I’ve been moving some things around and set up my own mail hosting using Postfix and Dovecot. I set it up to save my mails into a Maildir format mailbox and then proceded to copy in old mails so that I could keep everything together. Unfortunately as I was doing this, the timestamps of the files went out of sync with the delivery times of the mails. This meant that some of the mails were sorted differently to what they should have been. I didn’t like that, so I set to work.
I found out that
touch can be used to set a timestamp on a file with the
This was a good start, but I didn’t want to have to edit each file, find the right
date, transform that date by hand and then run
touch on the file to set the timestamp,
especially as the filenames were all about 60 characters long and very similar. The
potential for making a mistake was too high.
That meant that some small amount of scripting was in order to solve the issue. I
grep to capture the date and then cut out the unwanted fields from the returned
line. There was only one field that I didn’t want, so instead of defining the ones I
did want, I defined the one I wanted to get rid of and then used the flag
to invert the selection. That was a nice handy tip to find.
Next, I created the timestamp in the format that
touch wanted. I used
date for this
and fed in the line from above. This was formatted using the
Lastly, put it all together,
touch the file and output a status message saying that
it was done.
This is a very simple script and could be simplified even further by combining the commands into one. I thought that would be less readable for future so I left it as is. It has to be run from the directory that holds the files, has no error checking and would probably bomb out badly if it met files that don’t match, but it worked for me and it might even work for you.
I added in the
head command to only leave one Date line. I was having problems with
some mails that had a date in there for an event
Here it is in all its glory.