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Quick Start

This section gives you a "quick start" on using MHonArc.

Converting mail

MHonArc supports MH mail folders and UUCP/Unix mailbox files, so the term "mail folder" represents the MH mail folder or mailbox file to process. To convert a mail folder to an HTML archive, use the following:

prompt> mhonarc path/inbox

Where path represents the directory path containing the mail folder inbox. If you are in the directory that contains inbox, you can leave out the "path/".

You can specify multiple mail folders to process:

prompt> mhonarc path/inbox1 path/inbox2 ...

You can also specify standard input, "-", as the source of mail folder:

prompt> mhonarc -- - path/inbox

The "--" (two hyphens) is required to terminate command-line option parsing so "-" is not treated as the start of an option. The example also illustrates that you can specify regular mail folders along with standard input. In this example, MHonArc processes standard input and then path/inbox.


Mail folder data read in from standard input must be in UUCP-style mailbox format.

MHonArc creates the following files after processing the mail folders:

By default, all files created are put into the current working directory. You can control the location of archive files by using the -outdir option.


prompt> mhonarc -outdir /home/ehood/htmlarchive /home/ehood/mail/inbox

Here is a sample session converting a mail folder:

prompt> mhonarc ~/mail/inbox
This is MHonArc v2.6.0, Perl 5.006001 linux
Converting messages to .
Reading /home/ehood/mail/inbox ..........
Writing mail ...
Writing ./maillist.html ...
Writing ./threads.html ...
Writing database ...
10 messages

By default, MHonArc prints out information about its progress. This can be disabled with the -quiet option.

Adding Messages to an Archive

If you have new messages you want to add to an existing archive, you must utilize the -add command-line option. With the -add, you can do the following:

Adding a mail folder to an archive in the current working directory can be done like the following:

prompt> mhonarc -add <path>/mailfolder

If you are not in the same directory as the archive, then you can specify the location of the archive with the -outdir option.


MHonArc skips any messages that already exist in the archive. Therefore, MHonArc can be used to rescan a mail folder to auto-find any new messages to add.

If no mail folders are specified, MHonArc attempts to add a single message read in from standard input.


prompt> mhonarc -add < single.msg 

Or, from a pipe:

prompt> cat single.msg | mhonarc -add 

Converting a single message

MHonArc converts a single mail message, independent of creating or modifying an archive, if the -single option is specified. The message to process is specified by filename, or piped in from standard input. The resulting HTML is sent to standard output.


Input from standard input:

prompt> mhonarc -single < messagefile > file.html

Filename on command-line:

prompt> mhonarc -single messagefile > file.html

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$Date: 2005/05/13 00:00:35 $
Copyright © 1997-1999, 2005, Earl Hood, mhonarc@mhonarc.org