Elm Email Filters
Elm email filters are for users whose email is delivered directly to a local UNIX machine rather than ITS's central email system, email.usc.edu. If your account resides on email.usc.edu, you should view the instructions for USC Web Mail filters.
The Elm filtering program works for all email delivered and stored on the local UNIX sytem; it does not depend on client you use to check your local mail.
Email filtering is used to automatically process your incoming mail. You can set filters to delete messages (for example, those tagged as spam) or to put them into a separate folder (for example, messages from a particular distribution list).
Filtering uses the forwarding mechanism to intercept email before it is delivered to your account. The filter program looks at your filter-rules file to see how to filter the message and which actions to carry out.
How to Enable Filtering
To enable filtering, the system must know to run the filter whenever a message is received. To do this, follow these steps:
- Log into the UNIX system, and make sure that you are in your home directory, by running the command cd.
- Open the .forward file in an editor (i.e., pico, emacs, vi, etc...).
- At the beginning of the .forward file, enter:
Include the quotation marks. If you are currently forwarding your email to another account, a comma must separate this command from any email addresses on the same line, or the command must be put on its own line.
This will cause any mail you receive to be sent to the filter program before it is stored.
- Create a .elm directory (mkdir .elm) and move into it (cd .elm).
- In your text editor, open the filter-rules file. This file will contain the rules used for filtering, discussed on the Elm Filters Rules page.
- After creating all necessary filter rules, save the file and exit the editor. The filtering program should observe any rules you have specified once the file is saved.
For information on creating filter rules, please see the Elm Filters Rules page.
More information about Elm filters, as well as additional commands for the filter program, can be viewed by running the command man filter at the UNIX prompt.
The Customer Support Center can assist you with setting up filters for your mail. However, consultants will not extensively troubleshoot filter rules, nor can they assist users who need finer rules than Elm filters allow or who need to get a specific program to work--either as part of a filter rule (execute or executec), or to perform the filtering itself.
Users requiring assistance can either call the ITS Customer Support Center at 213-740-5555, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.