported (but see the "D" maildrop option, below). Do not include option settings in the pattern, doing so will lead to undefined results.

• Named subpatterns are not implemented. Numbered subpatterns are implemented, see "Pattern Match Results", below.
 

Pattern options

Following FC/pattern/,F[] there may be an optional colon, followed by one. or more options. The following options may be specified in any order:

FChF[]

Match this pattern against the message header.

FCbF[]

Match this pattern against the message body.

FCDF[]

This is a case sensitive match. Normally the patterns match either uppercase or lowercase text. FC/john/F[] will match "John", "john", or "JOHN". Specify the D option for a case-sensitive search: lowercase letters in the pattern must match lowercase letters in the message; ditto for uppercase.

If neither 'h' or 'b' is specified, the pattern is matched against the header only. Specifying the 'b' option causes the pattern to be matched against the message body. Specifying both causes the pattern to be matched against the entire message.

Normally, each line in the message gets matched against the pattern individually. When applying patterns to a header, multi-line headers (headers split on several lines by beginning each continuation line with whitespace) are silently combined into a single line, before the pattern is applied.  

Weighted scoring

Patterns are evaluated by maildrop as any other numerical expression. If a pattern is found, maildrop's filter interprets the results of the pattern match as number 1, or true, for filtering purposes. If a pattern is not found the results of the pattern search is zero. Once a pattern is found, the search stops. Second, and subsequent occurrences of the same pattern are NOT searched for.

maildrop can also do weighted scoring. In weighted scoring, multiple occurrences of the same pattern are used to calculate a numerical score.

To use a weighted search, specify the pattern as follows:

where xxx and yyy are two numbers. yyy is optional -- it will default to 1, if missing.

The first occurrence of the pattern is evaluated as xxx. The second occurrence of the pattern is evaluated as xxx*yyy, the third as xxx*yyy*yyy, etc... All occurrences of the pattern are added up to calculate the final score.


Note

maildrop does not recognize multiple occurrences of the same pattern in the same line. Multiple occurences of the same pattern in one line count as one occurence.

 

Pattern Match Results

After a pattern is successfully matched, the actual text that is matched is placed in the MATCH variable. For example:

matches a line of the form:

Here the variable MATCH will be set to "From: postmaster@localhost", which can be used in subsequent statements.

If the pattern contains subpatterns, the portions of the text that match the first subpattern is placed in the MATCH1 variable. The second subpattern, if any, is placed in MATCH2, and so on:

matched against the same line will set MATCH to "From: postmaster@localhost", MATCH1 to "postmaster", and MATCH2 to "localhost". Of course, in real world the "From:" header is usually much more complicated, and can't be handled that easily. This is just an illustrative example.


Note

Subpatterns are not processed in the FCforeachF[] statement.

 

Conversion of maildrop 1.x patterns to 2.0

Although the new PCRE-based pattern matching code in maildrop is completely different from the built-in pattern matching code in maildrop 1.x, very few changes will be required to convert recipes to the new syntax. The only major differences are:

• The subexpression format has changed. Any pattern that uses subexpression needs to be converted. Additionally, references to MATCH2 must be replaced with MATCH1, MATCH3 to MATCH2, and so on. References to plain old MATCH will remain the same.

• The "w" pattern option is no longer possible, with PCRE. The very few recipes that use this option, if any actually exist, will have to be rewritten in some other fashion.
 

Expressions

Although maildrop evaluates expressions numerically, results of expressions are stored as text literals. When necessary, text literals are converted to numbers, then the results of a mathematical operation is converted back into a text literal.


Operators

The following operators carry their usual meaning, and are listed in order from lowest precedence, to the highest:




||
&&
<  <=  >  >=  ==  !=  lt  le  gt  ge  eq  ne
|
&
+  -
*  /
=~ /pattern/
/pattern/  !  ~  function()


Variable assignment



VARIABLE=expression

Assigns the result of the expression to VARIABLE (note no leading $ in front of variable).


