[svlug] procmail (was: Some pretty serious parsing)

Steve Litt slitt at troubleshooters.com
Mon Nov 16 16:15:50 PST 2015

On Mon, 16 Nov 2015 10:40:51 -0800
Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:

> I've sometimes managed to put procmail in a state where no mail
> whatsoever is delivered, at times I've made a severe error in a new or
> revised procmail recipe.  In those cases, I backtrack by reverting or
> commenting out whatever was the last recipe I altered or added, mail
> delivery resumes, and I then figure out how to do that correctly.
> Often, it turns out I've made an error on the first line of the
> recipe, the cryptic one that includes what's to be done with locking.

I'm probably on 50 mailing lists, have /dev/nulled over 100 people, and
have about four or five senders that must get through even if their
subject mentions "testosterone", "Russian bride" and "a million

To keep my .procmailrc from becoming too unwieldy, I split it into
badguys.rc, by_account.rc, diag_first.rc, diag_second.rc, envvars.rc,
fallthrough.rc, maillists.rc, and vitals.rc. I modify the correct one
(almost always a new entry to badguys.rc), run a script to
update .procmailrc. After reading this thread, I added a backup step to
my script so I have a backup of the original .procmailrc.

**IMMEDIATELY** afterwards, I send myself an email, and make sure it
comes through to my inbox. I even have a special mailbox that receives
any email with a specific string in the subject, so sometimes I send to
that too. By doing this stuff immediately, I know if I screwed up
my .procmailrc and can back out my changes.


Steve Litt 
November 2015 featured book: Troubleshooting Techniques
     of the Successful Technologist

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