public-inbox-purge - Man Page

erase messages from a public inbox and its history


        # requires ~/.public-inbox/config
        public-inbox-purge --all </path/to/message-to-purge

        # for testing with unconfigured inboxes:
        public-inbox-purge $INBOX_DIR </path/to/message-to-purge


public-inbox-purge allows removing entire messages in a given inbox from history.  It is only intended as a last resort, as it will cause discontiguous git history and draw more attention to the sensitive data in mirrors.

For removing spam, public-inbox-learn(1) is preferable as it preserves contiguous git history.

For editing sensitive information out of messages, consider public-inbox-edit(1), instead, but keep in mind it still leads to discontiguous git history.



Purge the message in all inboxes configured in ~/.public-inbox/config. This is an alternative to specifying individual inboxes directories on the command-line.



The default config file, normally “~/.public-inbox/config”. See public-inbox-config(5)


Only public-inbox-v2-format(5) inboxes are supported.

This is safe to run while normal inbox writing tools (public-inbox-mda(1), public-inbox-watch(1), public-inbox-learn(1)) are active.

Running this in parallel with public-inbox-xcpdb(1) or "public-inbox-index --reindex" can lead to errors or purged data remaining indexed.

Incremental public-inbox-index(1) (without --reindex) is fine.

Keep in mind this is a last resort, as it will be disruptive to anyone using git(1) to mirror the inbox being purged.


Feedback welcome via plain-text mail to <>

The mail archives are hosted at <> and <http://4uok3hntl7oi7b4uf4rtfwefqeexfzil2w6kgk2jn5z2f764irre7byd.onion/meta/>

See Also

public-inbox-edit(1), public-inbox-learn(1)

Referenced By

public-inbox-edit(1), public-inbox-index(1), public-inbox-xcpdb(1).

1993-10-02 public-inbox.git public-inbox user manual