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Notmuch 0.27 (2018-06-13)


Add support for thread:{} queries

Queries of the form thread:{foo} and thread:{bar} match threads containing (possibly distinct) messages matching foo and bar. See notmuch-search-terms(7) for details.

Command Line Interface

Add the --full-scan option to notmuch new

This option disables mtime based optimization of scanning for new mail.

Add new --decrypt=stash option for notmuch show

This facilitates a workflow for encrypted messages where message cleartext are indexed on first read, but the user's decryption key does not have to be available during message receipt.


An initial manual for notmuch-emacs is now installed by default (in info format).


As of this release, support for versions of Xapian before 1.4.0 is deprecated, and may disappear in a future release of notmuch.

Posted Wed Jun 13 00:00:00 2018

Notmuch 0.26.2 (2018-04-28)

Library Changes

Work around Xapian bug with get_mset(0,0, x)

This causes aborts in _notmuch_query_count_documents on e.g. Fedora 28. The underlying bug is fixed in Xapian commit f92e2a936c1592, and will be fixed in Xapian 1.4.6.

Make thread indexing more robust against reference loops

Choose a thread root by date in case of reference loops. Fix a related abort in notmuch show.

Posted Sat Apr 28 00:00:00 2018

Notmuch 0.26.1 (2018-04-02)

Library Changes

Bump the library minor version. This should have happened in 0.26, but better late than never.

Posted Mon Apr 2 00:00:00 2018

Notmuch 0.26 (2018-01-09)

Command Line Interface

Support for re-indexing existing messages

There is a new subcommand, notmuch reindex, which re-indexes all messages matching supplied search terms. This permits users to change the way specific messages are indexed.

Note that for messages with multiple variants in the message archive, the recorded Subject: of may change upon reindexing, depending on the order in which the variants are indexed.

Improved error reporting in notmuch new

Give more details when reporting certain Xapian exceptions.

Support maildir synced tags in new.tags

Tags draft, flagged, passed, and replied are now supported in new.tags. The tag unread is still special in the presence of maildir syncing, and will be added for files in new/ regardless of the setting of new.tags.

Support /regex/ in new.ignore

Files and directories may be ignored based on regular expressions.

Allow notmuch insert --folder=""

This inserts into the top level folder.

Strip trailing '/' from folder path for notmuch insert

This prevents a potential problem with duplicated database records.

New option --output=address for notmuch address

Make notmuch show more robust against deleting duplicate files

The option --decrypt now takes an explicit argument

The --decrypt option to notmuch show and notmuch reply now takes an explicit argument. If you were used to invoking notmuch show --decrypt, you should switch to notmuch show --decrypt=true.

Boolean and keyword arguments now take a --no- prefix

Encrypted Mail

Indexing cleartext of encrypted e-mails

It's now possible to include the cleartext of encrypted e-mails in the notmuch index. This makes it possible to search your encrypted e-mails with the same ease as searching cleartext. This can be done on a per-message basis by passing --decrypt=true to indexing commands (new, insert, reindex), or by default by running "notmuch config set index.decrypt true".

Encrypted messages whose cleartext is indexed will typically also have their session keys stashed as properties associated with the message. Stashed session keys permit rapid rendering of long encrypted threads, and disposal of expired encryption-capable keys. If for some reason you want cleartext indexing without stashed session keys, use --decrypt=nostash for your indexing commands (or run "notmuch config set index.decrypt nostash"). See index.decrypt in notmuch-config(1) for more details.

Note that stashed session keys permit reconstruction of the cleartext of the encrypted message itself, and the contents of the index are roughly equivalent to the cleartext as well. DO NOT USE this feature without considering the security of your index.


Guard against concurrent searches in notmuch-tree

Use make-process when available

This allows newer Emacs to separate stdout and stderr from the notmuch command without using temporary files.

Library Changes

Indexing files with duplicate message-id

Files with duplicate message-id's are now indexed, and searchable via terms and phrases. There are known issues related to presentation of results and regular-expression search, but in principle no mail file should be completely unsearchable now.

New functions to count files

Two new functions in the libnotmuch API: notmuch_message_count_files, and notmuch_thread_get_total_files.

New function to remove properties

A new function was added to the libnotmuch API to make it easier to drop all properties with a common pattern: notmuch_message_remove_all_properties_with_prefix

Change of return value of notmuch_thread_get_authors

In certain corner cases, notmuch_thread_get_authors previously returned NULL. This has been replaced by an empty string, since the possibility of NULL was not documented.

Transition notmuch_database_add_message to notmuch_database_index_file

When indexing an e-mail message, the new notmuch_database_index_file function is the preferred form, and the old notmuch_database_add_message is deprecated. The new form allows passing a set of options to the indexing engine, which the operator may decide to change from message to message.

Test Suite

Out-of-tree builds

The test suite now works properly with out-of-tree builds, i.e. with separate source and build directories. The --root option to tests has been dropped. The same can now be achieved more reliably using out-of-tree builds.

Python Bindings

Python bindings specific Debian packaging is removed

The bindings have been build by the top level Debian packaging for a long time, and bindings/python/debian has bit-rotted.

Open mail files in binary mode when using Python 3

This avoids certain encoding related crashes under Python 3.

Add python bindings for notmuch_database_{get,set}_config*

Optional decrypt_policy flag is available for notmuch.database().index_file()


nmbug's internal version increases to 0.3 in this notmuch release. User-facing changes with this notmuch release:

  • Accept failures to unset core.worktree in clone, which allows nmbug to be used with Git 2.11.0 and later.
  • Auto-checkout in clone if it wouldn't clobber existing content, which makes the initial clone more convenient.
  • Only error for invalid diff lines in tags/, which allows for READMEs and similar in nmbug repositories.


New man page: notmuch-properties(7)

This new page to the manual describes common conventions for how properties are used by libnotmuch, the CLI, and associated programs. External projects that use properties are encouraged to claim their properties and conventions here to avoid collisions.

Posted Tue Jan 9 00:00:00 2018

Notmuch 0.25.3 (2017-12-08)


Extend mitigation (disabling handling x-display in text/enriched) for Emacs bug #28350 to Emacs versions before 24.4 (i.e. without advice-add).

Command Line Interface

Correctly report userid validity. Fix test suite failure for GMime >= 3.0.3. This change raises the minimum supported version of GMime 3.x to 3.0.3.

Posted Fri Dec 8 00:00:00 2017

Notmuch 0.25.2 (2017-11-05)

Command Line Interface

Fix segfault in notmuch-show crypto handling when compiled against GMime 2.6; this was a regression in 0.25.


Support for GMime before 3.0 is now deprecated, and will be removed in a future release.

Posted Sun Nov 5 00:00:00 2017

Notmuch 0.25.1 (2017-09-11)


Disable handling x-display in text/enriched messages. Mitigation for Emacs bug #28350.

Posted Mon Sep 11 00:00:00 2017

Notmuch 0.25 (2017-07-25)


Add regexp searching for mid, paths, and tags.

Skip HTML tags when indexing

In particular this avoids indexing large inline images.

Command Line Interface

Bash completion is now installed to /usr/share by default.

Allow space as separator for keyword arguments.


Support for stashing message timestamp in show and tree views

Invoking notmuch-show-stash-date with a prefix argument stashes the unix timestamp of the current message instead of the date string.

Don't use 'function' as variable name, workaround emacs bug 26406.

Library Changes

Add workaround for date parsing of bad input in older GMime

In certain circumstances, older GMime libraries could return negative numbers when parsing syntactically invalid dates.

Replace deprecated functions with status returning versions

API of notmuch_query{search,count}{messages,threads} has changed. notmuch_query_add_tag_exclude now returns a status value.

Add support for building against GMime 3.0.

Rename libutil.a to libnotmuch_util.a.

libnotmuch SONAME is incremented to

Posted Tue Jul 25 00:00:00 2017

Notmuch 0.24.2 (2017-06-01)

Command Line Interface

Fix output from notmuch dump --include=properties to not include tags.


Fix filename stashing in tree view.

Posted Thu Jun 1 00:00:00 2017

Notmuch 0.24.1 (2017-04-01)


Fix regressions in non-regexp search for from: and subject:

The regexp search code in 0.24 introduced a regression in the handling of empty queries and wildcards. These are both corrected in this release.

Command Line Interface

Fix several memory leaks in notmuch show

Update NEWS for 0.24 to mention schema changes

Fix bug in dump header

The previous version of the dump header failed to mention the inclusion of tags. This fix bumps the version number of the dump format to 3. There are no other changes to the format.

Library Changes

Fix a read-after-free in the library.

Posted Sat Apr 1 00:00:00 2017

Notmuch 0.24 (2017-03-12)


Regular expression searches supported for from: and subject:

This requires recent Xapian (1.4+) See notmuch-search-terms(7) for details.

Command Line Interface

Run external notmuch- prefixed commands as subcommands

You can now add your own notmuch- prefixed commands in PATH, and have notmuch run them as if they were notmuch commands. See the notmuch(1) man page for details

New default output format to 3

See devel/schemata for details. Users of the structured output format are reminded of the --format-version argument to notmuch show and notmuch search which can prevent breakage when the default format changes.


Postpone and resume messages in notmuch-message-mode (composition)

Notmuch now has built in support for postponing, saving and resuming messages. The default bindings are C-x C-s to save a draft, C-c C-p to postpone a draft (save and exit compose buffer), and "e" in show or tree view to resume.

Draft messages are tagged with notmuch-draft-tags (draft by default) so you may wish to add that to the excluded tags list. When saving a previously saved draft message the earlier draft gets tagged deleted.

Note that attachments added before postponing will be included as they were when you postponed in the final message.

Address Completion

It is now possible to save the list of address completions for notmuch's internal completion between runs of emacs. This makes the first calls to address completion much better and faster. For privacy reasons it is disabled by default, to enable set or customize notmuch-address-save-filename.

Tag jump menu

It is now possible to configure tagging shortcuts (with an interface like notmuch jump). For example (by default) k u will remove the unread tag, and k s will add a tag "spam" and remove the inbox tag. Pressing k twice will do the reverse operation so, for example, k k s removes the spam tag and adds the inbox tag. See the customize variable notmuch-tagging-keys for more information.

Refresh all buffers

It is now possible to refresh all notmuch buffers to reflect the current state of the database with a single command, M-=.

Stop display of application/* parts

By default gnus displays all application/* parts such as application/zip in the message buffer. This has several undesirable effects for notmuch (security, triggering errors etc). Notmuch now overrides this and does not display them by default. If you have customized mm-inline-override-types then we assume you know what you want and do not interfere; if you do want to stop the display of application/* add application/* to your customization. If you want to allow application/* then set mm-inline-override-types to "non/existent".

