[lug] Virtual Mail User - Large Mailbox Scrubbing

Ryan Fligg I foun ryan at celebrityaccess.com
Thu Jun 29 18:04:57 MDT 2006

I found a solution and it ended up being a combination of things.

I went with the double xargs command.

ls | xargs grep -li "Subject:.*delivery report" | xargs echo


ls | xargs grep -li "Subject:.*delivery report" | xargs rm

This is working fine and I have removed 90% of the e-mails and got the file 
down to 50MB from 5.0 GB.  

Thank you for all your fast help.


Ryan R. Fligg

On Thursday 29 June 2006 17:24, Jeff Schroeder wrote:
> David:
> > > for file in `grep -li "^Subject:.*undeliverable"`; do rm $file;
> > > done
> >
> > This may not be quite right.  It will find messages matching your
> > pattern on any line, not just the Subject header.
> I'm using the caret to indicate start-of-line, and a colon after
> "Subject", which should really cut down on false positives.  I agree
> that it's *possible* a message containing
> Subject: undeliverable
> anywhere in its body (so long as it's on a new line AND followed by a
> colon) will be picked up by this-- but it's unlikely that will happen.
> There are Perl modules specifically intended for extracting e-mail
> headers and searching them, but the resulting command will be much more
> complicated than a one-liner. :)
> $0.02,
> Jeff

Ryan R. Fligg

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ryan at celebrityaccess.com

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