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I filter my mail

by vroom (His Eminence)
on Oct 09, 2001 at 17:29 UTC ( #117729=poll: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Vote on this poll

[bar] 128/23%
with procmail
[bar] 94/17%
with Mail::Filter/Mail::Audit
[bar] 17/3%
with my mail client
[bar] 189/34%
with my mail provider's tools
[bar] 20/4%
with my own hand-rolled tool
[bar] 24/4%
I read it all
[bar] 68/12%
[bar] 20/4%
560 total votes
Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: I filter my mail
by Zo (Scribe) on Oct 09, 2001 at 19:53 UTC
    If there's an "Fwd:" in the subject line - instant termination of file. No I don't want to see Brittney Spears naked, no I don't need a new car loan, no I don't care about bad luck if not sent to 10 other people in 10 minutes, no I don't want to be a stud with Viagra, no I don't need to know the top ten dirty pick-up lines to use for Valentines Day, no I don't want 'instant credit', no I don't want to "be a model or just look like one" ... I could go on for weeks with all the garbage taking up space out there!
    brother Zo
      No I don't want to see Brittney Spears naked...

      I question the validity of this statement ;) Assuming you are male, heterosexual, and breathing ;)

                      - Ant
                      - Some of my best work - Fish Dinner

        Ok, maybe I would like to see Brit.Spears naked
        but still this does not change my point made earlier!!!

        Thank you,
        studly - non-viagra needing - good credit having - pick-up line using - not a model but want to look like one, brother Zo

        ps: as Seinfeild says: "Not that there's anything wrong with that!"
        No sense in arguing about bad taste ;-)
        shouldn't that be "assuming you are male, breathing, and heterosexual" .. since a dead person has no sexuality.. *shrug*.. -- SyBase
Re: I filter my mail
by petdance (Parson) on Oct 09, 2001 at 18:20 UTC
    I read my mail in a constant stream all day, so it's not like I sit down and say "OK, what's here, what's there?"

    The only filtering I could see doing would be some anti-spam measures that I could trust, but since I don't run my own mail server...

    <megaphone> Throw down the gun and tiara and come out of the float! </megaphone>

Re: I filter my mail
by Chady (Priest) on Oct 10, 2001 at 11:39 UTC

    here's my code for it:

    outlook_express->Tools->Message Rules->Mail->push(&delete while ($to !~ /$/i || $subject =~ /^Fwd:/i));
    He who asks will be a fool for five minutes, but he who doesn't ask will remain a fool for life.

    Chady |
Re: I filter my mail
by lemming (Priest) on Oct 09, 2001 at 21:57 UTC

    Now I just filter via my mail client, spam hasn't been much of a problem since I switched addresses:
    I used to use these at one time or another: <od>

  • AMaVis
  • Scripts to throw mail into newsgroups
  • procmail
  • And some perl scripts in a testing enviroment, but not in RL
  • </od>

Re: I filter my mail
by E-Bitch (Pilgrim) on Oct 10, 2001 at 10:10 UTC
    Where's the "I delete all my mail, cause if you cant call me, yer not worth talking to and are probably trying to get me to buy something anyway" option?

    Tempora Mutantur Nos et Mutamur in Illis
    "The Times are Changed Even as We are Changed in Them"
Re: I filter my mail
by khippy (Scribe) on Oct 10, 2001 at 18:38 UTC
    I like pressing d

    there are no silly questions

Re: I filter my mail
by Masem (Monsignor) on Oct 10, 2001 at 22:57 UTC
    I use a combination of procmail with my own and the SpamBouncer recipe set which filters everything into folders (direct-to-me, mailing lists, and possible and most likely spam); I typically read everything that I accept but still peruse the possible spam folders because there's enough people that contact me for spam-haven-ISPs that I need to follow up on those.

    Of course, I've been having a much easier time with spam since I've started using weak-munging of my email and use of forwarding addresses on my email server. Most people that contact me often know the right address to use; everything else that comes in as spam is on one of the munged-addresses.

    Dr. Michael K. Neylon - || "You've left the lens cap of your mind on again, Pinky" - The Brain
    It's not what you know, but knowing how to find it if you don't know that's important

Re: I filter my mail
by the_slycer (Chaplain) on Oct 10, 2001 at 01:20 UTC
    That depends:

    At home, I read it all (just those pesky html messages get deleted)

    At work, I use a very advanced filtering system - entitled EditSelectAllShiftDelete..
Re: I filter my mail
by merlyn (Sage) on Oct 14, 2001 at 20:57 UTC
    I started out with procmail. Then I discovered mailagent. So I rewired everything to use that, and then have been slowly patching my ".rules" file, which is now up to 686 lines. But then mailagent got to be too slow for the 1000 or so pieces of email I get every day, so I added a few very-early filters in procmail. Mailagent handles the autoreplies and forwards by itself, but for mail I need to see, delivers to about 50 different ".spool" files, which are then read by GNUS and sorted into their own bins (I don't do any further sorting in GNUS).

