archivemail 0.7.0 review

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archivemail is a tool written in Python for archiving and compressing old email in mailboxes

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 0K
Developer: Paul Rodger
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archivemail is a tool written in Python for archiving and compressing old email in mailboxes. archivemail can move messages older than the specified number of days to a separate mbox format mailbox that is compressed with gzip, or optionally just delete old email.

Maybe some of your mailboxes are quite large (eg, over 10,000 messages) and they are taking a while to load in your mail reader. Perhaps they are taking up too much space on your disk. Archiving old messages to a separate, compressed mailbox will mean:

1. Your mail reader will get a huge performance boost loading and reading your mail.
2. You will be taking up less disk space, since old mail will be compressed. (Mail usually compresses quite nicely.)
3. You won't be confronted with semi-obsolete mail all the time.

If you would prefer to just delete old email rather than archive it, archivemail can do that too.

Here are some key features of "archivemail":
Support for archiving IMAP, mbox, MH and maildir format mailboxes.
You can configure the amount of days before mail is considered old -- with the default being 180 days.
Messages that are flagged important are not archived or deleted unless you specify the --include-flagged option.
Optionally warn about duplicate Message-IDs in a mailbox.
You can specify an option so that unread mail is never archived.
Allows you to store the compressed archive mailboxes in a directory of your choice, with an extension of your choice.
Support for deleting old mail rather than archiving it.
Optional ability to archive messages older than an absolute date with the --date option.
Ability to only archive messages over a certain byte size.

archivemail requires python version 2.0 or later, with the optional 'zlib' module, although the zlib module comes with most python installations. If you are compiling your own version of python < version 2.2, make sure you uncomment the 'zlib' moduile in Modules/Setup in the python source directory.

You can check to see if your version of python has the 'zlib' module by trying this:

flare:~$ python
Python 2.1 (#1, Apr 26 2002, 11:22:45)
[GCC 2.95.2 20000220 (Debian GNU/Linux)] on linux2
Type "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.

If you get an ImportError, then the zlib python module has not been installed. Try upgrading your python distribution.

Python is available from

If you want to run the bundled test script, you will need python version 2.1 or later, because we use the PyUnit 'unittest' module. Sorry.


If you want to test archivemail:
cp archivemail
(NOTE: This could take over 90 seconds on slower systems)

To install archivemail, run:
python install

What's New in This Release:
Unsafe creation of temporary files in the test suite was fixed.
A dotlocking race condition was fixed.
IMAP was broken in version 0.6.2 and is now working again.
stats now report the total size of a mailbox and of the archived messages therefrom.
archivemail now writes valid mbox(5) archives.
archivemail finally converts on-the-wire CRLF to native EOL when saving messages from an IMAP folder.
IMAP --delete and IMAP --size, which never worked at all, were fixed.
IMAP --dry-run was fixed so that it doesn't download all messages that would be archived.

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