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I am looking for a command-line tool for Unix (ideally, available in a Debian / Ubuntu package) for extracting all MIME parts from a multipart email message (or the body from a singlepart with an interesting content-type, for that matter).

I have been using the mimeexplode tool which ships with the Perl MIME::Tools package, but it's not really production quality (the script is included as an example only, and has issues with what it regards as "evil" character sets) and I could certainly roll my own script based on that, but if this particular wheel has already been innovated, perhaps I shouldn't.

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Via another question I came across which looks very nice, but it's not available as an Ubuntu package as far as I can tell. – tripleee Jun 11 '12 at 5:52

4 Answers 4

up vote 8 down vote accepted

munpack from mpack worked for me


sudo apt-get install mpack
munpack -f mime-attachments-file
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Overall a nice solution. Still, as of version 1.6, it does not cope correctly with =<cr><lf> sequences in quoted-printable text (I get a spurious 0xFF byte for each escaped line break in the input). This seems to have been reported in 2011, but still not fixed: – tripleee Oct 23 '14 at 5:35

The mu project seems to include a mu-extract command that looks as if it might do what you want. And it appears to be available as an Ubuntu package already.

NB: I haven't actually used this tool myself.

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sudo apt-get install maildir-utils && mu extract -a <file> – Richard Hansen Sep 20 '13 at 20:35
mu: error: init_mime_msg: cannot construct mime message for noname.eml – Nicolas Raoul Oct 27 '14 at 6:43
If that's a question, you probably want to post an actual question. This answer is over two years old. – larsks Oct 28 '14 at 0:48

I needed to unpack a chrome dmp file in order to extract the minidump for analysis on Ubuntu 12.04.4. I found that the mime file had been written in DOS format despite being in a Linux environment, so neither mpack or maildir-utils worked out of the box. The following steps worked for me:

sudo apt-get install dos2unix mpack
cp chromium-renderer-minidump-c3303784f176fb58.dmp backup
dos2unix -f chromium-renderer-minidump-c3303784f176fb58.dmp
munpack chromium-renderer-minidump-c3303784f176fb58.dmp

The -f on dos2unix is required to force the conversion on a binary file. The maildir-utils mu program crashed trying to read the dmp file even after dos2unix conversion.

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  • mpack tools, and munpack
  • GNU base64 decoder
  • mimedecode
  • mha-decode
  • UUDeview
  • OpenSSL
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-1 I am familiar with all of these except mha-decode and mimedecode, and at least none of the others accept an email message as input, and produces its attachments as output. I will take a look at mha-decode and mimedecode, still. – tripleee Mar 29 '12 at 17:35

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