    When I get about a dozen more TUITs, I'm going to completely eliminate old dead Mailagent with my own tools. There's still things done by mailagent trivially that the Mail::Audit (and friends) packages don't do, so I've got to handroll some stuff no matter what. I figure it'll take about a day or so to get right.

    -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker

Re: I filter my mail
by scain (Curate) on Oct 09, 2001 at 22:09 UTC
    I used to use procmail, that is until my ISP a) lost all of my files including my .procmailrc and .procmail dir (not backed up at home -- bad, scain, bad) in a disk crash, and 2) disallowed shell logins. Ever since then, I just haven't had the energy to reconstruct it all over ftp.
Re: I filter my mail
by Hanamaki (Chaplain) on Oct 10, 2001 at 22:37 UTC
    I do all my mail processing including filtering with Gnus on emacs. I am happy with my current setup and too lazzy to learn new filtering programms, even if they are better. To be honest Mail::Audit seems to be pretty nice and I hope one day I will find some reasons to study and use it.

    ...wondering if he is the only person who edits his ".emacs" and ".gnus" files with Nvi.
      I've used Mail::Audit since Simon wrote about it in tpj. I don't use it to filter or move mail, but instead to write the headers to a small log I keep and then to redirect the headers to festival which announces the new message over my speakers.

      The module makes it easy, though I had to hack the version I have (1.3) to include grabbing the emails' date.

Re: I filter my mail
by strredwolf (Chaplain) on Oct 11, 2001 at 07:24 UTC
    ...with Procmail unmunging the mail headers and Perl doing a ton of DNS checks and other items.


Re: I filter my mail
by Elvis (Sexton) on Oct 12, 2001 at 03:16 UTC

    I'm surprised that not so many people use procmail. I thought virtually 'everyone' on a *nix box used it. :)

    As for spam filtering, if my address is not in the to: or cc: (i.e bcc), the mail goes to the spam box. Likewise for ALL CAPS messages. If they write like that, they're probably not worth talking to anyhow.

Re: I filter my mail
by jepri (Parson) on Oct 12, 2001 at 09:45 UTC
    I keep a decoy address and a real one. Anyone can send mail to but I don't check it unless I know there will be mail there that I want to read. It's great. I sign up for all the online offers with this address and the crap flows into the box and stays there.

    I never type out my real address, although it's not that hard to guess. As a result, I never get spam.

    I didn't believe in evil until I dated it.

      I do something similar - I set up a subdomain that's configured to accept anything@, and every time some website wants me to signup and requires me to supply my email, I use <website address>@subdomain as the address. It doesn't stop the random spammers (the people who email sales@, info@, webmaster@ etc) but it's useful for seeing which sites sell my address.

      I do something similar to this, except every time i sign up for something, i create an alias, so i can track exactly where the spammer got my address from, then i have good grounds to be bitchy at whatever service i signed up with =)
        My aunt does the same with snail mail mailorder companies she buys from. I just wish I had the time and patience to do it with either..


        Use of this advanced computing technology does not imply an endorsement
        of Western industrial civilization.

      So what do you use your real address for? ;-)

      someone must know it, and when they do... u're done... fwd:

      He who asks will be a fool for five minutes, but he who doesn't ask will remain a fool for life.

      Chady |

        I hand it out to all my friends and pretty much anyone who /msgs me.

        I have almost trained my friends to the point that they will not forward crap indiscriminately. I have had to abandon one of my favourite email addresses do to an incident similar to what you say, but almost everyone thesedays knows about posting mail where spammers can get to it.

        What really bemuses me is that I use this address to post to my local Linux user group (which gets web archived) and I still don't get spam. They must use some pretty heavy-duty anti-spam software.

        I didn't believe in evil until I dated it.

      Why even let it sit there? Direct it all to /dev/null and be done with it, as long as you're not giving it to anyone important...


      Use of this advanced computing technology does not imply an endorsement
      of Western industrial civilization.
Re: I filter my mail
by gloryhack (Deacon) on Oct 14, 2001 at 10:01 UTC

    My mail gets filtered by qmail's rblsmtpd performing reverse DNS lookups at,,, and Then, after all that, I run my own block list (via DNS, of course) that is self-maintaining. All mail that arrives at one of my several spamcatcher addresses results in the delivering IP address being blocked for 30 days, and the offending message is archived for 90 days. It will also receive bounced mail from any local user, and block the IP address that delivered it into my domain.

    This contraption is based upon qmail and rbldns, with lots and lots of perl to handle the self-maintaining list. Eventually I'll get back to the perlTk management interface for the thing... not that I've needed it in the past several months during which it's been keeping my inbox as clear as a mountain stream. :-)

Re: I filter my mail
by tomhukins (Curate) on Oct 12, 2001 at 17:04 UTC
    I use Maildrop, which is similar to procmail, but uses resources more efficiently. I find Maildrop's filtering syntax much easier to understand and use.

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