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What tools?[edit]

what tools can be used to store read modify archive and search (large) mboxes files —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

If you are desperate, any text-editing software can be used. If your file is very large, you will either want a powerful computer, or software that can work with a file in pieces, without having to load it all into memory at once. Archiving can be done manually by using any file manager to copy the files to a backup medium. 12:45, 18 January 2007 (UTC)


I'm fairly new so I don't want to go about editing pages without being sure, but this "mbox" entry looks like it's been crudely blended into an advert for sound software. Could someone with more experience take a look? Motor 22:52, 27 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Removed advert. I checked the German version of the page and it made no mention of either mbox software or ISP consultancies... providing further evidence that it was a crude attempt at advertising. Motor 23:11, 27 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Motor, I think the article was ok; It was just the link that was possibly dodgy. See your talk page for more info. Thanks. Angela
The obscure ISP references seemed out of place to me and it looked like someone had just dug them up as extra cover for their mbox mention and spam link. So I removed them. Apologies if I went too far. Motor 23:37, 27 Aug 2003 (UTC)
Don't worry about it. We advise you to be bold with your editing. I just thought a bit of info on the topic without the link looked ok. Feel free to disagree! Angela

maildir is not being used more than mbox[edit]

I don't want to directly edit this entry, for it may be construed as an advert of some kind (my user name is very much like the name of my software company that makes a certain email utility), but this reads a bit like one of the old mbox vs. maildir flamewars. Sure, mbox has file-locking issues, but saying that it has fallen out of fashion in favor of maildir is a bit, well, wrong.

Of the most popular and commonly used MUA's out there, here's a breakdown of the mail formats they use:

Outlook proprietary database
Outlook Express proprietary database all variants
Thunderbird mbox
Eudora mbox though the RFC-2822 messages inside are not MIME compliant
AOL proprietary database
Mozilla/Netscape mbox
Lotus Notes proprietary database
Mulberry mbox
Pine mbox
Pegasus proprietary mailboxes
Elm mbox
QuickMail Pro proprietary message files
Mac OS X Mail proprietary message files was mbox until latest release
Opera mbox

While there are MUA's that do use maildir, maildir and maildir++ have mostly been deployed on the server side for IMAP mail servers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Weirdkid (talkcontribs)

I thought Apple Mail now uses compressed maildir (?)
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 21:30, 15 March 2007‎

Never mind MUAs: the article intro says "For a while, the mbox format was popular ..." and yet whenever I configure a Unix machine and its MTA (sendmail, Exim, Postfix ...), the default behavior for it is local delivery of mail to mbox files called e.g. /var/mail/user. So this "while" stretches over many decades and the present! Doubtlessly mbox has weaknesses and the trend is away from it, but if that is what the article tries to say, there are better ways of saying it.

JöG (talk) 07:44, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

unattributed use[edit] uses data from the main entry page without crediting wikipedia, as far as i can tell.

No mention of message mangling[edit]

The article doesn't currently contain any direct note of the fact that mbox's original format means that mailers have to mangle messages which have "From " in a line of the message. This is a well-known property of the format. Chris Cunningham 15:36, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

More details needed[edit]

This article is a great start, but needs a lot more. What tools can convert between the various flavors of mbox? What tools can convert from and to what other major formats? How are attachments handled? Eudora stores attachments as separate files; Thunderbird seems to keep them inline with the messages, embedded in the msg files. What about the directory structures of the message files? Eudora allows a tree structure for storing mail, but only allows msgs to be stored at the ends of the branches -- msgs and folders cannot both appear at the same node of the tree. Is there any way to make Tb use the Eudora form of mbox? Will Penelope (the forthcoming Tb-based free open version of Eudora) use traditional Eudora mbox, or require conversion to Tb mbox? The article should emphasize more the great advantage of such text-based msg storage formats, esp the Eudora type that segregates the attachments: no matter how bad things crash or corrupt, most or all of the mail content can still be accessed with basic text-viewing software. And corrupted mailboxes can be inspected and patched manually, without special knowledge. 13:02, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

This article is still barely more than a stub. No tech details, few links to real technical specifications and examples. This is a core current technology, and people trying to learn about it need help! It doesn't even mention such obvious basics as, 7-bit vs. 8-bit ASCII, whether attachments etc are stored in with the messages, how they are encoded, etc. All the real world email clients seem to use various aux index/toc files, which aren't even mentioned! What are the formats of these aux files? - 12:58, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Flat file database[edit]

Is mbox an example of a Flat file database? --Abdull (talk) 21:42, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Yes, in as much as it stores one email per record in the same flat file. JohnGH (talk)

Berkeley mbox[edit]

Searching for /Berkeley mbox/ on google shows many pages referring to mbox as 'Berkeley mbox', yet there is no mention of Berkeley on this page - is there a reason for this? JohnGH (talk) 14:49, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

I agree, Berkely mbox seems to be a type of mbox, and should be included in the mbox page, not a separate page. Grantman416 (talk) 22:52, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

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