I want to retrieve new mails using a shell script and if the mail I just retrieved has attachments, these attachments should be saved to a folder. Before the next mail is retrieved, the attachments should be processed individually, e.g. the name should be checked and the file should be moved etc.

I know how to retrieve mails from the command line and save the attachments (with mutt), but then all mail attachments are saved. So I cannot check and process the attachments for each mail immediately after receiving it.

I would be glad about tips.

cu Andy


I came up with a script below. Please note that I'm not a programmer. But I believe this could be a good start for You.

Run it for each message like this ./script FILENAME

There are couple of things to finish:

  • duplicate filenames,
  • missing filenames,
  • Better handling of multipart/related.
#!/usr/bin/env python3
import os
import sys
import email

fp = open(sys.argv[1],"r")
msg = email.message_from_file(fp)

if not os.path.exists(attach_dir):

# get text/plain only
if msg.is_multipart():
  for part in msg.walk():
    ctype = part.get_content_type()

    if ctype not in content_types_to_skip:
      attachment = part.get_payload(decode=True)
      name = str(part.get_filename())
      fp = open(attach_dir + name,"wb")
| improve this answer | |
  • Cool start. Thank you, Jakub! – Ripley Mar 30 at 15:46

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