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PUBLIC-INBOX-CONFIG(5) public-inbox user manual PUBLIC-INBOX-CONFIG(5)


public-inbox-config - public-inbox config file description




The public-inbox config file is parseable by git-config(1). This is a global configuration file for mapping/discovering all public-inboxes used by a particular user.



        [publicinbox "test"]
                inboxdir = /home/user/path/to/test.git
                ; multiple addresses are supported
                address =
                ; address =
                url =
                newsgroup = inbox.test
                ; backwards compatibility with public-inbox pre-1.2.0,
                ; "inboxdir" takes precedence over "mainrepo"
                mainrepo = /home/user/path/to/test.git


The email address of the public-inbox. May be specified more than once for merging multiple mailing lists (or migrating to new addresses). This must be specified at least once, the first value will be considered the primary address for informational purposes.

Default: none, required

The absolute path to the directory which hosts the public-inbox. This must be specified once.

This was previously known as "mainrepo", which remains supported, but "inboxdir" takes precedence.

Default: none, required

The primary URL for hosting the HTTP/HTTPS archives. Additional HTTP/HTTPS URLs may be specified via "$GIT_DIR/cloneurl" as documented in gitweb(1)

Default: none, optional

The NNTP group name for use with public-inbox-nntpd(1). This may be any newsgroup name with hierarchies delimited by ".". For example, the newsgroup for <> is: "inbox.comp.mail.public-inbox.meta"

It also configures the folder hierarchy used by public-inbox-imapd(1) as well as public-inbox-pop3d(1)

Omitting this for a given inbox will prevent the inbox from being served by public-inbox-nntpd(1), public-inbox-imapd(1), and/or public-inbox-pop3d(1)

Default: none, optional

See public-inbox-watch(1)
See public-inbox-watch(1)
The rfc2919 <> header without angle brackets for public-inbox-mda(1) deliveries and public-inbox-watch(1).

For public-inbox-watch users, this is a shortcut for specifying "publicinbox.$NAME.watchheader=List-Id:<>"

For public-inbox-mda users, this may be used to avoid recipient matching via "ORIGINAL_RECIPIENT" environment variable.

This may be specified multiple times for merging multiple mailing lists into a single public-inbox, only one "List-Id" header needs to match.

Default: none

This may be the full IMAP URL of an independently-run IMAP mirror.

Default: none

This may be the full NNTP URL of an independently-run mirror. For example, the inbox is mirrored by Gmane at "nntp://"

Default: none

The indexing level for public-inbox-index(1)

"basic" only requires DBD::SQLite(3pm) and provides all NNTP functionality along with thread-awareness in the WWW interface.

"medium" requires Search::Xapian(3pm) to provide full-text term search functionality in the WWW UI.

"full" also includes positional information used by Xapian to allow for searching for phrases using quoted text. (e.g. "looking for a complete sentence")

Default: "full"

Control indexing order for public-inbox-extindex(1), with ties broken by config file order. This only affects indexing and does not affect messages which are already indexed.

Default: 0

See "publicInbox.indexSequentialShard" in public-inbox-index(1)
If a digit, the maximum number of parallel git-http-backend(1) processes to allow for cloning this particular inbox.

If an alphanumeric value starting with a lowercase alphabetic character is specified, the inbox will use a "NAMED LIMITER" which can be shared by multiple inboxes.

Default: 32 (using a default limiter shared by all inboxes)

The nickname of a "coderepo" section associated with the inbox. May be specified more than once for M:N mapping of code repos to inboxes. If enabled, diff hunk headers in patch emails will link to the line numbers of blobs.

Default: none

May be used to control how reply instructions in the PSGI interface are displayed.

":none=dead inbox" may be specified to denote an inactive list ("dead inbox" may be replaced with another phrase).

A list of comma-delimited email addresses may be specified. This can be useful for dedicated inboxes for bot emails, but discussion happens on a separate mailing list/inbox.

Mirrors of existing centralized mailing lists may use ":list" here to redirect mail only to the configured inbox address. The use of ":list" is discouraged for new mailing lists, as it leads to centralization.

Default: :all

The local path name of a CSS file for the PSGI web interface. May contain the attributes "media", "title" and "href" which match the associated attributes of the HTML <style> tag. "href" may be specified to point to the URL of an remote CSS file and the path may be "/dev/null" or any empty file. Multiple files may be specified and will be included in the order specified.
This may be set to "none" to disable the use of SpamAssassin spamc(1) for filtering spam before it is imported into git history. Other spam filtering backends may be supported in the future.

Default: spamc

See public-inbox-watch(1)
See public-inbox-watch(1)
Set this to point to the hostname(s) of the public-inbox-imapd(1) instance. This is used to advertise the existence of the IMAP endpoint in the PublicInbox::WWW HTML interface.

Default: none

Same as "publicinbox.imapserver", but for the hostname(s) of the public-inbox-nntpd(1) instance.

Default: none

Same as "publicinbox.imapserver", but for the hostname(s) of the public-inbox-pop3d(1) instance.

