Latest version: 0.9.0
Released on 2011-07-09

What is it?

archivemail is a tool for archiving and compressing old email in mailboxes. It moves messages older than the specified number of days to a separate mbox format mailbox that is compressed with gzip. It can also just delete old email rather than archive it.

What can it do for me?

Maybe some of your mailboxes are quite large (eg, over 10,000 messages) and they are taking a while to load in your mail reader. Perhaps they are taking up too much space on your disk. Archiving old messages to a separate, compressed mailbox will mean:

  1. Your mail reader will get a huge performance boost loading and reading your mail.
  2. You will be taking up less disk space, since old mail will be compressed. (Mail usually compresses quite nicely.)
  3. You won't be confronted with semi-obsolete mail all the time.

You can also use archivemail as a simple backup tool.

Features overview


The archivemail manpage is the primary documentation for archivemail. To see what has changed in the latest version, check the release notes. If you want to have a closer look at the current development status, here's the CHANGELOG and the TODO list, fresh from the repository.

Where can I get it?

You can grab the latest version of archivemail directly from the archivemail download area at Sourceforge. There should be up-to-date binary RPM packages at the OpenSUSE build service for SUSE Linux and Fedora Core. Also, many Linux distributions provide packages; e.g. there is a Debian package.

archivemail is written in Python, and hacking it is easy and fun; you can check out the source from the git repository with the following command:

git clone git://

See also the short introduction to git access at sourceforge.

Getting involved


archivemail requires Python 2.3 or newer. It also uses some optional python modules, but these should be pretty much standard; if you get an ImportError nonetheless, please report it, thanks.


This software is licensed under the terms of the GNU GPL, either version 2 of the license, or any later version.


archivemail was written by Paul Rodger <paul at paulrodger dot com> and is currently maintained by Peter Poeml <poeml at suse dot de>, Nikolaus Schulz <> and Brandon Knitter. Logo