Small change in the api for notmuch-search-tag

When notmuch-search-tag is called non-interactively and the region is set, then it only tags the threads in the region. (Previously it only tagged the current thread.)

Bugfix for sending messages with very long headers

Previously emacs didn't fold very long headers when sending which could cause the MTA to refuse to send the message. This makes sure it does fold any long headers so the message is RFC compliant.

notmuch emacs-mua command installed with the Emacs interface

We've carried a notmuch-emacs-mua script in the source tree for quite some time. It can be used to launch the Notmuch Emacs interface from the command line in many different ways. Starting with this release, it will be installed with the Emacs interface. With the new external subcommand support, the script transparently becomes a new notmuch command. See the notmuch-emacs-mua(1) man page for details.

Notmuch Emacs desktop integration

The desktop integration file will now be installed with the Notmuch Emacs interface, adding a Notmuch menu item and configuration to allow the user to set up Notmuch Emacs as the mailto: URL handler.

Library changes

notmuch_query_count_messages is now non-destructive

Internally the implementation of excludes has changed to make this possible.

Improved handling of DatabaseModifiedError

Previously uncaught exceptions reading message metadata are now handled.

Posted Sun Mar 12 00:00:00 2017

Notmuch 0.23.7 (2017-02-28)

Test Suite

Drop use of gpgconf --create-socketdir. Move $GNUPGHOME to /tmp.

It turns out the hardcoded use of /run/user in gpg doesn't work out that well in some environments. The more low tech fix is to move all of $GNUPGHOME to somewhere where we can control the length of the paths.

Posted Tue Feb 28 00:00:00 2017

Notmuch 0.23.6 (2017-02-27)

Command Line Interface

Fix read-after-free bug in notmuch new.

Test Suite

Use gpgconf --create-socketdir if available.

GnuPG has a facility to use sockets in /run or /var/run to avoid problems with long socket paths, but this is not enabled by default for GNUPGHOME other than $HOME/.gnupg. Enable it, if possible.

Posted Mon Feb 27 00:00:00 2017

Notmuch 0.23.5 (2017-01-09)

Build system

Fix quoting bug in configure. This had introduced a RUNPATH into the notmuch binary in cases where it was not not needed.

Posted Mon Jan 9 00:00:00 2017

Notmuch 0.23.4 (2016-12-24)

Command Line Interface

Improve error handling in notmuch insert

Database lock errors no longer prevent message file delivery to the filesystem. Certain errors during notmuch insert most likely to be temporary return EX_TEMPFAIL.


Restore autoload cookie for notmuch-search.

Posted Sat Dec 24 00:00:00 2016

Notmuch 0.23.3 (2016-11-27)

Command Line Interface

Treat disappearing files during notmuch new as non-fatal.

Test Suite

Fix incompatibility (related to signature size) with gnupg 2.1.16.

Posted Sun Nov 27 00:00:00 2016

Notmuch 0.23.2 (2016-11-20)


Fix notmuch-interesting-buffer and notmuch-cycle-notmuch-buffers.

notmuch-tree-mode and notmuch-message-mode buffers are now considered interesting by notmuch-interesting-buffer and notmuch-cycle-notmuch-buffers.

Restore compatibility with Emacs 23.

Notmuch support for Emacs 23 is now deprecated.

Posted Sun Nov 20 00:00:00 2016

Notmuch 0.23.1 (2016-10-23)


Require Xapian >= 1.2.6

The ifdef branch for older Xapian (pre-compact API) had bit-rotted.


Fix default colours for unread and flagged messages

In 0.23 the default colours for unread and flagged messages in search view were accidentally swapped. This release returns them to the original colours.

A related change in 0.23 broke the customize widget for notmuch-search-line-faces. This is now fixed.

Fix test failure with Emacs 25.1

A previously undiscovered jit-lock related bug was exposed by Emacs 25, causing a notmuch-show mode test to fail. This release fixes the bug, and hence the test.

Posted Sun Oct 23 00:00:00 2016

Notmuch 0.23 (2016-10-03)

General (Xapian 1.4+)

Compiling against Xapian 1.4 enables several new features.

Support for single argument date: queries

date:<expr> is equivalent to date:<expr>..<expr>.

Support for blocking opens

When opening a database notmuch by default will wait for another process to release a write lock, rather than returning an error.

Support for named queries

Named queries (also known as 'saved searches') can be defined with a query:name format. The expansion of these queries is stored in the database and they can be used from any notmuch client.


Message property API

libnotmuch now supports the attachment of arbitrary key-value pairs to messages. These can be used by various tools to manage their private data without polluting the user tag space. They also support iteration of values with the same key or same key prefix.

Bug fix for notmuch_directory_set_mtime

Update cached mtime to match on-disk mtime.


Support for compile time options

A group of built_with keys is now supported for notmuch config. Initial keys in this group are compact, field_processor, and retry_lock.

Dump/Restore support for configuration information and properties

Any configuration information stored in the database (initially just named queries) is dumped and restored. Similarly any properties attached to messages are also dumped and restored. Any new information in the dump format is prefixed by '#' to allow existing scripts to ignore it.


Make notmuch-message-mode use insert for fcc

Notmuch-message-mode now defaults to using notmuch insert for fcc. The old file based fcc behaviour can be restored by setting the defcustom notmuch-maildir-use-notmuch-insert to nil.

When using notmuch insert, notmuch-fcc-dirs must be a subdirectory of the mailstore (absolute paths are not permitted) followed by any tag changes to be applied to the inserted message. The tag changes are applied after the default tagging for new messages. For example setting the header to "sentmail -inbox +sent" would insert the message in the subdirectory sentmail of the mailstore, add the tag "sent", and not add the (normally added) "inbox" tag.

Finally, if the insert fails (e.g. if the database is locked) the user is presented with the option to retry, ignore, or edit the header.

Make internal address completion customizable

There is a new defcustom notmuch-address-internal-completion which controls how the internal completion works: it allows the user to choose whether to match on messages the user sent, or the user received, and to filter the messages used for the match, for example by date.

Allow internal address completion on an individual basis

There is a new function notmuch-address-toggle-internal-completion (by default it has no keybinding) which allows users who normally use an external completion command to use the builtin internal completion for the current buffer.

Alternatively, if the user has company-mode enabled, then the user can use company mode commands such as company-complete to activate the builtin completion for an individual completion.

Resend messages

The function notmuch-show-resend-message (bound to b in show and tree modes) will (attempt to) send current message to new recipients. The headers of the message won't be altered (e.g. To: may point to yourself). New Resent-To:, Resent-From: and so on will be added instead.

Face customization is easier

New faces notmuch-tag-unread, notmuch-tag-flagged, notmuch-tag-deleted, notmuch-tag-added, notmuch-search-flagged-face and notmuch-search-unread-face are now used by default. Customize notmuch-faces to modify them.

Omit User-Agent header by default when sending mail

Ruby Bindings

Add support for notmuch_database_get_all_tags

Go Bindings

Go bindings moved to contrib

Add support for notmuch_threads_t and notmuch_thread_t

Fixed constant values so they are not all zero anymore

Previously, it was impossible to open writable database handles, because DATABASE_MODE_READ_ONLY and DATABASE_MODE_READ_WRITE were both set to zero. The same issue occurred with sort modes.

Posted Mon Oct 3 00:00:00 2016

Notmuch 0.22.2 (2016-09-08)

Test Suite

Silence gdb more

Have gdb write to a log file instead of stdout, hiding some more (harmless) stderr chatter which causes test failures.

Hardcode fingerprint in PGP/MIME tests

Make the tests more robust against changing GnuPG output formats.

Posted Thu Sep 8 00:00:00 2016

Notmuch 0.22.1 (2016-07-19)


Correct the definition of LIBNOTMUCH_CHECK_VERSION.

Document the (lack of) operations permitted on a closed database.

Test Suite

Fix race condition in dump / restore tests.


Use env to locate perl.


Tell message-mode mode that outgoing messages are mail

This makes message-mode configuration behave more predictably.

Respect charset of MIME parts when reading them

Fix previous assumption that everyone uses UTF-8.

Posted Tue Jul 19 00:00:00 2016

Notmuch 0.22 (2016-04-26)


Xapian 1.3 support

Notmuch should now build (and the test suite should pass) on recent releases of Xapian 1.3.x. It has been tested with Xapian 1.3.5.

Limited support for S/MIME messages

Signature verification is supported, but not decryption. S/MIME signature creation and S/MIME encryption are supported via built-in support in Emacs. S/MIME support is not extensively tested at this time.

Bug Fixes

Fix for threading bug involving deleting and re-adding messages. Fix for case-sensitive content disposition headers. Fix handling of 1 character directory names at top level.

Command Line Interface

notmuch show now supports verifying S/MIME signatures

This support relies on an appropriately configured gpgsm.

Build System

Drop dependency on "pkg-config emacs".

Emacs Interface

Notmuch replies now include all parts shown in the show view

There are two main user visible changes. The first is that rfc822 parts are now included in replies.

The second change is that part headers are now included in the reply buffer to provide visible separation of the parts. The choice of which part headers to show is customizable via the variable notmuch-mua-reply-insert-header-p-function.

Filtering or Limiting messages is now bound to l in the search view

This binding now matches the analogous binding in show view.

F forwards all open messages in a thread

When viewing a thread of messages, the new binding F can be used to generate a new outgoing message which forwards all of the open messages in the thread. This is analogous to the f binding, which forwards only the current message.

Preferred content type can be determined from the message content

More flexibility in choosing which sub-part of a multipart/alternative part is initially shown is available by setting notmuch-multipart/alternative-discouraged to a function that returns a list of discouraged types. The function so specified is passed the message as an argument and can examine the message content to determine which content types should be discouraged. This is in addition to the current capabilities (i.e. setting notmuch-multipart/alternative-discouraged to a list of discouraged types).

When viewing a thread ("show" mode), queries that match no messages no longer generate empty buffers

Should an attempt be made to view the thread corresponding to a query that matches no messages, a warning message is now displayed and the terminal bell rung rather than displaying an empty buffer (or, in some cases, displaying an empty buffer and throwing an error). This also affects re-display of the current thread.

Handle S/MIME signatures in emacs

The emacs interface is now capable making and verifying S/MIME signatures.

notmuch-message-address-insinuate is now a no-op

This reduces the amount of interference with non-notmuch uses of message-mode.

Address completion improvements

An external script is no longer needed for address completion; if you previously configured one, customize the variable notmuch-address-command to try the internal completion. If company-mode is available, notmuch uses it by default for interactive address completion.

Test and experiment with the emacs MUA available in source tree

./devel/try-emacs-mua runs emacs and fills the window with information how to try the MUA safely. Emacs is configured to use the notmuch (lisp) files located in ./emacs directory.


New notmuch-report(1) and notmuch-report.json(5) man pages describe notmuch-report and its JSON configuration file. You can build these files by running make in the devel/nmbug/doc directory.


