notmuch-search-terms(7) - phpMan
NOTMUCH-SEARCH-TERMS(7) notmuch NOTMUCH-SEARCH-TERMS(7)
notmuch-search-terms - syntax for notmuch queries
notmuch count [option ...] <search-term> ...
notmuch dump [--format=(batch-tag|sup)] [--] [--output=<file>] [--] [<search-term> ...]
notmuch search [option ...] <search-term> ...
notmuch show [option ...] <search-term> ...
notmuch tag +<tag> ... -<tag> [--] <search-term> ...
Several notmuch commands accept a common syntax for search terms.
The search terms can consist of free-form text (and quoted phrases) which will match all
messages that contain all of the given terms/phrases in the body, the subject, or any of
the sender or recipient headers.
As a special case, a search string consisting of exactly a single asterisk ("*") will
match all messages.
In addition to free text, the following prefixes can be used to force terms to match
against specific portions of an email, (where <brackets> indicate user-supplied values):
· tag:<tag> (or is:<tag>)
· path:<directory-path> or path:<directory-path>/**
The from: prefix is used to match the name or address of the sender of an email message.
The to: prefix is used to match the names or addresses of any recipient of an email mes‐
sage, (whether To, Cc, or Bcc).
Any term prefixed with subject: will match only text from the subject of an email. Search‐
ing for a phrase in the subject is supported by including quotation marks around the
phrase, immediately following subject:.
The attachment: prefix can be used to search for specific filenames (or extensions) of
attachments to email messages.
For tag: and is: valid tag values include inbox and unread by default for new messages
added by notmuch new as well as any other tag values added manually with notmuch tag.
For id:, message ID values are the literal contents of the Message-ID: header of email
messages, but without the '<', '>' delimiters.
The thread: prefix can be used with the thread ID values that are generated internally by
notmuch (and do not appear in email messages). These thread ID values can be seen in the
first column of output from notmuch search
The path: prefix searches for email messages that are in particular directories within the
mail store. The directory must be specified relative to the top-level maildir (and without
the leading slash). By default, path: matches messages in the specified directory only.
The "/**" suffix can be used to match messages in the specified directory and all its sub‐
directories recursively. path:"" matches messages in the root of the mail store and,
likewise, path:** matches all messages.
The folder: prefix searches for email messages by maildir or MH folder. For MH-style fold‐
ers, this is equivalent to path:. For maildir, this includes messages in the "new" and
"cur" subdirectories. The exact syntax for maildir folders depends on your mail configura‐
tion. For maildir++, folder:"" matches the inbox folder (which is the root in maildir++),
other folder names always start with ".", and nested folders are separated by "."s, such
as folder:.classes.topology. For "file system" maildir, the inbox is typically
folder:INBOX and nested folders are separated by slashes, such as folder:classes/topology.
Both path: and folder: will find a message if any copy of that message is in the specific
The date: prefix can be used to restrict the results to only messages within a particular
time range (based on the Date: header) with a range syntax of:
See DATE AND TIME SEARCH below for details on the range expression, and supported syntax
for <since> and <until> date and time expressions.
The time range can also be specified using timestamps with a syntax of:
Each timestamp is a number representing the number of seconds since 1970-01-01 00:00:00
In addition to individual terms, multiple terms can be combined with Boolean operators (
and, or, not , etc.). Each term in the query will be implicitly connected by a logical AND
if no explicit operator is provided, (except that terms with a common prefix will be
implicitly combined with OR until we get Xapian defect #402 fixed).
Parentheses can also be used to control the combination of the Boolean operators, but will
have to be protected from interpretation by the shell, (such as by putting quotation marks
around any parenthesized expression).
DATE AND TIME SEARCH
notmuch understands a variety of standard and natural ways of expressing dates and times,
both in absolute terms ("2012-10-24") and in relative terms ("yesterday"). Any number of
relative terms can be combined ("1 hour 25 minutes") and an absolute date/time can be com‐
bined with relative terms to further adjust it. A non-exhaustive description of the syntax
supported for absolute and relative terms is given below.
The range expression
The above expression restricts the results to only messages from <since> to <until>, based
on the Date: header.
<since> and <until> can describe imprecise times, such as "yesterday". In this case,
<since> is taken as the earliest time it could describe (the beginning of yesterday) and
<until> is taken as the latest time it could describe (the end of yesterday). Similarly,
date:january..february matches from the beginning of January to the end of February.
Currently, we do not support spaces in range expressions. You can replace the spaces with
'_', or (in most cases) '-', or (in some cases) leave the spaces out altogether. Examples
in this man page use spaces for clarity.
Open-ended ranges are supported (since Xapian 1.2.1), i.e. it's possible to specify
date:..<until> or date:<since>.. to not limit the start or end time, respectively.
Pre-1.2.1 Xapian does not report an error on open ended ranges, but it does not work as
Entering date:expr without ".." (for example date:yesterday) won't work, as it's not
interpreted as a range expression at all. You can achieve the expected result by duplicat‐
ing the expr both sides of ".." (for example date:yesterday..yesterday).
Relative date and time
[N|number] (years|months|weeks|days|hours|hrs|minutes|mins|seconds|secs) [...]
All refer to past, can be repeated and will be accumulated.
Units can be abbreviated to any length, with the otherwise ambiguous single m being m for
minutes and M for months.
Number can also be written out one, two, ..., ten, dozen, hundred. Additionally, the unit
may be preceded by "last" or "this" (e.g., "last week" or "this month").
When combined with absolute date and time, the relative date and time specification will
be relative from the specified absolute date and time.
Examples: 5M2d, two weeks
Supported absolute time formats
· H[H]:MM[:SS] [(am|a.m.|pm|p.m.)]
· H[H] (am|a.m.|pm|p.m.)
· Examples: 17:05, 5pm
Supported absolute date formats
· D[D][(st|nd|rd|th)] Mon[thname] [YYYY]
· Mon[thname] D[D][(st|nd|rd|th)] [YYYY]
Month names can be abbreviated at three or more characters.
Weekday names can be abbreviated at three or more characters.
Examples: 2012-07-31, 31-07-2012, 7/31/2012, August 3
Some time zone codes, e.g. UTC, EET.
notmuch(1), notmuch-config(1), notmuch-count(1), notmuch-dump(1), notmuch-hooks(5), not‐
much-insert(1), notmuch-new(1), notmuch-reply(1), notmuch-restore(1), notmuch-search(1),
Carl Worth and many others
2014, Carl Worth and many others
0.18.2 October 25, 2014 NOTMUCH-SEARCH-TERMS(7)