notmuch-search-terms - syntax for notmuch queries


       notmuch count [option ...] <search-term> ...

       notmuch  dump  [--format=(batch-tag|sup)]  [--]  [--output=<file>] [--]
       [<search-term> ...]

       notmuch search [option ...] <search-term> ...

       notmuch show [option ...] <search-term> ...

       notmuch tag +<tag> ... -<tag> [--] <search-term> ...


       Several notmuch commands accept a common syntax for search terms.

       The search terms can consist of free-form  text  (and  quoted  phrases)
       which   will   match  all  messages  that  contain  all  of  the  given
       terms/phrases in the body, the subject, or any of the sender or recipi‐
       ent headers.

       As  a  special  case,  a  search  string consisting of exactly a single
       asterisk ("*") will match all messages.

       In addition to free text, the following prefixes can be used  to  force
       terms to match against specific portions of an email, (where <brackets>
       indicate user-supplied values):

       · from:<name-or-address>

       · from:/<regex>/

       · to:<name-or-address>

       · subject:<word-or-quoted-phrase>

       · subject:/<regex>/

       · attachment:<word>

       · mimetype:<word>

       · tag:<tag> (or is:<tag>)

       · id:<message-id>

       · thread:<thread-id>

       · folder:<maildir-folder>

       · path:<directory-path> or path:<directory-path>/**

       · date:<since>..<until>

       · lastmod:<initial-revision>..<final-revision>

       · query:<name>

       · property:<key>=<value>

       The from: prefix is used to match the name or address of the sender  of
       an email message.

       The to: prefix is used to match the names or addresses of any recipient
       of an email message, (whether To, Cc, or Bcc).

       Any term prefixed with subject: will match only text from  the  subject
       of  an  email.  Searching  for  a phrase in the subject is supported by
       including quotation marks around the phrase, immediately following sub-

       If  notmuch is built with Xapian Field Processors (see below) the from:
       and subject prefix can be also used to restrict the  results  to  those
       whose  from/subject  value  matches a regular expression (see regex(7))
       delimited with //.

          notmuch search 'from:/bob@.*[.]example[.]com/'

       The attachment: prefix can be used to search for specific filenames (or
       extensions) of attachments to email messages.

       The  mimetype: prefix will be used to match text from the content-types
       of MIME parts within email messages (as specified by the sender).

       For tag: and is: valid tag values include inbox and unread  by  default
       for  new  messages added by notmuch new as well as any other tag values
       added manually with notmuch tag.

       For id:, message ID values are the literal contents of the  Message-ID:
       header of email messages, but without the '<', '>' delimiters.

       The  thread: prefix can be used with the thread ID values that are gen‐
       erated internally by notmuch (and do not  appear  in  email  messages).
       These  thread  ID values can be seen in the first column of output from
       notmuch search

       The path: prefix searches for email messages  that  are  in  particular
       directories within the mail store. The directory must be specified rel‐
       ative to the top-level maildir (and  without  the  leading  slash).  By
       default,  path:  matches  messages in the specified directory only. The
       "/**" suffix can be used to match messages in the  specified  directory
       and  all  its  subdirectories recursively.  path:"" matches messages in
       the root of the mail store and, likewise, path:** matches all messages.

       The folder: prefix searches for email messages by maildir or MH folder.
       For  MH-style  folders,  this is equivalent to path:. For maildir, this
       includes messages in the "new" and "cur" subdirectories. The exact syn‐
       tax  for  maildir  folders  depends  on  your  mail  configuration. For
       maildir++, folder:"" matches the inbox folder (which  is  the  root  in
       maildir++),  other folder names always start with ".", and nested fold‐
       ers are separated by "."s, such as folder:.classes.topology. For  "file
       system" maildir, the inbox is typically folder:INBOX and nested folders
       are separated by slashes, such as folder:classes/topology.

       Both path: and folder: will find a message if any copy of that  message
       is in the specific directory/folder.

       The  date:  prefix can be used to restrict the results to only messages
       within a particular time range (based on the Date: header) with a range
       syntax of:


       See DATE AND TIME SEARCH below for details on the range expression, and
       supported syntax for <since> and <until> date and time expressions.