Renamed from nmbug-status. This script generates reports based on notmuch queries, and doesn't really have anything to do with nmbug, except for sharing the NMBGIT environment variable. The new name focuses on the script's action, instead of its historical association with the nmbug workflow. This should make it more discoverable for users looking for generic notmuch reporting tools.

The default configuration file name (extracted from the config branch of NBMGIT has changed from status-config.json to notmuch-report.json so it is more obviously associated with the report-generating script. The configuration file also has a new meta.message-url setting, which is documented in notmuch-report.json(5).

notmuch-report now wraps query phrases in parentheses when and-ing them together, to avoid confusion about clause grouping.

Posted Tue Apr 26 00:00:00 2016

Notmuch 0.21 (2015-10-29)


Notmuch now requires gmime >= 2.6.7. The gmime 2.4 series is no longer supported

Database revision tracking: lastmod: queries

Each message now has a metadata revision number that increases with every tagging operation. See the discussion of lastmod: in notmuch-search-terms(7) for more information.

Date queries now support date:<expr>..! shorthand for date:<expr>..<expr>

You can use, for example, date:yesterday..! to match from the beginning of yesterday to the end of yesterday. For further details, please refer to the notmuch-search-terms manual page.

Notmuch database upgrade to support lastmod: queries

The above mentioned lastmod: prefix. This will be done automatically, without prompting on the next time notmuch new is run after the upgrade. The upgrade is not reversible, and the upgraded database will not be readable by older versions of Notmuch. As a safeguard, a database dump will be created in the .notmuch directory before upgrading.

Build System

The ruby bindings are now built as part of the main notmuch build process. This can be disabled with the --without-ruby option to configure.

Building the documentation can be disabled with the --without-docs option to configure.

Skipped individual tests are no longer considered as failures.

Command Line Interface

Database revision tracking

Two new options were added to support revision tracking. A global option "--uuid" (notmuch(1)) was added for to detect counter rollover and reinitialization, and notmuch-count(1) gained a --lastmod option to query database revision tracking data.

The notmuch address command supports new deduplication schemes

notmuch address has gained a new --deduplicate option to specify how the results should be deduplicated, if at all. The alternatives are no (do not deduplicate, useful for processing the results with external tools), mailbox (deduplicate based on the full, case sensitive name and email address), and address (deduplicate based on the case insensitive address part). See the notmuch-address manual page for further information.

Emacs Interface

notmuch-emacs-version is used in User-Agent header

The value of recently introduced variable notmuch-emacs-version is now used as a part of User-Agent header when sending emails.

Removed notmuch-version function by renaming it to notmuch-cli-version

With existing variable notmuch-emacs-version the accompanied function which retrieves the version of notmuch-command is better named as notmuch-cli-version.

Query input now supports completion for "is:"

New message composition mode: notmuch-compose-mode

This is mainly to fix fcc handling, but may be useful for user customization as well.

Allow filtering of search results in notmuch-show

Add function to rerun current tree-view search in search mode

Bug fix for replying to encrypted messages in notmuch-tree mode

Allow saved searched to specify tree view rather than search view

Applies to saved searches run from notmuch-hello, or by a keyboard shortcut (notmuch-jump). Can be set in the customize interface, or by adding :search-type tree to the appropriate saved search plist in notmuch-saved-searches.

Increase maximum size of rendered text parts

The variable notmuch-show-max-text-part-size controls the maximum size (in bytes) which is automatically rendered. This may make rendering large threads slower. To get the previous behaviour set this variable to 10000.


The use of absolute paths is now enforced when calling notmuch_database_{open, create}

New function notmuch_directory_delete to delete directory documents

Previously there was no way to delete directory documents from the database, leading to confusing results when the "ghost" directory document of a renamed or deleted filesystem directory was encountered every time the parent directory was being scanned by notmuch new. The mtime of the old directory document was also used if a directory by the same name was added again in the filesystem, potentially bypassing the scan for the directory. The issues are fixed by providing a library call to delete directory documents, and deleting the old documents in notmuch new on filesystem directory removal or rename.

Database revision tracking

Revision tracking is supported via a new prefix "lastmod:" in the query parser and the new function notmuch_database_get_revision. For the latter, see notmuch(3).

New status code returning API for n_query_count_{messages,threads}

Deprecated functions

notmuch_query_search_threads, notmuch_query_search_messages, notmuch_query_count_messages, and notmuch_query_count_threads are all deprecated as of this release. Clients are encouraged to transition to the _st variants supporting better error reporting.


nmbug-status now supports specifying the sort order for each view.

Posted Thu Oct 29 00:00:00 2015

Notmuch 0.20.2 (2015-06-27)

Emacs Interface

Bug fix for marking messages read in notmuch-tree mode.

Posted Sat Jun 27 00:00:00 2015

Notmuch 0.20.1 (2015-06-01)

Test Suite

Work around apparent gdb bug on arm64.

Posted Mon Jun 1 00:00:00 2015

Notmuch 0.20 (2015-05-31)

Command-Line Interface

There is a new mimetype: search prefix

The new mimetype: search prefix allows searching for the content-type of attachments, which is now indexed. See the notmuch-search-terms manual page for details.

Path to gpg is now configurable

On systems with multiple versions of gpg, you can tell notmuch which one to use by setting crypto.gpg_path


Avoid rendering large text attachments.

Improved rendering of CID references in HTML.


Vim client now respects excluded tags.


Support messages without Message-IDs.


Undeprecate single message mboxes

It seems more trouble to remove this feature than expected, so notmuch new will no longer nag about mboxes with a single message.

New error logging facility

Clients should call notmuch_database_status_string to retrieve output formerly printed to stderr.

Several bug fixes related to stale iterators

New status code returning API for n_query_search_{messages,thread}

Fix for library install_name on Mac OS X

Fix for rounding of seconds


Sphinx is now mandatory to build docs

Support for using rst2man in place of sphinx to build the documentation has been removed.

Improved notmuch-search-terms.7

The man page notmuch-search-terms(7) has been extended, merging some material from the relicensed wiki.


notmuch-deliver is removed. As far as we know, all functionality previously provided by notmuch-deliver should now be provided by notmuch insert, provided by the main notmuch binary.


nmbug-status now only matches local branches when reading status-config.json from the config branch of the NMBGIT repository. To help new users running nmbug-status, nmbug clone now creates a local config branch tracking origin/config. Folks who use nmbug-status with an in-Git config (i.e. you don't use the --config option) who already have NMBGIT set up are encouraged to run:

git checkout config origin/config

in their NMBGIT repository (usually ~/.nmbug).

Posted Sun May 31 00:00:00 2015

Notmuch 0.19 (2014-11-14)


This release improves the reliability of notmuch dump and the error handling for notmuch insert. The new notmuch address command is intended to make searching for email addresses more convenient. At the library level the revised handling of missing messages fixes at least one bug in threading. The release also includes several interface improvements to the emacs interface, most notably the ability to bind keyboard shortcuts to saved searches.

Command-Line Interface

Stopped notmuch dump failing if someone writes to the database

The dump command now takes the write lock when running. This prevents other processes from writing to the database during the dump which would cause the dump to fail. Note, if another notmuch process already has the write lock the dump will not start, so script callers should still check the return value.

notmuch insert requires successful message indexing for success status

Previously the notmuch insert subcommand indicated success even if the message indexing failed, as long as the message was delivered to file system. This could have lead to delivered messages missing tags, etc. notmuch insert is now more strict, also requiring successful indexing for success status. Use the new --keep option to revert to the old behaviour (keeping the delivered message file and returning success even if indexing fails).

notmuch insert has gained support for post-insert hook

The new post-insert hook is run after message delivery, similar to post-new. There's also a new option notmuch insert --no-hooks to skip the hook. See the notmuch-hooks(1) man page for details.

notmuch deliver is deprecated

With this release we believe that notmuch insert has reached parity with notmuch deliver. We recommend that all users of notmuch deliver switch to notmuch insert as the former is currently unmaintained.

notmuch search now supports --duplicate=N option with --output=messages

Complementing the notmuch search --duplicate=N --output=files options, the new --duplicate=N --output=messages combination limits output of message IDs to messages matching search terms that have at least N files associated with them.

Added notmuch address subcommand

This new subcommand searches for messages matching the given search terms, and prints the addresses from them. Duplicate addresses are filtered out. The --output option controls which of the following information is printed: sender addresses, recipient addresses and count of duplicate addresses.

Emacs Interface

Use the j key to access saved searches from anywhere in notmuch

j is now globally bound to notmuch-jump, which provides fast, interactive keyboard shortcuts to saved searches. For example, with the default saved searches j i from anywhere in notmuch will bring up the inbox.

Improved handling of the unread tag

Notmuch now marks an open message read (i.e., removes the unread tag) if point enters the message at any time in a show buffer regardless of how point got there (mouse click, cursor command, page up/down, notmuch commands such as n,N etc). This fixes various anomalies or bugs in the previous handling. Additionally it is possible to customize the mark read handling by setting notmuch-show-mark-read-function to a custom function.

Expanded default saved search settings

The default saved searches now include several more common searches, as well as shortcut keys for notmuch-jump.

Improved q binding in notmuch buffers

q will now bury rather than kill a notmuch search, show or tree buffer if there are multiple windows showing the buffer. If only a single window is showing the buffer, it is killed.

notmuch-show-stash-mlarchive-link-alist now supports functions

Some list archives may use a more complicated scheme for referring to messages than just concatenated URL and message ID. For example, patchwork requires a query to translate message ID to a patchwork patch ID. notmuch-show-stash-mlarchive-link-alist now supports functions to better cover such cases. See the help documentation for the variable for details.

Library changes

Introduced database version 3 with support for "database features."

Features are independent aspects of the database schema. Representing these independently of the database version number will let us evolve the database format faster and more incrementally, while maintaining better forwards and backwards compatibility.

Library users are no longer required to call notmuch_database_upgrade

Previously, library users were required to call notmuch_database_needs_upgrade and notmuch_database_upgrade before using a writable database. Even the CLI didn't get this right, and it is no longer required. Now, individual APIs may return NOTMUCH_STATUS_UPGRADE_REQUIRED if the database format is too out of date for that API.

Library users can now abort an atomic section by closing the database

Previously there was no supported way to abort an atomic section. Callers can now simply close the database, and any outstanding atomic section will be aborted.

Add return status to notmuch_database_close and notmuch_database_destroy

Bug fixes and performance improvements for thread linking

The database now represents missing-but-referenced messages ("ghost messages") similarly to how it represents regular messages. This enables an improved thread linking algorithm that performs better and fixes a bug that sometimes prevented notmuch from linking messages into the same thread.