Note

If VARIABLE is NOT surrounded by quotes, then it may contain only letters, numbers, underscores, dashes, and a selected few other characters. In order to initialize a variable whose name contains non-standard punctuation marks, surround the name of the variable with quotes.


cc - deliver a copy of the message



cc expression

The cc statement is very similar to the to statement, except that after delivering the message maildrop continues to process the FCfilter fileF[], unlike the to statement which immediately terminates maildrop after the delivery is complete. Essentially, the message is carbon copied to the given mailbox, and may be delivered again to another mailbox by another cc or to statement.

m[blue]See the to statementm[][7] for more details. When cc is used to deliver a message to a process maildrop will set the EXITCODE variable to the process's exit code.


dotlock - create a manual dot-lock



dotlock expression {

      ...

}

maildrop automatically creates a lock when a message is delivered to a mailbox. Depending upon your system configuration, maildrop will use either dot-locks, or the flock() system call.

The dotlock statement creates an explicit dot-lock file. Use the m[blue]flock statementm[][8] to create an explicit flock() lock.

The expression is a filename that should be used as a lock file. maildrop creates the indicated dot-lock, executes the filtering instructions contained within the { ... } block, and removes the lock. The expression must be the name of the dot-lock file itself, NOT the name of the mailbox file you want to lock.


Note

With manual locking, it is possible to deadlock multiple maildrop processes (or any other processes that try to claim the same locks).

No deadlock detection is possible with dot-locks, and since maildrop automatically refreshes all of its dot-locks regularly, they will never go stale. You'll have maildrop processes hanging in limbo, until their watchdog timers go off, aborting the mail delivery.


echo - output diagnostic information



echo expression

maildrop will print the given text. This is usually used when maildrop runs in embedded mode, but can be used for debugging purposes. Normally, a newline is printed after the text. If text is terminated with a \c, no newline will be printed.


exception - trap fatal errors



exception {

   ...

}

The exception statement traps errors that would normally cause maildrop to terminate. If a fatal error is encountered anywhere within the block of statements enclosed by the exception clause, execution will resume immediately following the exception clause.


exit - terminate filtering unconditionally



exit

The exit statement immediately terminates filtering. maildrop's return code is set to the value of the EXITCODE variable. Normally, maildrop terminates immediately after m[blue]successfully delivering the messagem[][7] to a mailbox. The exit statement causes maildrop to terminate without delivering the message anywhere.

The exit statement is usually used when maildrop runs in m[blue]embedded modem[][9], when message delivery instructions are not allowed.


flock - create an manual flock() lock



flock expression {

      ...

}

maildrop automatically creates a lock when a message is delivered to a mailbox. Depending upon your system configuration, maildrop will use either dot-locks, or the flock() system call.

The flock statement creates a manual flock() lock. Use the m[blue]dotlock statementm[][10] to create a manual dot-lock file.

The expression is the name of the file that should be locked. maildrop creates the lock on the indicated file, executes the filtering instructions contained within the { ... } block, and removes the lock.


Note

With manual locking, it is possible to deadlock multiple maildrop processes (or any other processes that try to claim the same locks). The operating system will automatically break flock() deadlocks. When that happens, one of the maildrop processes will terminate immediately. Use the exception statement in order to trap this exception condition, and execute an alternative set of filtering instructions.


foreach - iterate over text sections matched by a pattern



foreach /pattern/:options
{
    ...
}

foreach (expression) =~ /pattern/:options
{
    ...
}

The foreach statement executes a block of statements for each occurrence of the given pattern in the given message, or expression. On every iteration MATCH variable will be set to the matched string. All the usual options may be applied to the pattern match, EXCEPT the following:

,xxx,yyy

Weighted scoring is meaningless, in this context.

