MINTRO(7) Miscellaneous Information Manual MINTRO(7)
mintro – Santoku introduction
The Santoku message system is a set of Unix utilities to deal with mail
kept in Maildir folders.
Its design is roughly inspired by MH, the RAND Message Handling System,
but its is a complete implementation from scratch.
Santoku consists of a set of Unix tools that each do one job:
maddr(1) to extract addresses from mail
mcomp(1) to write and send mail
mdeliver(1) to deliver messages or import mailboxes
mdirs(1) to find Maildirs
mflag(1) to change flags (marks) of mail
mhdr(1) to extract mail headers
minc(1) to incorporate new mail
mless(1) to conveniently read mail in less(1)
mlist(1) to list and filter mail messages
mmime(1) to create MIME messages
mpick(1) to filter mail
mrepl(1) to reply to mail
mscan(1) to generate single line summaries of mail
mseq(1) to manipulate mail sequences
mshow(1) to render mail and extract attachments
msort(1) to sort mail
mthread(1) to arrange mail into discussions
Santoku is a classic command line MUA with no features related to
receiving and transferring mail. You are expected to fetch your mail
using offlineimap(1), fdm(1), procmail(1), getmail(1) or similar and send
it using sendmail(8), as provided by OpenSMTPD, Postfix, msmtp(1), dma(8)
or similar. Santoku expects your mail to reside in Maildir folders.
Santoku operates directly on Maildir and doesn't use caches or database.
There is no setup needed for many uses. All tools have been written with
performance in mind. Enumeration of all mails in a Maildir is avoided
unless necessary, and then optimized to use few syscalls. Parsing mail
metadata is optimized to use few I/O requests. Initial operations on big
Maildir may feel slow, but as soon as they are in cache, everything is
blazing fast. The tools are written to be memory efficient (i.e. not
wasteful), but whole messages are assumed to fit into RAM easily (at a
Santoku has been written from scratch and tested on a big pile of
personal mail, but is not actually 100% RFC conforming (which is neither
worth it nor desirable). There may be issues with very old,
Santoku is written in portable C, using only POSIX functions (apart from
a tiny Linux-only optimization). It supports MIME and more than 7-bit
messages (everything the host iconv(3) can decode). It assumes you work
in a UTF-8 environment. Santoku works well together with other Unix mail
tools such as offlineimap(1), mairix(1), or mu(1).
Santoku tools are designed to be composed together into a pipe. It is
suitable for interactive use and for scripting. It integrates well into
a Unix workflow.
For example, you could decide you want to look at all unseen mail in your
INBOX, oldest first.
mlist -s ~/Maildir/INBOX | msort -d | mscan
To operate on a set of mails in multiple steps, you can save a list of
mail as a sequence. E.g. add a call to ‘mseq -S’ to above command:
mlist -s ~/Maildir/INBOX | msort -d | mseq -S | mscan
Now mscan will show message numbers and you could look at the first five
mails at once, for example:
Likewise, you could decide to look at all freshly received mail in all
folders, thread it and look at it interactively:
mdirs ~/Maildir | xargs minc | mthread | mless
Or you could look at the attachments of the 20 largest mails in your
mlist ~/Maildir/INBOX | msort -s | tail -20 | mshow -t
Or apply the patches from the current mail:
mshow -O. '*.diff' | patch
As usual with pipes, the sky is the limit.
Santoku deals with messages (which are files), folders (which are Maildir
folders), sequences (which are newline-separated lists of messages,
possibly persisted on disk in ~/.santoku/seq), and the current message
(kept as a symlink in ~/.santoku/cur).
Messages in the persisted sequence can be referred to using special
syntax as explained in mmsg(7).
Many utilities have a default behavior when used interactively from a
terminal (e.g. operate on the current message or the current sequence).
For scripting, you must make these arguments explicit.
Christian Neukirchen <email@example.com>
Santoku is in the public domain.
To the extent possible under law, the creator of this work has waived all
copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work.
Void Linux July 22, 2016 Void Linux