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Re: Opening 300MB sent mail file

On 05/30/2007 11:45 AM, george@georgesbasement.com wrote:
What's a workable method of opening a 300MB file that I saved
several years ago ?  It's from Mozilla's email client, and it
was an unorganized Sent Mail file.  It's one huge concatenated
set of emails.  When I've tried to open it so far, I see 100%
memory usage right away, but after long waits (half an hour)
progress appears to slow to a crawl. When I most recently tried
to open it with Mozilla-Thunderbird, I could read the beginning
of the file (starting in 1998 !) but the screensaver came on
before it opened all the way, and that seems to put the kibosh
on finishing ...

I have also tried OpenOffice, AbiWord, Mozilla-Firefox as well,
with about the same result.

My system has 500MB of memory and 10GB of free disk space that I
can be sure of.

Are there any debian app's which can handle this file ?

It appears to be plain text ... with embedded jpg's and pdf's
of course.


Mailutils, libmailtools-perl (for Perl programmers), mboxgrep, mutt,
mailx, and probably several others can do it.

I suggest splitting the file up into ten, 30MB parts ASAP. Since you probably already have mailx installed, it's probably easy for you to create a mailx script to split the messages into smaller groups. I just created this example script:

save 1-30 part1.mbox
save 31-60 part2.mbox
save 61-90 part3.mbox

I tested it this way:

mailx -f my-mailbox.mbox < mailx.scr

Of course, my mailbox is smaller than yours. Finding the cutoff points will be a challenge, and I don't know how to get mailx to report the highest message number; without that number, and you'll have to guess at the cutoff points.

I advise you to have plenty of swap space--even when using the very lean
console-mode program mailx--to edit your mailbox. Also disable X Windows
and any other memory-hogging processes before trying to open that file.

I hope some of this helps.

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