( ... )

Subpatterns are not processed. Only the MATCH variable will be set for each found pattern.


if - conditional execution



if (expression)
{
    ...
}
else
{
    ...
}

Conditional execution. If expression evaluates to a logical true (note - parenthesis are required) then the first set of statements is executed. The else keyword, and the subsequent statements, are optional. If present, and the expression evaluates to a logical false, the else part is executed.

maildrop evaluates all expression as text strings. In the context of a logical expression, an empty string, or the number 0 constitutes a logical false value, anything else is a logical true value.

If the if part, or the else part consists of only one statement, the braces may be omitted.


Note

The grammar of this if statement is stricter than usual. If you get baffling syntax errors from maildrop, make sure that the braces, and the if statement, appear on separate lines. Specifically: the closing parenthesis, the closing braces, and the else statement, must be at the end of the line (comments are allowed), and there may not be any blank lines in between (not even ones containing comments only).


import - access original environment variable



import variable

When maildrop starts, it normally imports the contents of the environment variables, and assigns them to internal maildrop variables. For example, if there was an environment variable FOO, the internal maildrop variable FOO will have the contents of the environment variable. From then on, FOO will be no different than any other variable, and when maildrop runs an external command, the contents of maildrop's variables will be exported as the environment for the command.

Certain variables, like HOME and PATH, are always reset to fixed defaults, for security reasons. Also, in delivery and embedded modes, the environment is not imported at all, and maildrop starts with only the fixed default variables.

The import statement initializes the specified variable with the contents of the original environment variable when maildrop started. For example:

This results in the following output:

This shows that when maildrop starts PATH is set to the fixed default of FC/bin:/usr/bin:/usr/local/binF[]. However, the original contents of the PATH environment variable we different, and the import statement shows what it was.


include - execute filtering instructions from another file



include expression

The include statement reads a file, and executes filtering instructions contained in that file. Note that the include statement is processed when the current FCfilter fileF[] is being executed. When maildrop reads the initial FCfilter fileF[], any syntax errors in the filtering instructions are immediately reported, and maildrop will terminate with a return code of EX_TEMPFAIL. Any errors in files specified by include statements are NOT reported, because those files will not be read until the include statement is itself executed.

If the specified file does not exist, or if there are any syntax errors in the file, maildrop reports the error, and terminates with a return code of EX_TEMPFAIL.


log, logfile - log message deliveries



logfile expression

log expression

Logging in maildrop is normally turned off. The logfile statement specifies the file where maildrop will log how the message has been disposed of. The parameter is then name of the file. If the file exists maildrop appends to the file.

For each delivery (the m[blue]tom[][7] and m[blue]ccm[][11] statements, and default deliveries) maildrop records the FCFrom:F[] and the FCSubject:F[] fields, together with the current time, in the log file.

The log statement adds additional logging text to the log file. The log statement works exactly like the echo statement, except that the text is written to the logfile, instead of standard output.


to - deliver message to a mailbox



to expression

The to statement delivers the message to a mailbox. expression must evaluate to a valid mailbox. A valid mailbox is either a mailbox file, a maildir, or an external program (which includes forwarding to another address).

The to statement is the final delivery statement. maildrop delivers message, then immediately terminates, with its return code set to the EXITCODE variable. If there was an error while delivering the message, maildrop terminates with the EX_TEMPFAIL exit code. A properly-written mail transport agent should re-queue the message, and re-attempt delivery at some later time.

An expression that begins with the "|" character specifies an external program to run to handle the actual delivery. The SHELL variable specifies the shell to execute the given command. The message is provided to the command on standard input. maildrop's exit code will be the process's exit code.

An expression that begins with an exclamation mark, "!" specifies a whitespace-delimited list of E-mail addresses to forward the message to. The program specified by the SENDMAIL variable is run as an external program, with the list of E-mail addresses provided as parameters to the program.