The Perl script has been translated to Python; you'll need Python 2.7 or anything from the 3.x line. Most of the user-facing interface is the same, but nmbug help is now nmbug --help, and the following nmbug commands have slightly different interfaces: archive, commit, fetch, log, pull, push, and status. For details on the new interface for a given command, run nmbug COMMAND --help.


nmbug-status can now optionally load header and footer templates from the config file. Use something like:

  "meta": {
    "header": "<!DOCTYPE html>\n<html lang="en">\n...",
    "footer": "</body></html>",

Python Bindings

Add support for notmuch_query_add_tag_exclude

Build System

The notmuch binaries and libraries are now build with debugging symbols by default. Users concerned with disk space should change the defaults when configuring or use the strip(1) command.

Posted Fri Nov 14 00:00:00 2014

Notmuch 0.18.2 (2014-10-25)

Test Suite

Translate T380-atomicity to use gdb/python

The new version is compatible with gdb 7.8

Emacs 24.4 related bug fixes

The Messages buffer became read-only, and the generated mime structure for signatures changed slightly.

Simplify T360-symbol-hiding

Replace the use of objdump on the object files with nm on the resulting lib.

Posted Sat Oct 25 00:00:00 2014

Notmuch 0.18.1 (2014-06-25)

This is a bug fix and portability release.

Build System

Add a workaround for systems without zlib.pc

Make emacs install robust against the non-existence of emacs

Put notmuch lib directory first in RPATH

Fix handling of html_static_path in sphinx

Both the python bindings and the main docs had spurious settings of this variable.

Test Suite

Use --quick when starting emacs

This avoids a hang in the T160-json tests.

Allow pending break points in atomicity script

This allows the atomicity tests to run on several more architectures/OSes.

Command-Line Interface

To improve portability use fsync instead of fdatasync in notmuch-dump. There should be no functional difference.

Library changes

Resurrect support for single-message mbox files

The removal introduced a bug with previously indexed single-message mboxes. This support remains deprecated.

Fix for phrase indexing

There were several bugs where words intermingled from different headers and MIME parts could match a single phrase query. This fix will affect only newly indexed messages.

Emacs Interface

Make sure tagging on an empty query is harmless

Previously tagging an empty query could lead to tags being unintentionally removed.

Posted Wed Jun 25 00:00:00 2014

Notmuch 0.18 (2014-05-06)


This new release includes some enhancements to searching for messages by filesystem location (folder: and path: prefixes under General below). Saved searches in Emacs have also been enhanced to allow distinct search orders for each one. Another enhancement to the Emacs interface is that replies to encrypted messages are now encrypted, reducing the risk of unintentional information disclosure. The default dump output format has changed to the more robust batch-tag format. The previously deprecated parsing of single message mboxes has been removed. For detailed release notes, see below.


The folder: search prefix now requires an exact match

The folder: prefix has been changed to search for email messages by the exact, case sensitive maildir or MH folder name. Wildcard matching (folder:foo*) is no longer supported. The new behaviour allows for more accurate mail folder based searches, makes it possible to search for messages in the top-level folder, and should lead to less surprising results than the old behaviour. Users are advised to see the notmuch-search-terms manual page for details, and review how the change affects their existing folder: searches.

There is a new path: search prefix

The new path: search prefix complements the folder: prefix. The path: prefix searches for email messages that are in particular directories within the mail store, optionally recursively using a special syntax. See the notmuch-search-terms manual page for details.

Notmuch database upgrade due to folder: and path: changes

The above mentioned changes to the folder: prefix and the addition of path: prefix require a Notmuch database upgrade. This will be done automatically, without prompting on the next time notmuch new is run after the upgrade. The upgrade is not reversible, and the upgraded database will not be readable by older versions of Notmuch. As a safeguard, a database dump will be created in the .notmuch directory before upgrading.

Library changes

Notmuch database upgrade

The libnotmuch consumers are reminded to handle database upgrades properly, either by relying on running notmuch new, or checking notmuch_database_needs_upgrade() and calling notmuch_database_upgrade() as necessary. This has always been the case, but in practise there have been no database upgrades in any released version of Notmuch before now.

Support for indexing mbox files has been dropped

There has never been proper support for mbox files containing multiple messages, and the support for single-message mbox files has been deprecated since Notmuch 0.15. The support has now been dropped, and all mbox files will be rejected during indexing.

Message header parsing changes

Notmuch previously had an internal parser for message headers. The parser has now been dropped in favour of letting GMime parse both the headers and the message MIME structure at the same pass. This is mostly an internal change, but the GMime parser is stricter in its interpretation of the headers. This may result in messages with slightly malformed message headers being now rejected.

Command-Line Interface

notmuch dump now defaults to batch-tag format

The old format is still available with --format=sup.

notmuch new has a --quiet option

This option suppresses the progress and summary reports.

notmuch insert respects maildir.synchronize_flags config option

Do not synchronize tags to maildir flags in notmuch insert if the user does not want it.

The commands set consistent exit status codes on failures

The cli commands now consistently set exit status of 1 on failures, except where explicitly otherwise noted. The notable exceptions are the status codes for format version mismatches for commands that support formatted output.

Bug fix for checking configured new.tags for invalid tags

notmuch new and notmuch insert now check the user configured new.tags for invalid tags, and refuse to apply them, similar to notmuch tag. Invalid tags are currently the empty string and tags starting with -.

Emacs Interface

Init file

If the file pointed by new variable notmuch-init-file (typically ~/.emacs.d/notmuch-config.el) exists, it is loaded at the end of notmuch.el. Users can put their personal notmuch emacs lisp based configuration/customization items there instead of filling ~/.emacs with these.

Changed format for saved searches

The format for notmuch-saved-searches has changed, but old style saved searches are still supported. The new style means that a saved search can store the desired sort order for the search, and it can store a separate query to use for generating the count notmuch shows.

The variable is fully customizable and any configuration done through customize should just work, with the additional options mentioned above. For manual customization see the documentation for notmuch-saved-searches.

IMPORTANT: a new style notmuch-saved-searches variable will break previous versions of notmuch-emacs (even search will not work); to fix remove the customization for notmuch-saved-searches.

If you have a custom saved search sort function (not unsorted or alphabetical) then the sort function will need to be modified. Replacing (car saved-search) by (notmuch-saved-search-get saved-search :name) and (cdr saved-search) by (notmuch-saved-search-get saved-search :query) should be sufficient.

The keys of notmuch-tag-formats are now regexps

Previously, the keys were literal strings. Customized settings of notmuch-tag-formats will continue to work as before unless tags contain regexp special characters like . or *.

Changed tags are now shown in the buffer

Previously tag changes made in a buffer were shown immediately. In some cases (particularly automatic tag changes like marking read) this made it hard to see what had happened (e.g., whether the message had been unread).

The changes are now shown explicitly in the buffer: by default deleted tags are displayed with red strike-through and added tags are displayed underlined in green (inverse video is used for deleted tags if the terminal does not support strike-through).

The variables notmuch-tag-deleted-formats and notmuch-tag-added-formats, which have the same syntax as notmuch-tag-formats, allow this to be customized.

Setting notmuch-tag-deleted-formats to '((".*" nil)) and notmuch-tag-added-formats to '((".*" tag)) will give the old behavior of hiding deleted tags and showing added tags identically to tags already present.

Version variable

The new, build-time generated variable notmuch-emacs-version is used to distinguish between notmuch cli and notmuch emacs versions. The function notmuch-hello-versions (bound to 'v' in notmuch-hello window) prints both notmuch cli and notmuch emacs versions in case these differ from each other. This is especially useful when using notmuch remotely.

Ido-completing-read initialization in Emacs 23

ido-completing-read in Emacs 23 versions 1 through 3 freezes unless it is initialized. Defadvice-based Ido initialization is defined for these Emacs versions.

Bug fix for saved searches with newlines in them

Split lines confuse notmuch count --batch, so we remove embedded newlines before calling notmuch count.

Bug fixes for sender identities

Previously, Emacs would rewrite some sender identities in unexpected and undesirable ways. Now it will use identities exactly as configured in notmuch-identities.

Replies to encrypted messages will be encrypted by default

In the interest of maintaining confidentiality of communications, the Notmuch Emacs interface now automatically adds the mml tag to encrypt replies to encrypted messages. This should make it less likely to accidentally reply to encrypted messages in plain text.

Reply pushes mark before signature

We push mark and set point on reply so that the user can easily cut the quoted text. The mark is now pushed before the signature, if any, instead of end of buffer so the signature is preserved.

Message piping uses the originating buffer's working directory

notmuch-show-pipe-message now uses the originating buffer's current default directory instead of that of the *notmuch-pipe* buffer's.


nmbug adds a clone command for setting up the initial repository and uses @{upstream} instead of FETCH_HEAD to track upstream changes.

The @{upstream} change reduces ambiguity when fetching multiple branches, but requires existing users update their NMBGIT repository (usually ~/.nmbug) to distinguish between local and remote-tracking branches. The easiest way to do this is:

  1. If you have any purely local commits (i.e. they aren't in the nmbug repository on, push them to a remote repository. We'll restore them from the backup in step 4.
  2. Remove your NMBGIT repository (e.g. mv .nmbug .nmbug.bak).
  3. Use the new clone command to create a fresh clone:

    nmbug clone

  4. If you had local commits in step 1, add a remote for that repository and fetch them into the new repository.

Posted Tue May 6 00:00:00 2014

Notmuch 0.17 (2013-12-30)

Incompatible change in SHA1 computation

Previously on big endian architectures like sparc and powerpc the computation of SHA1 hashes was incorrect. This meant that messages with overlong or missing message-ids were given different computed message-ids than on more common little endian architectures like i386 and amd64. If you use notmuch on a big endian architecture, you are strongly advised to make a backup of your tags using notmuch dump before this upgrade. You can locate the affected files using something like:

notmuch dump | \
  awk '/^notmuch-sha1-[0-9a-f]{40} / \
    {system("notmuch search --exclude=false --output=files id:" $1)}'

Command-Line Interface

New options to better support handling duplicate messages

If more than one message file is associated with a message-id, notmuch search --output=files will print all of them. A new --duplicate=N option can be used to specify which duplicate to print for each message.

notmuch count now supports --output=files option to output the number of files associated with matching messages. This may be bigger than the number of matching messages due to duplicates (i.e. multiple files having the same message-id).

Improved notmuch new performance for unchanged folders

notmuch new now skips over unchanged folders more efficiently, which can substantially improve the performance of checking for new mail in some situations (like NFS-mounted Maildirs).

notmuch reply --format=text RFC 2047-encodes headers

Previously, this used a mix of standard MIME encoding for the reply body and UTF-8 for the headers. Now, the text format reply template RFC 2047-encodes the headers, making the output a valid RFC 2822 message. The JSON/sexp format is unchanged.

notmuch compact command

The new compact command exposes Xapian's compaction functionality through a more convenient interface than xapian-compact. notmuch compact will compact the database to a temporary location, optionally backup the original database, and move the compacted database into place.