Default: none

See "publicinbox.pop3state" in public-inbox-pop3d(1)
The size of an Atom feed for the inbox. If specified more than once, only the last value is used. Invalid values (<= 0) will be treated as the default value.

Default: 25

A comma-delimited list of listings to hide the inbox from.

Valid values are currently "www" and "manifest".

Default: none

The path to a git repository for "publicinbox.<name>.coderepo"
The URL of the cgit instance associated with the coderepo.

Default: none

A path to a cgitrc(5) file. "repo.url" directives in the cgitrc will be mapped to the nickname of a coderepo (without trailing slash), and "repo.path" directives map to "coderepo.<nick>.dir". Use of this directive allows admins of existing cgit installations to skip declaring coderepo sections and map inboxes directly to code repositories known to cgit.

Macro expansion (e.g. $HTTP_HOST) is not yet supported.

A path to the "cgit.cgi" executable. The PublicInbox::WWW interface can spawn cgit as a fallback if the publicinbox.cgitrc directive is configured.

Default: /var/www/htdocs/cgit/cgit.cgi or /usr/lib/cgit/cgit.cgi

A path to the data directory used by cgit for storing static files. Typically guessed based the location of "cgit.cgi" (from "publicinbox.cgitbin", but may be overridden.

Default: basename of "publicinbox.cgitbin", /var/www/htdocs/cgit/ or /usr/share/cgit/

See public-inbox-edit(1)
See public-inbox-index(1)
Enable a HTML listing style when the root path of the URL '/' is accessed. Valid values are:
  • all - Show all inboxes
  • 404 - Return a 404 page. This is useful to allow customization with Plack::App::Cascade(3pm)
  • match=domain - Only show inboxes with URLs which belong to the domain of the HTTP request

Default: 404

Controls the generation of a grokmirror-compatible gzipped JSON file at the top-level of the PSGI interface. You generally do not need to change this from the default.

Valid values are:

  • match=domain - Only include inboxes with URLs which belong to the domain of the HTTP request. This is compatible with virtual hosting where several domains come from the same host.
  • all - All inboxes are present in "manifest.js.gz", regardless of domain. Only use this if you're serving HTTP requests in a domain-agnostic manner.
  • 404 - "manifest.js.gz" will only contain an empty JSON array. This does NOT affect "$INBOX_URL/manifest.js.gz", which will always contain all git repos used by the inbox at $INBOX_URL

Default: "match=domain"

Whether to obfuscate email addresses in the PublicInbox::WWW HTML interface.

Default: false

A space-delimited list of well-known addresses and domains that should not be obfuscated when "publicinbox.$NAME.obfuscate" is true (e.g., "" and ""). This may be specified more than once, in which case the values are merged.

Default: none

The directory of an external index. See public-inbox-extindex(1) for more details.
Identical to "publicinbox.<name>.url", but for external indices
Identical to "publicinbox.<name>.coderepo", but for external indices. Code repos may be freely associated with any number of public inboxes and external indices.


Named limiters are useful for preventing large inboxes from monopolizing (or overloading) the server. Since serving git clones (via git-http-backend(1) can be memory-intensive for large inboxes, it makes sense to put large inboxes on a named limiter with a low max value; while smaller inboxes can use the default limiter.

"RLIMIT_*" keys may be set to enforce resource limits for a particular limiter (BSD::Resource(3pm) is required).

Default named-limiters are prefixed with "-". Currently, the "-cgit" named limiter is reserved for instances spawning cgit via "publicinbox.cgitrc"

The maximum number of parallel processes for the given limiter.
The maximum core size, CPU time, or data size processes run with the given limiter will use. This may be comma-separated to distinguish soft and hard limits. The word "INFINITY" is accepted as the RLIM_INFINITY constant (if supported by your OS).

See setrlimit(2) for more info on the behavior of RLIMIT_CORE, RLIMIT_CPU, and RLIMIT_DATA for you operating system.


        ; big inboxes which require lots of memory to clone:
        [publicinbox "big1"]
                inboxdir = /path/to/big1
                address =
                httpbackendmax = big
        [publicinbox "big2"]
                inboxdir = /path/to/big2
                address =
                httpbackendmax = big
        ; tiny inboxes which are easily cloned:
        [publicinbox "tiny1"]
                inboxdir = /path/to/tiny1
                address =
        [publicinbox "tiny2"]
                inboxdir = /path/to/tiny2
                address =
        [publicinboxlimiter "big"]
                max = 4

In the above example, the "big1" and "big2" are limited to four parallel git-http-backend(1) processes between them.

However, "tiny1" and "tiny2" will share the default limiter which means there can be 32 git-http-backend(1) processes between them.


Used to override the default "~/.public-inbox/config" value.


Feedback welcome via plain-text mail to <>

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Copyright all contributors <>

License: AGPL-3.0+ <>


git(1), git-config(1), public-inbox-daemon(8), public-inbox-mda(1), public-inbox-watch(1), grokmirror <>

1993-10-02 public-inbox.git