Otherwise, expression names the mailbox where maildrop delivers the message. If expression is a directory, maildrop assumes that the directory is a maildir directory. Otherwise, maildrop will deliver the message to a file, formatted in traditional mailbox format. maildrop will use either dot-locking, or flock()-locking when delivering the message to the file.


while - repeatedly execute a block of statements



while (expression)
{
    ...
}

The expression is repeatedly evaluated. Each time it m[blue]evaluates to a logical truem[][12], the statements inside the braces are executed. When expression evaluates to a logical false, the while loop is over. Take care to avoid infinite loops.


xfilter - filter message through another program



xfilter expression

expression specifies an external program that maildrop runs to filter the current message. The current message will be piped to the filter program as standard input. The output of the filter program replaces the current message being delivered. The external program must terminate with an exit code of 0. If the external program does not terminate with an exit code of 0, or if it does not read the message from the standard input, maildrop terminates with an exit code of EX_TEMPFAIL.


|| - logical or



expression1 || expression2

If expression1 evaluates to a logical true, the result of the || is expression1, otherwise it's expression2, which is evaluated.

maildrop uses the following concept of true/false: an empty text literal, or a text literal that consists of the single character "0" is a logical false value. Anything else is a logical true value.


&& - logical and



expression1 && expression2

If expression1 evaluates to a logical false, the result of the && is expression1, otherwise it's expression2, which is evaluated.

maildrop uses the following concept of true/false: an empty text literal, or a text literal that consists of the single character "0" is a logical false value. Anything else is a logical true value.


<, <=, >, >=, ==, != - numerical comparison



expression1 < expression2

expression1 <= expression2

expression1 > expression2

expression1 >= expression2

expression1 == expression2

expression1 != expression2

These operators compare their left hand side expression against their right hand side. These operators compare the numerical values of each side, as floating point numbers. If the numbers compare as indicated, the result of the comparison is the text string "1", otherwise it is the text string 0.


Note

Ccomparisons are not associative: "FCa < b < cF[]" is an error. If it is absolutely necessary, use "FC(a < b) < cF[]".


lt, le, gt, ge, eq, ne - text comparison



expression1 lt expression2

expression1 le expression2

expression1 gt expression2

expression1 ge expression2

expression1 eq expression2

expression1 ne expression2

These operators compare their left hand side expression against their right hand side. These operators compare each side as text strings (alphabetically, although the text may include anything). If the text strings compare as indicated, the result of the comparison is the text string "1", otherwise it is the text string 0.


Note

Comparisons are not associative: "FCa lt b lt cF[]" is an error. If it is absolutely necessary, use "FC(a lt b) lt cF[]". (But why would you?).


| - bitwise or



expression1 | expression2

This is the bitwise or operator. Its result is a 32 bit integer, which is a bitwise-or combination of the left hand side and the right hand side.


& - bitwise and



expression1 & expression2

This is the bitwise and operator. Its result is a 32 bit integer, which is a bitwise-and combination of the left hand side and the right hand side.


+, -, *, / - numerical operations



expression1 + expression2

expression1 - expression2

expression1 * expression2

expression1 / expression2

These are numerical, floating point, operators.


=~ /pattern/:options - pattern match against string



expression =~ /pattern/:option

The left hand side of the =~ operator can be any expression. The right hand side is always a pattern specification. The result of the operator is the weighted match of the pattern against expression (if the options do not specify weighted scoring, the result is simply 1 if the pattern was found, 0 if not).

See "m[blue]Patternsm[][13]" for more information.


/pattern/:options - pattern match against message



expression =~ /pattern/:option

The result of this operator is the weighted match of the pattern against the current message (if the options do not specify weighted scoring, the result is simply 1 if the pattern was found, 0 if not).

See "m[blue]Patternsm[][13]" for more information.


!, ~ - logical/bitwise not operator.



! expression

~ expression

The result of the ! operator is a logical opposite of its right hand side expression. If the right hand side expression evaluated to a logical true, the result is a logical false. If it evaluated to a logical false, the result is a logical true.

maildrop uses the following concept of true/false: an empty text literal, or a text literal that consists of the single character "0" is a logical false value. Anything else is a logical true value.