       The time range can also be specified using timestamps with a syntax of:


       Each timestamp is a number representing the  number  of  seconds  since
       1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC.

       The  lastmod: prefix can be used to restrict the result by the database
       revision  number  of  when  messages  were  last  modified  (tags  were
       added/removed  or filenames changed).  This is usually used in conjunc‐
       tion with the --uuid argument to notmuch search to find  messages  that
       have changed since an earlier query.

       The  query:  prefix allows queries to refer to previously saved queries
       added with notmuch-config(1). Named queries are only available if  not‐
       much is built with Xapian Field Processors (see below).

       The   property:   prefix   searches  for  messages  with  a  particular
       <key>=<value> property pair. Properties are used internally by  notmuch
       (and  extensions)  to  add  metadata  to  messages.  A given key can be
       present on a given message with several different values.


       In addition to individual terms, multiple terms can  be  combined  with
       Boolean  operators (and, or, not, and xor). Each term in the query will
       be implicitly connected by a logical AND if  no  explicit  operator  is
       provided  (except  that  terms  with a common prefix will be implicitly
       combined with OR).  The  shorthand  '-<term>'  can  be  used  for  'not
       <term>' but unfortunately this does not work at the start of an expres‐
       sion.  Parentheses can also be used to control the combination  of  the
       Boolean operators, but will have to be protected from interpretation by
       the shell, (such as by putting quotation marks around any parenthesized

       In  addition to the standard boolean operators, Xapian provides several
       operators specific to text searching.

          notmuch search term1 NEAR term2

       will return results where term1  is  within  10  words  of  term2.  The
       threshold can be set like this:

          notmuch search term1 NEAR/2 term2

       The search

          notmuch search term1 ADJ term2

       will return results where term1 is within 10 words of term2, but in the
       same order as in the query. The threshold can be set the same  as  with

          notmuch search term1 ADJ/7 term2


       Stemming in notmuch means that these searches

          notmuch search detailed
          notmuch search details
          notmuch search detail

       will  all  return identical results, because Xapian first "reduces" the
       term to the common stem (here 'detail') and then performs the search.

       There are two ways to turn this off: a search for  a  capitalized  word
       will  be performed unstemmed, so that one can search for "John" and not
       get results for "Johnson"; phrase  searches  are  also  unstemmed  (see
       below  for details).  Stemming is currently only supported for English.
       Searches for words in other languages will be performed unstemmed.


       It is possible to use a trailing  '*'  as  a  wildcard.  A  search  for
       'wildc*' will match 'wildcard', 'wildcat', etc.

  Boolean and Probabilistic Prefixes

       Xapian  (and  hence  notmuch)  prefixes  are either boolean, supporting
       exact matches like "tag:inbox"  or  probabilistic,  supporting  a  more
       flexible  term  based searching. Certain special prefixes are processed
       by notmuch in a way not stricly fitting either  of  Xapian's  built  in
       styles. The prefixes currently supported by notmuch are as follows.

              tag:, id:, thread:, folder:, path:, property:

              to:, attachment:, mimetype:

              from:, query:, subject:

  Terms and phrases

       In  general  Xapian  distinguishes  between lists of terms and phrases.
       Phrases are indicated by double quotes (but beware you probably need to
       protect  those  from  your shell) and insist that those unstemmed words
       occur in that order. One useful, but initially  surprising  feature  is
       that the following are equivalant ways to write the same phrase.

       · "a list of words"

       · a-list-of-words

       · a/list/of/words

       · a.list.of.words

       Both parenthesised lists of terms and quoted phrases are ok with proba‐
       bilisitic prefixes such as to:, from:, and subject:. In particular

          subject:(pizza free)

       is equivalent to

          subject:pizza and subject:free

       Both of these will match a subject "Free Delicious Pizza" while

          subject:"pizza free"

       will not.


       notmuch understands a variety of standard and natural ways of  express‐
       ing dates and times, both in absolute terms ("2012-10-24") and in rela‐
       tive terms ("yesterday"). Any number of relative terms can be  combined
       ("1  hour  25  minutes") and an absolute date/time can be combined with
       relative terms to further adjust it. A  non-exhaustive  description  of
       the syntax supported for absolute and relative terms is given below.