Emacs Interface

notmuch-tree (formerly notmuch-pick) has been added to mainline

notmuch-tree is a threaded message view for the emacs interface. Each message is one line in the results and the thread structure is shown using UTF-8 box drawing characters (similar to Mutt's threaded view). It comes between search and show in terms of amount of output and can be useful for viewing both single threads and multiple threads.

Using notmuch-tree

The main key entries to notmuch tree are

  • 'z' enter a query to view using notmuch tree (works in hello, search, show and tree mode itself)

  • 'Z' view the current query in tree notmuch tree (works from search and show)

Once in tree mode, keybindings are mostly in line with the rest of notmuch and are all viewable with '?' as usual.

Customising notmuch-tree

notmuch-tree has several customisation variables. The most significant is the first notmuch-tree-show-out which determines the behaviour when selecting a message (with RET) in tree view. By default tree view uses a split window showing the single message in the bottom pane. However, if this option is set then it views the whole thread in the complete window jumping to the selected message in the thread. In either case command-prefix selects the other option.

Tagging threads in search is now race-free

Previously, adding or removing a tag from a thread in a search buffer would affect messages that had arrived after the search was performed, resulting in, for example, archiving messages that were never seen. Tagging now affects only the messages that were in the thread when the search was performed.

notmuch-hello refreshes when switching to the buffer

The hello buffer now refreshes whenever you switch to the buffer, regardless of how you get there. You can disable automatic refreshing by customizing notmuch-hello-auto-refresh.

Specific mini-buffer prompts for tagging operations

When entering tags to add or remove, the mini-buffer prompt now indicates what operation will be performed (e.g., "Tag thread", "Tag message", etc).

Built-in help improvements

Documentation for many commands has been improved, as displayed by notmuch-help (usually bound to "?"). The bindings listed by notmuch-help also now include descriptions of prefixed commands.

Quote replies as they are displayed in show view

We now render the parts for reply quoting the same way they are rendered for show. At this time, the notable change is that replies to text/calendar are now pretty instead of raw vcalendar.

Fixed inconsistent use of configured search order

All ways of interactively invoking search now honor the value of notmuch-search-oldest-first.

Common keymap for notmuch-wide bindings

Several key bindings have been moved from mode-specific keymaps to the single notmuch-common-keymap, which is inherited by each notmuch mode. If you've customized your key bindings, you may want to move some of them to the common keymap.

The notmuch-tag function now requires a list of tag changes

For users who have scripted the Emacs interface: the notmuch-tag API has changed. Previously, it accepted either a list of tag changes or a space-separated string of tag changes. The latter is no longer supported and the function now returns nothing.

Fixed notmuch-reply putting reply in primary selection

On emacs 24 notmuch-reply used to put the cited text into the primary selection (which could lead to inadvertently pasting this cited text elsewhere). Now the primary-selection is not changed.

Fixed notmuch-show invisible part handling

In some obscure cases part buttons and invisibility had strange interactions: in particular, the default action for some parts gave the wrong action. This has been fixed.

Fixed notmuch-show attachment viewers and stderr

In emacs 24.3+ viewing an attachment could cause spurious text to appear in the show buffer (any stderr or stdout the viewer produced). By default this output is now discarded. For debugging, setting notmuch-show-attachment-debug causes notmuch to keep the viewer's stderr and stdout in a separate buffer.

Fixed notmuch-mua-reply point placement when signature involved

By restricting cursor movement to body section for cursor placement after signature is inserted, the cursor cannot "leak" to header section anymore. Now inserted citation content will definitely go to the body part of the message.

Vim Interface

It is now possible to compose new messages in the Vim interface, as opposed reply to existing messages. There is also support for going straight to a search (bypassing the folders view).

Posted Mon Dec 30 00:00:00 2013

Notmuch 0.16 (2013-08-03)

Command-Line Interface

Support for delivering messages to Maildir

There is a new command insert that adds a message to a Maildir folder and notmuch index.

notmuch count --batch option

notmuch count now supports batch operations similar to notmuch tag. This is mostly an optimization for remote notmuch usage.

notmuch tag option to remove all tags from matching messages

notmuch tag --remove-all option has been added to remove all tags from matching messages. This can be combined with adding new tags, resulting in setting (rather than modifying) the tags of the messages.

Decrypting commands explicitly expect a gpg-agent

Decryption in notmuch show and notmuch reply has only ever worked with a functioning gpg-agent. This is now made explicit in code and documentation. The functional change is that it's now possible to have gpg-agent running, but gpg "use-agent" configuration option disabled, not forcing the user to use the agent everywhere.

Configuration file saves follow symbolic links

The notmuch commands that save the configuration file now follow symbolic links instead of overwrite them.

Top level option to specify configuration file

It's now possible to specify the configuration file to use on the command line using the notmuch --config=FILE option.

Bash command-line completion

The notmuch command-line completion support for the bash shell has been rewritten. Supported completions include all the notmuch commands, command-line arguments, values for keyword arguments, search prefixes (such as "subject:" or "from:") in all commands that use search terms, tags after + and - in notmuch tag, tags after "tag:" prefix, user's email addresses after "from:" and "to:" prefixes, and config options (and some config option values) in notmuch config. The new completion support depends on the bash-completion package.

Deprecated commands "part" and "search-tags" are removed.

Emacs Interface

New keymap to view/save parts; removed s/v/o/| part button bindings

The commands to view, save, and open MIME parts are now prefixed with "." (". s" to save, ". v" to view, etc) and can be invoked with point anywhere in a part, unlike the old commands, which were restricted to part buttons. The old "s"/"v"/"o"/"|" commands on part buttons have been removed since they clashed with other bindings (notably "s" for search!) and could not be invoked when there was no part button. The new, prefixed bindings appear in show's help, so you no longer have to memorize them.

Default part save directory is now mm-default-directory

Previously, notmuch offered to save parts and attachments to a mix of mm-default-directory, mailcap-download-directory, and ~/. This has been standardized on mm-default-directory.

Key bindings for next/previous thread

Show view has new key bindings M-n and M-p to move to the next and previous thread in the search results.

Better handling of errors in search buffers

Instead of interleaving errors in search result buffers, search mode now reports errors in the minibuffer.

Faster search and show

Communication between Emacs and the notmuch CLI is now more efficient because it uses the CLI's S-expression support. As a result, search mode should now fill search buffers faster and threads should show faster.

No Emacs 22 support

The Emacs 22 support added late 2010 was sufficient only for a short period of time. After being incomplete for roughly 2 years the code in question was now removed from this release.

Vim Front-End

The vim based front-end has been replaced with a new one that uses the Ruby bindings. The old font-end is available in the contrib subfolder.

Python Bindings

Fix loading of libnotmuch shared library on OS X (Darwin) systems.

Posted Sat Aug 3 00:00:00 2013

Notmuch 0.15.2 (2013-02-17)

Build fixes

Update dependencies to avoid problems when building in parallel.

Internal test framework changes

Adjust Emacs test watchdog mechanism to cope with process-attributes being unimplemented.

Posted Sun Feb 17 00:00:00 2013

Notmuch 0.15.1 (2013-01-24)

Internal test framework changes

Set a default value for TERM when running tests. This fixes certain build failures in non-interactive environments.

Posted Thu Jan 24 00:00:00 2013

Notmuch 0.15 (2013-01-18)


Date range search support

The date: prefix can now be used in queries to restrict the results to only messages within a particular time range (based on the Date: header) with a range syntax of date:<since>..<until>. Notmuch supports a wide variety of expressions in <since> and <until>. Please refer to the notmuch-search-terms(7) manual page for details.

Empty tag names and tags beginning with "-" are deprecated

Such tags have been a frequent source of confusion and cause (sometimes unresolvable) conflicts with other syntax. notmuch tag no longer allows such tags to be added to messages. Removing such tags continues to be supported to allow cleanup of existing tags, but may be removed in a future release.

Command-Line Interface

notmuch new no longer chokes on mboxes

notmuch new now rejects mbox files containing more than one message, rather than treating the file as one giant message.

Support for single message mboxes is deprecated

For historical reasons, notmuch new will index mbox files containing a single message; however, this behavior is now officially deprecated.

Fixed notmuch new to skip ignored broken symlinks

notmuch new now correctly skips symlinks if they are in the ignored files list. Previously, it would abort when encountering broken symlink, even if it was ignored.

New dump/restore format and tagging interface

There is a new batch-tag format for dump and restore that is more robust, particularly with respect to tags and message-ids containing whitespace.

notmuch tag now supports the ability to read tag operations and queries from an input stream, in a format compatible with the new dump/restore format.

Bcc and Reply-To headers are now available in notmuch show json output

The notmuch show --format=json now includes "Bcc" and "Reply-To" headers. For example notmuch Emacs client can now have these headers visible when the headers are added to the notmuch-message-headers variable.

CLI callers can now request a specific output format version

notmuch subcommands that support structured output now support a --format-version argument for requesting a specific version of the structured output, enabling better compatibility and error handling.

notmuch search has gained a null character separated text output format

The new --format=text0 output format for notmuch search prints output separated by null characters rather than newline characters. This is similar to the find(1) -print0 option, and works together with the xargs(1) -0 option.

Emacs Interface

Removal of the deprecated notmuch-folders variable

notmuch-folders has been deprecated since the introduction of saved searches and the notmuch hello view in notmuch 0.3. notmuch-folders has now been removed. Any remaining users should migrate to notmuch-saved-searches.

Visibility of MIME parts can be toggled

Each part of a multi-part MIME email can now be shown or hidden using the button at the top of each part (by pressing RET on it or by clicking). For emails with multiple alternative formats (e.g., plain text and HTML), only the preferred format is shown initially, but other formats can be shown using their part buttons. To control the behavior of this, see notmuch-multipart/alternative-discouraged and notmuch-show-all-multipart/alternative-parts.

Note notmuch-show-print-message (bound to '#' by default) will print all parts of multipart/alternative message regardless of whether they are currently hidden or shown in the buffer.

Emacs now buttonizes mid: links

mid: links are a standardized way to link to messages by message ID (see RFC 2392). Emacs now hyperlinks mid: links to the appropriate notmuch search.

Handle errors from bodypart insertions

If displaying the text of a message in show mode causes an error (in the notmuch-show-insert-part-* functions), notmuch no longer cuts off thread display at the offending message. The error is now simply displayed in place of the message.

Emacs now detects version mismatches with the notmuch CLI

Emacs now detects and reports when the Emacs interface version and the notmuch CLI version are incompatible.

