Procmail is a rather old, but still very useful Unix/Linux application commonly used for writing mail filter rules on Linux servers. I typically use it for user-level filtering, such as defining mailbox filters for all my emails.
It’s also useful for handling shared email addresses, such as support mailboxes receiving a range of emails. Procmail allows these emails to be re-directed to multiple people, different folders or almost any other action desirable.
To make it easier to manage Procmail rule sets in this scenario, I built a tool called “MailGuidance”. It’s an open source PHP/MySQL application which allows a user to create Procmail filters in a web environment and having it then generate the appropriate configuration in the background on the server.
MailGuidance is intended for small organisations or an individual seeking a web-based way of managing their procmail rules, it’s intentionally simple and does limit the power of procmail somewhat in exchange for making an easy to use experience for users.
- Easy web based interface where filters can be enabled/disabled per user.
- User “holiday mode” where all emails to that user get redirected to another until they return, so that nothing gets forgotten.
- Optional email archiving into different folders.
- Configurable behavior for archiving and unmatched mail.
- Works perfectly with IPv6. :-)
The best use case for MailGuidance so far has been for handling server log and error emails, by filtering and then redirecting them to the appropriate people/teams to avoid spamming system administrators with irrelevant messages.
I spent some time this weekend tweaking it a bit more and have now packaged some releases and opened up the repository publicly – you can download stable version 1.0.0 or read more about it on my project page here. RPMs are available for users of RHEL/clones.