  The range expression


       The  above  expression  restricts  the  results  to  only messages from
       <since> to <until>, based on the Date: header.

       <since> and <until> can describe imprecise times, such as  "yesterday".
       In  this  case, <since> is taken as the earliest time it could describe
       (the beginning of yesterday) and <until> is taken as the latest time it
       could  describe (the end of yesterday). Similarly, date:january..febru‐
       ary matches from the beginning of January to the end of February.

       date:<expr>..! can be used as a shorthand for date:<expr>..<expr>.  The
       expansion  takes  place  before  interpretation, and thus, for example,
       date:monday..! matches from the beginning of Monday until  the  end  of
       Monday.   With  Xapian  Field  Processor support (see below), non-range
       date queries such as date:yesterday will work, but otherwise will  give
       unexpected results; if in doubt use date:yesterday..!

       Currently,  we  do  not  support  spaces  in range expressions. You can
       replace the spaces with '_', or (in most cases) '-', or (in some cases)
       leave  the  spaces out altogether. Examples in this man page use spaces
       for clarity.

       Open-ended ranges are supported (since Xapian 1.2.1), i.e. it's  possi‐
       ble  to specify date:..<until> or date:<since>.. to not limit the start
       or end time, respectively. Pre-1.2.1 Xapian does not report an error on
       open ended ranges, but it does not work as expected either.

  Relative date and time

       [N|number]         (years|months|weeks|days|hours|hrs|minutes|mins|sec‐
       onds|secs) [...]

       All refer to past, can be repeated and will be accumulated.

       Units can be abbreviated to any length, with  the  otherwise  ambiguous
       single m being m for minutes and M for months.

       Number  can  also  be  written  out one, two, ..., ten, dozen, hundred.
       Additionally, the unit may be preceded by "last" or "this" (e.g., "last
       week" or "this month").

       When  combined  with absolute date and time, the relative date and time
       specification will be relative from the  specified  absolute  date  and

       Examples: 5M2d, two weeks

  Supported absolute time formats

       · H[H]:MM[:SS] [(am|a.m.|pm|p.m.)]

       · H[H] (am|a.m.|pm|p.m.)

       · HHMMSS

       · now

       · noon

       · midnight

       · Examples: 17:05, 5pm

  Supported absolute date formats

       · YYYY-MM[-DD]

       · DD-MM[-[YY]YY]

       · MM-YYYY

       · M[M]/D[D][/[YY]YY]

       · M[M]/YYYY

       · D[D].M[M][.[YY]YY]

       · D[D][(st|nd|rd|th)] Mon[thname] [YYYY]

       · Mon[thname] D[D][(st|nd|rd|th)] [YYYY]

       · Wee[kday]

       Month names can be abbreviated at three or more characters.

       Weekday names can be abbreviated at three or more characters.

       Examples: 2012-07-31, 31-07-2012, 7/31/2012, August 3

  Time zones

       · (+|-)HH:MM

       · (+|-)HH[MM]

       Some time zone codes, e.g. UTC, EET.


       Certain  optional  features  of the notmuch query processor rely on the
       presence of the Xapian field processor API. You can determine  if  your
       notmuch  was  built  against a sufficiently recent version of Xapian by

          % notmuch config get built_with.field_processor

       Currently the following features require field processor support:

       · non-range date queries, e.g. "date:today"

       · named queries e.g. "query:my_special_query"

       · regular expression searches, e.g. "subject:/^\[SPAM\]/"


       notmuch(1), notmuch-config(1), notmuch-count(1), notmuch-dump(1),  not‐
       much-hooks(5),   notmuch-insert(1),  notmuch-new(1),  notmuch-reply(1),
       notmuch-restore(1), notmuch-search(1), notmuch-show(1), notmuch-tag(1)


       Carl Worth and many others


       2009-2017, Carl Worth and many others