Skip to content


Subversion checkout URL

You can clone with
Download ZIP
Fetching contributors…

Cannot retrieve contributors at this time

277 lines (203 sloc) 7.392 kb
.TH MU-SERVER 1 "September 2012" "User Manuals"
mu server \- the mu backend for the mu4e e-mail client
.B mu server [options]
\fBmu server\fR starts a simple shell in which one can query and manipulate
the mu database. The output of the commands is terms of Lisp symbolic
expressions (s-exps). \fBmu server\fR is not meant for use by humans; instead,
it is designed specifically for the \fBmu4e\fR e-mail client.
In this man-page, we document the commands \fBmu server\fR accepts, as well as
their responses. In general, the commands sent to the server are of the form
<command> [<parameters>]*
where each of the parameters is prefixed by their name and a colon. For
example, to view a certain message, the command would be:
view docid:12345
Parameters can be sent in any order, and parameters not used by a certain
command are simply ignored.
\fBmu server\fR accepts a number of commands, and delivers its results in
the form:
\\376 (one byte 0xfe), followed by the length of the s-expression expressed as
an hexadecimal number, followed by another \\377 (one byte 0xff), followed by
the actual s-expression.
By prefixing the expression with its length, it can be processed more
efficiently. The \\376 and \\377 were chosen since they never occur in valid
UTF-8 (in which the s-expressions are encoded).
.B add
Using the \fBadd\fR command, we can add a message to the database.
-> add path:<path> maildir:<maildir>
<- (:info add :path <path> :docid <docid>)
.B compose
Using the \fBcompose\fR command, we get the (original) message, and tell what
to do with it. The user-interface is then expected to pre-process the message,
e.g. set the subject, sender and recipient for a reply message.
Messages of type 'new' don't use the docid: parameter, the other ones do.
-> compose type:<reply|forward|edit|new> [docid:<docid>]
<- (:compose <reply|forward|edit|new> :original <s-exp> :include (<list-of-attachments))
The <list-of-attachments> is an s-expression describing the attachments to
include in the message; this currently only applies to message we are
forwarding. This s-exprssion looks like:
(:file-name <filename> :mime-type <mime-type> :disposition <disposition>)
.B contacts
Using the \fBcompose\fR command, we can retrieve an s-expression with all known
contacts (name + e-mail address). For the details, see \fBmu-cfind(1)\fR.
-> contacts [personal:true|false] [after:<time_t>]
<- (:contacts ((:name abc :mail ...) ...)
.B extract
Using the \fBextract\fR command we can save and open attachments.
-> extract action:<save|open|temp> index:<index> [path:<path>] [what:<what> [param:<param>]]
If the action is 'save', the path argument is required; the attachment will
be saved, and a message
<- (:info save :message "... has been saved")
is sent.
If the action is 'open', the attachment will saved to a temporary file, after
which it will be opened with the default handler for this kind of file (see
\fBmu-extract(1)\fR), and a message
<- (:info open :message "... has been opened")
is sent.
If the action is 'temp', the arguments 'what' is required. The attachment will
saved to a temporary file, and the following message is sent:
<- (:temp :what <what> :param <param :docid 12345)
The front-end can then take action on the temp file, based on what :what and
:param contain. \fBmu4e\fR uses this mechanism e.g. for piping an attachment
to a shell command.
.B find
Using the \fBfind\fR command we can search for messages.
-> find query:"<query>" [threads:true|false] [sortfield:<sortfield>]
[reverse:true|false] [maxnum:<maxnum>]
The \fBquery\fR-parameter provides the search query; the
\fBthreads\fR-parameter determines whether the results will be returned in
threaded fashion or not; the \fBsortfield\fR-parameter (a string, "to",
"from", "subject", "date", "size", "prio") sets the search field, the
\fBreverse\fR-parameter, if true, set the sorting order Z->A and, finally, the
\fBmaxnum\fR-parameter limits the number of results to return (<= 0
means 'unlimited').
First, this will return an 'erase'-sexp, to clear the buffer from possible
results from a previous query.
<- (:erase t)
This will return a series of 0 up to <maxnum> s-expression corresponding to
each message found (if there's no maxnum, all results will be returned). The
information message s-exps this function returns do not contain the message
body; the \fBview\fR command is for that.
<- (...)
and finally, we receive:
<- (:found <number-of-matches>)
.B guile
The \fBguile\fR command is reserved for future use.
.B index
Using the \fBindex\fR command, we can (re)index the database, similar to what
\fBmu find\fR does. The \fBmy-addresses\fR parameter (optionally)
registers 'my' email addresses; see the documentation for
-> index path:<path> [my-addresses:<comma-separated-list-of-email-addresses>]
As a response, it will send (for each 500 messages):
(:info index :status running :processed <processed> :updated <updated>)
and finally:
(:info index :status complete :processed <processed :updated <updated>
:cleaned-up <cleaned-up>)
.B mkdir
Using the \fBmkdir\fR command, we can create a new maildir.
-> mkdir path:<path>
<- (:info mkdir :message "<maildir> has been created")
.B move
Using the \fBmove\fR command, we can move messages to another maildir or
change its flags (which ultimately means it is being move to a different
filename), and update the database correspondingly. The function returns an
s-exp describing the updated message, so that it can be updated in the user
-> move docid:<docid>|msgid:<msgid> [maildir:<maildir>] [flags:<flags>]
<- (:update <s-exp> :move t)
One of docid and msgid must be specified to identify the message. At least one
of maildir and flags must be specified.
.B ping
The \fBping\fR command provokes a \fBpong\fR response. It is used for the initial
handshake between \fBmu4e\fR and \fBmu server\fR.
-> ping
<- (:pong "mu" :version <version> :doccount <doccount>)
.B remove
Using the \fBremove\fR command, we can remove the message from disk, and
update the database accordingly.
-> remove docid:<docid>
<- (:remove <docid>)
.B view
Using the \fBview\fR command, we can retrieve all information (including the
body) of a particular e-mail message.
If the optional parameter \fBextract-images\fR is \fBtrue\fR, extract images
to temp files, and include links to them in the returned s-exp.
If the optional parameter \fBuse-agent\fR is \fBtrue\fR, try to use
\fBgpg-agent\fR when verifying PGP/GPG message parts.
If the optional parameter \fBauto-retrieve-key\fR is \fBtrue\fR, attempt to
retrieve public keys online automatically.
-> view docid:<docid>|msgid:<msgid> [extract-images:true] [use-agent:false] [auto-retrieve-key:false]
<- (:view <s-exp>)
or, alternatively:
-> view path:<path-to-msg> [extract-images:true] [use-agent:false] [auto-retrieve-key:false]
<- (:view <s-exp>)
Dirk-Jan C. Binnema <>
.BR mu(1)
Jump to Line
Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.