The result of the ~ operator is a bitwise complement of its right hand side expression. The right hand side expression is evaluated as a 32 bit integer, and the result of this operator is a bitwise complement of the result.


escape(string) - escape special characters in a string.



escape(expression)

The escape function returns its sole argument with every occurrence of a special character prefixed by a backslash. A special character is any of the following characters:

This can used when m[blue]matching pattern sectionsm[][14], and then taking one section and matching it again. For example:

This example checks if the contents of the FCFrom:F[] header can also be found in the FCSubject:F[] header. If the escape function were not used, then any special characters in the FCFrom:F[] header that are also used in regular expressions, such as * or +, would introduce unpredictable behavior, most likely a syntax error.

The reason why this list of special characters also includes characters not used in maildrop's regular expressions is to allow maildrop's variables to be used on the command line of a shell command executed by the xfilter command, backtick characters, or to or cc commands.

Although using data from an external data source is dangerous, and it may result in inadvertent exploits, using the escape function should hopefully result in fewer surprises.


gdbmopen, gdbmclose, gdbmfetch, gdbmstore - GDBM support in maildrop

These functions provide support for GDBM database files. See m[blue]maildropgdbm(5)m[][15] for more information.


Note

The system administrator can disable GDBM support in maildrop, so these commands may not be available to you.


getaddr(string) - extract RFC 2822 addresses from a header.



if ( /^From:\s*(.*)/ )
{
     ADDR=getaddr($MATCH1)
}

This function is usually applied to a header that contains m[blue]RFC 2822m[][16] addresses. It extracts the actual addresses from the header, without any comments or extraneous punctuation. Each address is followed by a newline character. For example, if string contains:

The result of the getaddr function is the following string:


Note

Because getaddr() interprets m[blue]RFC 2822m[][17] loosely, it is not necessary to strip off the "FCTo:F[]" or the "FCCc:F[]" header from the string, before feeding it to getaddr(). For example, the following snippet of code takes all addresses in the message, and concatenates them into a single string, separated by spaces:


Note

In certain rare situations, m[blue]RFC 2822m[][17] allows spaces to be included in E-mail addresses, so this example is just educational.


hasaddr(string) - Search for an address.



if ( hasaddr(string) )
{
   ...
}

"string" is of the form FCuser@domainF[]. The hasaddr function returns 1 if this address is included in any FCTo:F[], FCCc:F[],FC Resent-To:F[], or FCResent-Cc:F[], header in the message, otherwise this function returns 0.

This is more than just a simple text search. Each header is parsed according to FCRFC822F[]. Addresses found in the header are extracted, ignoring all comments and names. The remaining addresses are checked, and if "string" is one of them, hasaddr returns 1, otherwise it returns 0.

The comparison is case-insensitive. This actually violates FCRFC822F[] (and several others) a little bit, because the user part of the address may be (but is not required to be) case sensitive.


length (string) - length of a string



if (length(string) > 80)
{
   ...
}

The length function returns the number of characters in string.


lookup (expr, 'filename', 'options') - read file for patterns



if (lookup(expr, FCfileF[], "option"))
{
   ...
}

expr is any expression. FCfilenameF[] is a name of a file containing a list of patterns. Note that FCfilenameF[] is relative to the current directory, which is the home directory of the user when maildrop runs in delivery mode, or embedded mode. maildrop then reads the file. Blank lines will be ignored, as well as any lines that begin with the # character (comments).

Leading whitespace (but not trailing whitespace, take care) is removed, and the remaining contents of each line are interpreted as a pattern which is matched against expr. As soon as the match is found, lookup returns "1". If no match is found after reading the entire file, lookup returns "0". For example:

The file badto.dat contains the following two lines:

If a message has a FCTo:F[] header that contains the text "FCfriend@publicF[]", or does not contain at least one @ character, then the message will be silently dropped on the floor ( maildrop will terminate without delivering the message anywhere).

options are the pattern matching options to use. The only supported option is "D" (the rest are meaningless, in this case).


