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mailp (mail ping) sends an e-mail from your system and watches your local mbox file to see if it returns.
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mailp - Mail Ping

mailp is designed to make monitoring e-mail servers simple. It sends an e-mail
to any address you want and watches your local mbox file for its return.

It is currently being developed, is very raw, and really shouldn't be used by
anyone other than developers at the moment.


-t      An e-mail address to send the test e-mail to (ex.,

-f      Who to send the test e-mail from (ex.,

-m      The mbox file to check (ex., ~/Mail/mbox).

-o      (Default: STDOUT)
        Output the resulting mbox into the specified mbox. The target file will
        be locked while mailp scans the mbox. Be careful when using your live
        mbox file.

-p      (Default: /tmp/mailp-pending)
        Specify a file where mailp can store information about the e-mails it's
        looking for. Must be a writable flat file.

-c      (Default: 5)
        The number of times to check if the e-mail exists in the mbox before
        considering it a failure.

-e      (Default: [nothing])
        If the max number of tries for an e-mail is reached, then the command
        specified by this arg is run.


mailp performs best when the mbox file is smaller because it currently iterates
over every e-mail in it. You can make sure that this happens by having your
mail client filter any mailp e-mail into its own mbox file. This is easily done
by checking who the e-mail came from (ex., or checking for
the existence of the X-MAILP header.

How It Works

This is the general flow of how mailp works internally.

1. mailp checks the pending e-mail file (-p option) to see if any test e-mails
have arrived in the target mbox (-m option) for the specified e-mail (-t
option). If they have, then it removes the e-mail from the mbox and the entry
in the pending e-mail file. If an e-mail in the pending file hasn't arrived,
then the tries counter for that entry is incremented - if the count reaches the
max number of tries (-c option), then the specified command is run (-e option).

2. If mailp doesn't have an entry in the pending e-mail file for the given
e-mail address (-t option), then it sends the test e-mail to that address with
a hash in the X-MAILP header. mailp then stores the e-mail address and hash in
the pending e-mail file for when it's called next.
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