Improved text/calendar content handling

Carriage returns in embedded text/calendar content caused insertion of the calendar content fail. Now CRs are removed before calling icalendar to extract icalendar data. In case icalendar extraction fails an error is thrown for the bodypart insertion function to deal with.

Disabled coding conversions when reading in with-current-notmuch-show-message

Depending on the user's locale, saving attachments containing 8-bit data may have performed an unintentional encoding conversion, corrupting the saved attachment. This has been fixed by making with-current-notmuch-show-message disable coding conversion.

Fixed errors with HTML email containing images in Emacs 24

Emacs 24 ships with a new HTML renderer that produces better output, but is slightly buggy. We work around a bug that caused it to fail for HTML email containing images.

Fixed handling of tags with unusual characters in them

Emacs now handles tags containing spaces, quotes, and parenthesis.

Fixed buttonization of id: links without quote characters

Emacs now correctly buttonizes id: links where the message ID is not quoted.

notmuch-hello refresh point placement improvements

Refreshing the notmuch-hello buffer does a better job of keeping the point where it was.

Automatic tag changes are now unified and customizable

All the automatic tag changes that the Emacs interface makes when reading, archiving, or replying to messages, can now be customized. Any number of tag additions and removals is supported through the notmuch-show-mark-read, notmuch-archive-tags, and notmuch-message-replied-tags customization variables.

Support for stashing the thread id in show view

Invoking notmuch-show-stash-message-id with a prefix argument stashes the (local and database specific) thread id of the current thread instead of the message id.

New add-on tool: notmuch-pick

The new contrib/ tool notmuch-pick is an experimental threaded message view for the emacs interface. Each message is one line in the results and the thread structure is shown using UTF-8 box drawing characters (similar to Mutt's threaded view). It comes between search and show in terms of amount of output and can be useful for viewing both single threads and multiple threads. See the notmuch-pick README file for further details and installation.


notmuch now builds on OpenBSD.

Internal test framework changes

The emacsclient binary is now user-configurable

The test framework now accepts TEST_EMACSCLIENT in addition to TEST_EMACS for configuring the emacsclient to use. This is necessary to avoid using an old emacsclient with a new emacs, which can result in buggy behavior.

Posted Fri Jan 18 00:00:00 2013

Notmuch 0.14 (2012-08-20)

General bug fixes

Maildir tag synchronization

Maildir flag-to-tag synchronization now applies only to messages in maildir-like directory structures. Previously, it applied to any message that had a maildir "info" part, which meant it could incorrectly synchronize tags for non-maildir messages, while at the same time failing to synchronize tags for newly received maildir messages (typically causing new messages to not receive the "unread" tag).

Command-Line Interface

The deprecated positional output file argument to notmuch dump has been replaced with an --output option. The input file positional argument to notmuch restore has been replaced with an --input option for consistency with dump. These changes simplify the syntax of dump/restore options and make them more consistent with other notmuch commands.

Emacs Interface

Search results now get re-colored when tags are updated

The formatting of tags in search results can now be customized

Previously, attempting to change the format of tags in notmuch-search-result-format would usually break tagging from search-mode. We no longer make assumptions about the format.

Experimental support for multi-line search result formats

It is now possible to embed newlines in notmuch-search-result-format to make individual search results span multiple lines.

Next/previous in search and show now move by boundaries

All "next" and "previous" commands in the search and show modes now move to the next/previous result or message boundary. This doesn't change the behavior of "next", but "previous" commands will first move to the beginning of the current result or message if point is inside the result or message.

Search now uses the JSON format internally

This should address problems with unusual characters in authors and subject lines that could confuse the old text-based search parser.

The date shown in search results is no longer padded before applying user-specified formatting

Previously, the date in the search results was padded to fixed width before being formatted with notmuch-search-result-format. It is no longer padded. The default format has been updated, but if you've customized this variable, you may have to change your date format from "%s " to "%12s ".

The thread-id for the target-thread argument for notmuch-search should now be supplied without the "thread:" prefix.

Posted Mon Aug 20 00:00:00 2012

Notmuch 0.13.2 (2012-06-02)

Bug-fix release

Update contrib/notmuch-deliver for API changes in 0.13. This fixes a compilation error for this contrib package.

Posted Sat Jun 2 00:00:00 2012

Notmuch 0.13.1 (2012-05-29)

Bug-fix release

Fix inserting of UTF-8 characters from text/plain parts in reply

While notmuch gained ability to insert content from other than text/plain parts of email whenever text/plain parts are not available (notably HTML-only emails), replying to mails that do have text/plain the non-ASCII characters were incorrectly decoded. This is now fixed.

notmuch_database_get_directory and notmuch_database_find_message_by_filename now work on read-only databases

Previously, these functions attempted to create directory documents that didn't exist and would return an error or abort when given a read-only database. Now they no longer create directory documents and simply return a NULL object if the directory does not exist, as documented.

Fix compilation of ruby bindings

Revert to dynamic linking, since the statically linked bindings did not work well.

Posted Tue May 29 00:00:00 2012

Notmuch 0.13 (2012-05-15)

Command-Line Interface

JSON reply format

notmuch reply can now produce JSON output that contains the headers for a reply message and full information about the original message begin replied to. This allows MUAs to create replies intelligently. For example, an MUA that can parse HTML might quote HTML parts.

Calling notmuch reply with --format=json imposes the restriction that only a single message is returned by the search, as replying to multiple messages does not have a well-defined behavior. The default retains its current behavior for multiple message replies.

Tag exclusion

Tags can be automatically excluded from search results by adding them to the new search.exclude_tags option in the Notmuch config file.

This behaviour can be overridden by explicitly including an excluded tag in your query, for example:

    notmuch search $your_query and tag:$excluded_tag

Existing users will probably want to run notmuch setup again to add the new well-commented [search] section to the configuration file.

For new configurations, accepting the default setting will cause the tags "deleted" and "spam" to be excluded, equivalent to running:

    notmuch config set search.exclude_tags deleted spam

Raw show format changes

The output of show --format=raw has changed for multipart and message parts. Previously, the output was a mash of somewhat-parsed headers and transfer-decoded bodies. Now, such parts are reproduced faithfully from the original source. Message parts (which includes part 0) output the full message, including the message headers (but not the transfer headers). Multipart parts output the part as encoded in the original message, including the part's headers. Leaf parts, as before, output the part's transfer-decoded body.

Listing configuration items

The new config list command prints out all configuration items and their values.

Emacs Interface

Changes to tagging interface

The user-facing tagging functions in the Emacs interface have been normalized across all notmuch modes. The tagging functions are now notmuch-search-tag in search-mode, and notmuch-show-tag in show-mode. They accept a string representing a single tag change, or a list of tag changes. See 'M-x describe-function notmuch-tag' for more information.

NOTE: This breaks compatibility with old tagging functions, so user may need to update in custom configurations.

Reply improvement using the JSON format

Emacs now uses the JSON reply format to create replies. It obeys the customization variables message-citation-line-format and message-citation-line-function when creating the first line of the reply body, and it will quote HTML parts if no text/plain parts are available.

New add-on tool: notmuch-mutt

The new contrib/ tool notmuch-mutt provides Notmuch integration for the Mutt mail user agent. Using it, Mutt users can perform mail search, thread reconstruction, and mail tagging/untagging without leaving Mutt. notmuch-mutt, formerly distributed under the name mutt-notmuch by Stefano Zacchiroli, will be maintained as a notmuch contrib/ from now on.

Library changes

The API changes detailed below break binary and source compatibility, so libnotmuch has been bumped to version 3.0.0.

The function notmuch_database_close has been split into notmuch_database_close and notmuch_database_destroy

This makes it possible for long running programs to close the xapian database and thus release the lock associated with it without destroying the data structures obtained from it.

notmuch_database_open, notmuch_database_create, and notmuch_database_get_directory now return errors

The type signatures of these functions have changed so that the functions now return a notmuch_status_t and take an out-argument for returning the new database object or directory object.

Go bindings changes

Go 1 compatibility

The go bindings and the notmuch-addrlookup utility are now compatible with go 1.

Posted Tue May 15 00:00:00 2012

Notmuch 0.12 (2012-03-20)

Command-Line Interface

Reply to sender

notmuch reply has gained the ability to create a reply template for replying just to the sender of the message, in addition to reply to all. The feature is available through the new command line option --reply-to=(all|sender).

Mail store folder/file ignore

A new configuration option, new.ignore, lets users specify a ;-separated list of file and directory names that will not be searched for messages by notmuch new.

NOTE: Every file/directory that goes by one of those names will be ignored, independent of its depth/location in the mail store.

Unified help and manual pages

The notmuch help command now runs man for the appropriate page. If you install notmuch somewhere "unusual", you may need to update MANPATH.

Manual page for notmuch configuration options

The notmuch CLI configuration file options are now documented in the notmuch-config(1) manual page in addition to the configuration file itself.

Emacs Interface

Reply to sender

The Emacs interface has, with the new CLI support, gained the ability to reply to sender in addition to reply to all. In both show and search modes, 'r' has been bound to reply to sender, replacing reply to all, which now has key binding 'R'.

More flexible and consistent tagging operations

All tagging operations ('+', '-', '*') now accept multiple tags with '+' or '-' prefix, like '*' operation in notmuch-search view before.

'*' operation (notmuch-show-tag-all) is now available in notmuch-show view.

notmuch-show-{add,remove}-tag functions no longer accept tag argument, notmuch-show-tag-message should be used instead. Custom bindings using these functions should be updated, e.g.:

    (notmuch-show-remove-tag "unread")

should be changed to:

    (notmuch-show-tag-message "-unread")

Refreshing the show view ('=' by default) no longer opens or closes messages

To get the old behavior of putting messages back in their initial opened/closed state, use a prefix argument, e.g., 'C-u ='.

Attachment buttons can be used to view or save attachments.

When the cursor is on an attachment button the key 's' can be used to save the attachment, the key 'v' to view the attachment in the default mailcap application, and the key 'o' prompts the user for an application to use to open the attachment. By default Enter or mouse button 1 saves the attachment but this is customisable (option Notmuch Show Part Button Default Action).

New functions

notmuch-show-stash-mlarchive-link{,-and-go} allow stashing and optionally visiting a URI to the current message at one of a number of Mailing List Archives.

Fix MML tag quoting in replies

The MML tag quoting fix of 0.11.1 unintentionally quoted tags inserted in message-setup-hook. Quoting is now limited to the cited message.

Show view archiving key binding changes

The show view archiving key bindings 'a' and 'x' now remove the "inbox" tag from the current message only (instead of thread), and move to the next message. At the last message, 'a' proceeds to the next thread in search results, and 'x' returns to search results. The thread archiving functions are now available in 'A' and 'X'.

Support text/calendar MIME type

The text/calendar MIME type is now supported in addition to text/x-vcalendar.

