personal fork of mblaze
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MBLAZE(7)              Miscellaneous Information Manual              MBLAZE(7)

mblaze – introduction to the mblaze message system

The mblaze message system is a set of Unix utilities for processing and
interacting with mail messages which are stored in maildir folders.

Its design is roughly inspired by MH, the RAND Message Handling System,
but it is a complete implementation from scratch.

mblaze consists of these Unix utilities that each do one job:

maddr(1) extract mail addresses from messages
magrep(1) search messages matching a pattern
mbnc(1) bounce messages
mcom(1) compose and send messages
mdeliver(1) deliver messages or import mbox file
mdirs(1) list maildir folders, recursively
mexport(1) export messages as mbox file
mflag(1) manipulate maildir message flags
mflow(1) reflow format=flowed plain text messages
mfwd(1) forward messages
mgenmid(1) generate a Message-ID
mhdr(1) print message headers
minc(1) incorporate new messages
mless(1) conveniently read messages in less(1)
mlist(1) list and filter messages
mmime(1) create MIME messages
mmkdir(1) create new maildir folders
mpick(1) advanced message filter
mrefile(1) move or copy messages between maildir folders
mrep(1) reply to messages
mscan(1) generate one-line message summaries
msed(1) manipulate message headers
mseq(1) manipulate message sequences
mshow(1) render messages and extract MIME parts
msort(1) sort messages
mthread(1) arrange messages into discussions

mblaze is a classic command line MUA and has no features for receiving or
transferring messages; you can operate on messages in a local maildir
spool, or fetch your messages using fdm(1), getmail(1), offlineimap(1),
or similar utilities, and send it using dma(8), msmtp(1), sendmail(8), as
provided by OpenSMTPD, Postfix, or similar.

mblaze operates directly on maildir folders and doesn't use its own
caches or databases. There is no setup needed for many uses. All
utilities have been written with performance in mind. Enumeration of all
messages in a maildir is avoided unless necessary, and then optimized to
limit syscalls. Parsing message metadata is optimized to limit I/O
requests. Initial operations on a large maildir may feel slow, but as
soon as they are in the file system cache, everything is blazingly fast.
The utilities are written to be memory efficient (i.e. not wasteful), but
whole messages are assumed to fit into RAM easily (one at a time).

mblaze has been written from scratch and is now well tested, but it is
not 100% RFC-conforming (which is neither worth it, nor desirable).
There may be issues with very old, nonconforming, messages.

mblaze is written in portable C, using only POSIX functions (apart from a
tiny Linux-only optimization), and has no external dependencies. 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. mblaze works
well with other Unix utilities such as mairix(1), mu(1), or

mblaze utilities are designed to be composed together in a pipe. They
are suitable for interactive use and for scripting, and integrate well
into a Unix workflow.

For example, you could decide you want to look at all unseen messages in
your INBOX, oldest first.
mlist -s ~/Maildir/INBOX | msort -d | mscan

To operate on a set of messages in multiple steps, you can save it as a
sequence, e.g. add a call to ‘mseq -S’ to the 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
messages at once, for example:
mshow 1:5

Likewise, you could decide to incorporate (by moving from new to cur) all
new messages in all folders, thread it and look at it interactively:
mdirs ~/Maildir | xargs minc | mthread | mless

Or you could list the attachments of the 20 largest messages in your
mlist ~/Maildir/INBOX | msort -S | tail -20 | mshow -t

Or apply the patches from the current message:
mshow -O. '*.diff' | patch

As usual with pipes, the sky is the limit.

mblaze deals with messages (which are files), folders (which are maildir
folders), sequences (which are newline-separated lists of messages,
possibly saved on disk in ${MBLAZE:-$HOME/.mblaze}/seq), and the current
message (kept as a symlink in ${MBLAZE:-$HOME/.mblaze}/cur).

Messages in the saved 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.

For configuration, see mblaze-profile(5).

mailx(1), mblaze-profile(5), nmh(7)

Leah Neukirchen <>

There is a mailing list available at (to
subscribe, send a message to; archives
are available at There also is an IRC
channel #vuxu on Please report security-related bugs
directly to the author.

mblaze 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 January 18, 2020 Void Linux