Note

Be careful with discarding messages like that. Pattern matching can be tricky, and a slight miscalculation can cause mail to be unintentionally discarded. It is much desirable to first deliver message to a separate folder or mailbox, and once the filter is verified to work correctly, change it so the messages are discarded completely.


substr(string,start [,count]) - return substring



foo=substr($foo, 1, 10)

The substr function takes start number of characters from string. If count is specified, at most count characters starting at position start are kept, any excess is trimmed.


time - return current time



foo=time

The time function returns the current time, in seconds, since January 1, 1970. This function is useful when using GDBM files. See m[blue]maildropex(7)m[][18] for an example of using the time function.


tolower(string) - Convert string to lowercase.



foo=tolower(string)

This function returns the string with all uppercase characters replaced by lowercase characters.


toupper(string) - Convert string to uppercase.



foo=toupper(string)

This function returns the string with all lowercase characters replaced by uppercase characters.

 

Statements

The FCfilter fileF[] is read by maildrop (FC$HOME/.mailfilterF[] or another file), and it contains filtering statements, one per line. The filtering language used by maildrop has a loosely - defined grammatical structure.

Statements are listed one per line. Multiple statements may be listed on the same line by separating them with semicolons. To continue a long statement on the next line, terminate the line with a backslash character.  

BUGS

If getaddr() or hasaddr() functions are used on broken headers, the results are unpredictable.

hasaddr() is completely case insensitive. This actually violates a few RFCs, because the userid portion of the address could be case-sensitive, but it's not in too many cases, so there.  

SEE ALSO

m[blue]lockmail(1)m[][19], m[blue]maildrop(1)m[][20], m[blue]maildropgdbm(5)m[][15], m[blue]maildirquota(8)m[][4], m[blue]reformail(1)m[][21], egrep(1), sendmail(8).  

Notes

1.
Courier mail server
http://www.courier-mta.org/
2.
dot-courier(5)
[set $man.base.url.for.relative.links]/dot-courier.html
3.
value of the -M option
[set $man.base.url.for.relative.links]/maildrop.html#moption
4.
maildirquota(8)
[set $man.base.url.for.relative.links]/maildirquota.html
5.
xfilter
[set $man.base.url.for.relative.links]/#xfilter
6.
PCRE
http://www.pcre.org
7.
See the to statement
[set $man.base.url.for.relative.links]/#to
8.
flock statement
[set $man.base.url.for.relative.links]/#flock
9.
embedded mode
[set $man.base.url.for.relative.links]/maildrop.html#embedded
10.
dotlock statement
[set $man.base.url.for.relative.links]/#dotlock
11.
cc
[set $man.base.url.for.relative.links]/#cc
12.
evaluates to a logical true
[set $man.base.url.for.relative.links]/#if
13.
Patterns
[set $man.base.url.for.relative.links]/#patterns
14.
matching pattern sections
[set $man.base.url.for.relative.links]/#patmatch
15.
maildropgdbm(5)
[set $man.base.url.for.relative.links]/maildropgdbm.html
16.
RFC 2822
http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc2822.txt
17.
RFC 2822
http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc822.txt
18.
maildropex(7)
[set $man.base.url.for.relative.links]/maildropex.html
19.
lockmail(1)
[set $man.base.url.for.relative.links]/lockmail.html
20.
maildrop(1)
[set $man.base.url.for.relative.links]/maildrop.html
21.
reformail(1)
[set $man.base.url.for.relative.links]/reformail.html


 

Index

Synopsis
DESCRIPTION
Environment
Lexical structure
Literal text
Variable substitution
Command line arguments
Predefined variables
Other special variables
Unquoted text
Command substitution
Patterns
Pattern options
Weighted scoring
Pattern Match Results
Conversion of maildrop 1.x patterns to 2.0
Expressions
Statements
BUGS
SEE ALSO
Notes

This document was created by man2html, using the manual pages.
Time: 22:01:01 GMT, April 16, 2011