Generate inline patch fake attachment file names from message subject

Use the message subject to generate file names for the inline patch fake attachments. The names are now similar to the ones generated by 'git format-patch' instead of just "inline patch". See "Notmuch Show Insert Text/Plain Hook" in the notmuch customize interface.

Enable notmuch-search-line-faces by default

Make the notmuch-search-line-faces functionality more discoverable for new users by showing "unread" messages bold and "flagged" messages blue by default in the search view.

Printing Support

notmuch-show mode now has simple printing support, bound to '#' by default. You can customize the variable notmuch-print-mechanism.

Library changes

New functions

notmuch_query_add_tag_exclude supports the new tag exclusion feature.

Python bindings changes

Python 3.2 compatibility

The python bindings are now compatible with both python 2.5+ and 3.2.

Added missing unicode conversions

Python strings have to be encoded to and decoded from utf-8 when calling libnotmuch functions. Porting the bindings to python 3.2 revealed a few function calls that were missing these conversions.

Build fixes

Compatibility with GMime 2.6

It is now possible to build notmuch against both GMime 2.4 and 2.6. However, a bug in GMime 2.6 before 2.6.5 causes notmuch not to report signatures where the signer key is unavailable (GNOME bug 668085). For compatibility with GMime 2.4's tolerance of "From " headers we require GMime 2.6 >= 2.6.7.

Posted Tue Mar 20 00:00:00 2012

Notmuch 0.11.1 (2012-02-03)

Bug-fix release

Fix error handling in python bindings

The python bindings in 0.11 failed to detect NULL pointers being returned from libnotmuch functions and thus failed to raise exceptions to indicate the error condition. Any subsequent calls into libnotmuch caused segmentation faults.

Quote MML tags in replies

MML tags are text codes that Emacs uses to indicate attachments (among other things) in messages being composed. The Emacs interface did not quote MML tags in the quoted text of a reply. User could be tricked into replying to a maliciously formatted message and not editing out the MML tags from the quoted text. This could lead to files from the user's machine being attached to the outgoing message. The Emacs interface now quotes these tags in reply text, so that they do not effect outgoing messages.

Posted Fri Feb 3 00:00:00 2012

Notmuch 0.11 (2012-01-13)

Command-Line Interface


Hooks have been introduced to notmuch. Hooks are scripts that notmuch invokes before and after certain actions. Initially, notmuch new supports pre-new and post-new hooks that are run before and after importing new messages into the database.

notmuch reply --decrypt bugfix

The notmuch reply command with --decrypt argument had a rarely occurring bug that caused an encrypted message not to be decrypted sometimes. This is now fixed.


Automatic tag query optimization

notmuch tag now automatically optimizes the user's query to exclude messages whose tags won't change. In the past, we've suggested that people do this by hand; this is no longer necessary.

Don't sort messages when creating a dump file

This speeds up tag dumps considerably, without any loss of information. To replicate the old behavior of sorted output (for example to compare two dump files), one can use e.g. sort(1).

Memory Management

Reduction of memory leaks

Two memory leaks when searching and showing messages were identified and fixed in this release.

Emacs Interface

Bug fixes

notmuch-show-advance (bound to the spacebar in notmuch-show-mode) had a bug that caused it to always jump to the next message, even if it should have scrolled down to show more of the current message instead. This is now fixed.

Support notmuch new as a notmuch-poll-script

It's now possible to use notmuch new as a notmuch-poll-script directly. This is also the new default. This allows taking better advantage of the notmuch new hooks from emacs without intermediate scripts.

Improvements in saved search management

New saved searches are now appended to the list of saved searches, not inserted in front. It's also possible to define a sort function for displaying saved searches; alphabetical sort is provided.

Hooks for notmuch-hello

Two new hooks have been added: "notmuch-hello-mode-hook" (called after entering notmuch-hello-mode) and "notmuch-hello-refresh-hook" (called after updating a notmuch-hello buffer).

New face for crypto parts headers

Crypto parts used to be displayed with a hardcoded color. A new face has been introduced to fix this: notmuch-crypto-part-header. It defaults to the same value as before, but can be customized to match other color themes.

Use space as default thousands separator

Large numbers in notmuch-hello are now displayed using a space as thousands separator (e.g. "123 456" instead of "123,456"). This can be changed by customizing "notmuch-hello-thousands-separator".

Call notmuch-show instead of notmuch-search when clicking on buttonized id: links

New function notmuch-show-advance

This new function advances through just the current thread, and is less invasive than notmuch-show-advance-and-archive. It can easily be bound to SPC with:

    (define-key notmuch-show-mode-map " " 'notmuch-show-advance)

Various performance improvements

New add-on tool

The tool contrib/notmuch-deliver helps with initial delivery and tagging of mail (replacing running notmuch new).

Posted Fri Jan 13 00:00:00 2012

Notmuch 0.10.2 (2011-12-04)

Bug-fix release

Fix crash in python bindings

The python bindings did not call g_type_init, which caused crashes for some, but not all users.

Posted Sun Dec 4 00:00:00 2011

Notmuch 0.10.1 (2011-11-25)

Bug-fix release

Fix --help argument

Argument processing changes in 0.10 introduced a bug where notmuch --help crashed while notmuch help worked fine. This is fixed in 0.10.1.

Posted Fri Nov 25 00:00:00 2011

Notmuch 0.10 (2011-11-23)

New build and testing features

Emacs tests are now done in dtach. This means that dtach is now needed to run the notmuch test suite, at least until the checking for prerequisites is improved.

Full test coverage of the stashing feature in Emacs.

New command-line features

Add notmuch restore --accumulate option

The --accumulate switch causes the union of the existing and new tags to be applied, instead of replacing each message's tags as they are read in from the dump file.

Add search terms to notmuch dump

The dump command now takes an optional search term much like notmuch search/show/tag. The output file argument of dump is deprecated in favour of using stdout.

Add notmuch search --offset and --limit options

The search command now takes options --offset=[-]N and --limit=N to limit the number of results shown.

Add notmuch count --output option

The count command is now capable of counting threads in addition to messages. This is selected using the new --output=(threads|messages) option.

New emacs UI features

Add tab-completion for notmuch-search and notmuch-search-filter

These functions now support completion tags for query parts starting with "tag:".

Turn "id:MSG-ID" links into buttons associated with notmuch searches

Text of the form "id:MSG-ID" in mails is now a clickable button that opens a notmuch search for the given message id.

Add keybinding ('c I') for stashing Message-ID's without an id: prefix

Reduces manual labour when stashing them for use outside notmuch.

Do not query on notmuch-search exit

It is harmless to kill the external notmuch process, so the user is no longer interrogated when they interrupt a search.


Emacs now constructs large search buffers more efficiently

Search avoids opening and parsing message files

We now store more information in the database so search no longer has to open every message file to get basic headers. This can improve search speed by as much as 10X, but taking advantage of this requires a database rebuild:

    notmuch dump > notmuch.dump
    # Backup, then remove notmuch database ($MAIL/.notmuch)
    notmuch new
    notmuch restore notmuch.dump

New collection of add-on tools

The source directory "contrib" contains tools built on notmuch. These tools are not part of notmuch, and you should check their individual licenses. Feel free to report problems with them to the notmuch mailing list.

nmbug - share tags with a given prefix

nmbug helps maintain a git repo containing all tags with a given prefix (by default "notmuch::"). Tags can be shared by committing them to git in one location and restoring in another.

Posted Wed Nov 23 00:00:00 2011

Notmuch 0.9 (2011-10-01)

New, general features

Correct handling of interruptions during notmuch new

notmuch new now operates as a series of small, self-consistent transactions, so it can correctly resume after an interruption or crash. Previously, interruption could lose existing tags, fail to detect messages on resume, or leave the database in a state temporarily or permanently inconsistent with the mail store.

Library changes

New functions

notmuch_database_begin_atomic and notmuch_database_end_atomic allow multiple database operations to be performed atomically.

notmuch_database_find_message_by_filename does exactly what it says.

API changes

notmuch_database_find_message (and n_d_f_m_by_filename) now return a status indicator and uses an output parameter for the message. This change required changing the SONAME of libnotmuch to

Python bindings changes

  • Re-encode python unicode objects to utf-8 before passing back to libnotmuch.
  • Support Database().begin_atomic()/end_atomic()
  • Support Database().find_message_by_filename() NB! This needs a db opened in READ-WRITE mode currently, or it will crash the python process. The is a limitation (=bug) of the underlying libnotmuch.
  • Fixes where we would not throw NotmuchErrors when we should (Justus Winter)
  • Update for n_d_find_message* API changes (see above).

Ruby bindings changes

  • Wrap new library functions notmuch_database_{begin,end}_atomic.
  • Add new exception Notmuch::UnbalancedAtomicError.
  • Rename destroy to destroy! according to Ruby naming conventions.
  • Update for n_d_find_message* API changes (see above).

Emacs improvements

  • Add gpg callback to crypto sigstatus buttons to retrieve/refresh signing key.
  • Add notmuch-show-refresh-view function (and corresponding binding) to refresh the view of a notmuch-show buffer.

Reply formatting cleanup

notmuch reply no longer includes notification that non-leafnode MIME parts are being suppressed.

Posted Sat Oct 1 00:00:00 2011

Notmuch 0.8 (2011-09-10)

Improved handling of message/rfc822 parts

Both in the CLI and the emacs interface. Output of rfc822 parts now includes the primary headers, as well as the body and all subparts. Output of the completely raw rfc822-formatted message, including all headers, is unfortunately not yet supported (but hopefully will be soon).

Improved Build system portability

Certain parts of the shell script generating notmuch.sym were specific to the GNU versions of sed and nm. The new version should be more portable to e.g. OpenBSD.

Documentation update for Ruby bindings

Added documentation, typo fixes, and improved support for rdoc.

Unicode, iterator, PEP8 changes for python bindings

  • PEP8 (code formatting) changes for python files.
  • Remove Tags.__len__ ; see 0.6 release notes for motivation.
  • Decode headers as UTF8, encode (unicode) database paths as UTF8.
Posted Sat Sep 10 00:00:00 2011

Notmuch 0.7 (2011-08-01)

Vim interface improvements

Jason Woofenden provided a number of bug fixes for the Vim interface

  • fix citation/signature fold lengths
  • fix cig/cit parsing within multipart/*
  • fix on-screen instructions for show-signature
  • fix from list reformatting in search view
  • fix space key: now archives (did opposite)

Uwe Kleine-König contributed

  • use full path for sendmail/doc fix
  • fix compose temp file name

Python Bindings changes

Sebastian Spaeth contributed two changes related to unicode and UTF8:

  • message tags are now explicitly unicode
  • query string is encoded as a UTF8 byte string

Build-System improvements

Generate notmuch.sym after the relevant object files

This fixes a bug in parallel building. Thanks to Thomas Jost for the patch.

