Regex Help For Procmail

Drew Tomlinson drew at
Wed Sep 8 16:22:37 UTC 2010

  On 9/7/2010 5:50 PM, Robert Bonomi wrote:
>>  From owner-freebsd-questions at  Mon Sep  6 12:46:59 2010
>> Date: Mon, 06 Sep 2010 10:46:47 -0700
>> From: Drew Tomlinson<drew at>
>> To: perryh at
>> Cc: frank at, freebsd-questions at
>> Subject: Re: Regex Help For Procmail
>>    On 9/5/2010 4:02 PM, perryh at wrote:
>>> Frank Shute<frank at>   wrote:
>>>> Drew, try this:
>>>> * ^From:.*famous-smoke\.com
>>>> I think it's not catching it because the period isn't backslash
>>>> escaped ...
>>> Unless there's some edge case that I'm not thinking of, adding a
>>> backslash to escape a period will never convert a non-match into
>>> a match.  An unescaped period in an RE matches any character,
>>> including a period.  An escaped period matches only a period.
>> I have confirmed this.  I did add the backslash but procmail is still
>> not matching.
>>> Adding the backslash _does_ better represent what the OP wants
>>> to accomplish, but the lack of it is not the cause of the RE not
>>> matching.  (I'm not sufficiently familiar with how procmail uses
>>> REs to figure out what _is_ causing it not to match.)
>> True and thus I'll leave the backslash.  However I have no idea what
>> _is_ causing it not to match either. I'm stumped.
> Chances are you're 'over-specifying' what you want.  take off the trailing
> $, and maybe even the '>'
> There's _something_ in the header that is not what you 'think' it is,
> which is what is causing the problem.  the difficulty is -finding- what
> that 'something' is.
>  From whatever file procmail is dumping that message into, try using a
> minimal text editor (something that is *NOT* language/charset aware,
> delete everything _but_ that 'From: ' line, and then use that  as input
> to 'od -xc' to see _exactly_ what's there.
Here is that output:

blacklamb> od -xc x
0000000      7246    6d6f    203a    4622    6d61    756f    2073    6d53
            F   r   o   m   :       "   F   a   m   o   u   s       S   m
0000020      6b6f    2065    6853    706f    2022    413c    6e6e    756f
            o   k   e       S   h   o   p   " <   A   n   n   o   u
0000040      636e    4065    6d65    6961    2e6c    6166    6f6d    7375
            n   c   e   @   e   m   a   i   l   .   f   a   m   o   u   s
0000060      732d    6f6d    656b    632e    6d6f    0a3e
            -   s   m   o   k   e   .   c   o   m >  \n

And this procmail recipe does *not* match:

# Deliver other email to folder
* ^From:.*famous-smoke\.com
"${HOME}/Maildir/.Shopping/Famous Smoke/Email/"

Do you see anything I'm missing?



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