Posted Mon Aug 1 00:00:00 2011

Notmuch 0.6.1 (2011-07-17)

Bug-fix release

Re-export Xapian exception typeinfo symbols

It turned out our aggressive symbol hiding caused problems for people running gcc 4.4.5.

Posted Sun Jul 17 00:00:00 2011

Notmuch 0.6 (2011-07-01)

New, general features

Folder-based searching

Notmuch queries can now include a search term to match the directories in which mail files are stored (within the mail storage). The syntax is as follows:


For example, one might use things such as:


to match any path containing a directory "spam", "work/todo", or containing a directory starting with "2011-", respectively.

This feature is particularly useful for users of delivery-agent software (such as procmail or maildrop) that is filtering mail and delivering it to particular folders, or users of systems such as Gmail that use filesystem directories to indicate message tags.

NOTE: Only messages that are newly indexed with this version of notmuch will be searchable with folder: terms. In order to enable this feature for all mail, the entire notmuch index will need to be rebuilt as follows:

    notmuch dump > notmuch.dump
    # Backup, then remove notmuch database ($MAIL/.notmuch)
    notmuch new
    notmuch restore notmuch.dump

Support for PGP/MIME

Both the command-line interface and the emacs-interface have new support for PGP/MIME, detailed below. Thanks to Daniel Kahn Gillmor and Jameson Graef Rollins for making this happen.

New, automatic tags: "signed" and "encrypted"

These tags will automatically be applied to messages containing multipart/signed and multipart/encrypted parts.

NOTE: Only messages that are newly indexed with this version of notmuch will receive these tags.

New command-line features

Add new "notmuch show --verify" option for signature verification

This option instruct notmuch to verify the signature of PGP/MIME-signed parts.

Add new "notmuch show --decrypt" and "notmuch reply --decrypt" options

This option instructs notmuch to decrypt PGP/MIME-encrypted parts. Note that this feature currently requires gpg-agent and a passphrase entry tool (e.g. pinentry-gtk or pinentry-curses).

Proper nesting of multipart parts in "notmuch show" output

MIME parts are now display with proper nesting to reflect original MIME hierarchy of a message. This allows clients to correctly analyze the MIME structure, (such as, for example, determining to which parts a signature part applies).

Add new "notmuch show --part" option

This is a replacement for the older "notmuch part" command, (which is now deprecated—it should still work as always, but is no longer documented). Putting part output under "notmuch show" allows for all of the "notmuch show" options to be applied when extracting a single part, (such as --format=json for extracting a message part with JSON formatting).

Deprecate "notmuch search-tags" (in favor of "notmuch search --output=tags *")

The "notmuch search-tags" sub-command has been redundant since the addition of the --output=tags option to "notmuch search". We now make that more clear by deprecating "notmuch search-tags", (dropping it from the documentation). We do continue to support the old syntax by translating it internally to the new call.

Performance improvements

Faster searches (by doing fewer searches to construct threads)

Whenever a user asks for search results as threads, notmuch first performs a search for messages matching the query, then performs additional searches to find other messages in the resulting threads.

Removing inefficiencies and redundancies in these secondary searches results in a measured speedups of 1.5x for a typical search.

Faster searches (by doing fewer passes to gather message data)

Optimizing Xapian data access patterns (using a single pass to get all message-document data rather than a pass for each data type) results in a measured speedup of 1.7x for a typical search.

The benefits of this optimization combine with the preceding optimization. With both in place, Austin Clements measured a speedup of 2.5x for a search of all messages in his inbox (was 4.5s, now 1.8s). Thanks, Austin!

Faster initial indexing

More efficient indexing of new messages results in a measured speedup of 1.4x for the initial indexing of 3 GB of mail (1h 14m rather than 1h 46m). Thanks to Austin Clements and Michal Sojka.

Make "notmuch new" faster for unchanged directories

Optimizing to not do any further examinations of sub-directories when the filesystem indicates that a directory is unchanged from the last "notmuch new" results in measured speedups of 8.5 for the "No new mail" case, (was 0.77s, now 0.09s). Thanks to Karel Zak.

New emacs-interface features

Support for PGP/MIME (GnuPG)

Automatically indicate validity of signatures for multipart/signed messages. Automatically display decrypted content for multipart/encrypted messages. See the emacs variable notmuch-crypto-process-mime for more information. Note that this needs gpg-agent and a pinentry tool just as the command-line tools. Also note there is no support SMIME yet.

Output of pipe command is now displayed if pipe command fails

This is extremely useful in the common use case of piping a patch to "git am". If git fails to cleanly merge the patch the error messages from the failed merge are now clearly displayed to the user, (where previously they were silently hidden from the user).

User-selectable From address

A user can choose which configured email addresses should be used as the From address whenever composing a new message. To do so, simply press C-u before the command which will open a new message. Emacs will prompt for the from address to use.

The user can customize the "Notmuch Identities" setting in the notmuch customize group in order to use addresses other than those in the notmuch configuration file if desired.

The user can also choose to always be prompted for the from address when composing a new message (without having to use C-u) by setting the "Notmuch Always Prompt For Sender" option in the notmuch customize group.

Hiding of repeated subjects in collapsed thread view

In notmuch-show mode, if a collapsed message has the same subject as its parent, the subject is not shown.

Automatic detection and hiding of original message in top-posted message

When a message contains a line looking something like:

    ----- Original Message -----

emacs hides this and all subsequent lines as an "original message", (allowing the user to click or press enter on the "original message" button to display it again). This makes the handling of top-posted citations work much like conventional citations.

New hooks for running code when tags are modified

Some users want to perform additional actions whenever a particular tag is added/removed from a message. This could be used to, for example, interface with some external spam-recognition training tool. To facilitate this, two new hooks are added which can be modified in the following settings of the notmuch customize group:

    Notmuch Before Tag Hook
    Notmuch After Tag Hook

New optional support for hiding some multipart/alternative parts

Many emails are sent with redundant content within a multipart/alternative group (such as a text/plain part as well as a text/html part). Users can configure the setting:

    Notmuch Show All Multipart/Alternative Parts

to "off" in the notmuch customize group to have the interface automatically hide some part alternatives (such as text/html parts). This new part hiding is not configured by default yet because there's not yet a simple way to re-display such a hidden part if it is not actually redundant with a displayed part.

Better rendering of text/x-vcalendar parts

These parts are now displayed in a format suitable for use with the emacs diary.

Avoid getting confused by Subject and Author fields with newline characters

Replacing all characters with ASCII code less than 32 with a question mark.

Cleaner display of From line in email messages

Remove double quotes, and drop "name" if it's actually just a repeat of the email address.

Vim interface improvements

Felipe Contreras provided a number of updates for the vim interface:

  • Using sendmail directly rather than mailx,
  • Implementing archive in show view
  • Add support to mark as read in show and search views
  • Add delete commands
  • Various cleanups.

Bindings improvements

Ruby bindings are now much more complete

Including QUERY.sort, QUERY.to_s, MESSAGE.maildir_flags_to_tags, MESSAGE.tags_to_maildir_flags, and MESSAGE.get_filenames

Python bindings have been updated and extended

(docs online at

New bindings:

  • Message().get_filenames(), Message().tags_to_maildir_flags(), Message().maildir_flags_to_tags(), list(Threads()) and list(Messages) works now
  • Message().__cmp__() and __hash__()

These allow, for example:

    if msg1 == msg2: ...

As well as set arithmetic on Messages():

    s1, s2 = set(msgs1), set(msgs2)
    s2 -= s1


  • len(Messages()) as it exhausted the iterator

Use len(list(Messages())) or Query.count_messages() to get the length.

Added initial Go bindings in bindings/go

New build-system features

Added support for building in a directory other than the source directory

This can be used with the widely-supported idiom of simply running the configure script from some other directory:

    mkdir build
    cd build

Fix to save configure options for future, implicit runs of configure

When a user updates the source (such as with "git pull") calling "make" may cause an automatic re-run of the configure script. When this happens, the configure script will automatically be called with the same options the user originally passed in the most-recent manual invocation of configure.

New test-suite feature

Binary for bash for running test suite now located via PATH

The notmuch test suite requires a fairly recent version of bash (>= bash 4). As some systems supply an older version of bash at /bin/bash, the test suite is now updated to search $PATH to locate the bash binary. This allows users of systems with old /bin/bash to simply install bash >= 4 somewhere on $PATH before /bin and then use the test suite.

Support for testing output with a trailing newline

Previously, some tests would fail to notice a difference in the presence/absence of a trailing newline in a program output, (which has led to bugs in the past). Now, carefully-written tests (using test_expect_equal_file rather than test_expect_equal) will detect any change in the presence/absence of a trailing newline. Many tests are updated to take advantage of this.

Avoiding accessing user's $HOME while running test suite

The test suite now carefully creates its own HOME directory. This allows the test suite to be run with no existing HOME directory, (as some build systems apparently do), and avoids test-suite differences due to configuration files in the users HOME directory.

General bug fixes

Output all files for "notmuch search --output=files"

For the cases where multiple files have the same Message ID, previous versions of notmuch would output only one such file. This command is now fixed to correctly output all files.

Fixed spurious search results from "overlapped" indexing of addresses

This fixed a bug where a search for:

would incorrectly match a message sent:

    To: user@example,com,

Fix --output=json when search has no results

A bug present since notmuch 0.4 had caused searches with no results to produce an invalid json object. This is now fixed to cleanly return a valid json object representing an empty array "[]" as expected.

Fix the automatic detection of the From address for "notmuch reply" from the Received headers in some cases

Fix core dump on DragonFlyBSD due to -1 return value from sysconf(_SC_GETPW_R_SIZE_MAX)

Cleaned up several memory leaks

Eliminated a few, rare segmentation faults and a double-free

Fix libnotmuch library to only export notmuch API functions

Previous release of the notmuch library also exported some Xapian C++ exception type symbols. These were never part of the library interface and were never intended to be exported.

Emacs-interface bug fixes

Display any unexpected output or errors from "notmuch search" invocations

Previously any misformatted output or trailing error messages were silently ignored. This output is now clearly displayed. This fix was very helpful in identifying and fixing the bug described below.

Fix bug where some threads would be missing from large search results

When a search returned a "large" number of results, the emacs interface was incorrectly dropping one thread every time the output of the "notmuch search" process spanned the emacs read-buffer. This is now fixed.

Avoid re-compression of .gz files (and similar) when saving attachment

Emacs was being too clever for its own good and trying to re-compress pre-compressed .gz files when saving such attachments (potentially corrupting the attachment). The emacs interface is fixed to avoid this bug.

Fix hiding of a message when a previously-hidden citation is visible

Previously the citation would remain visible in this case. This is fixed so that hiding a message hides all parts.

Posted Fri Jul 1 00:00:00 2011