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1.1 public-inbox

public-inbox is software for archiving public mailing lists. Archives can be exposed over HTTP. As examples, https://public-inbox.org/meta serves public-inbox’s own mailing list, and https://lore.kernel.org/lists.html hosts the archives of many Linux development mailing lists.

These web archives are good for searching, particularly if you don’t have all of the list’s messages on your local machine, or for linking to a message. On the other hand, the web interface isn’t convenient when you want to follow new activity on a list. To do that, you could of course subscribe to the mailing list, but public-inbox offers a few “pull methods” that you can use instead:

Finally, archives are exposed as one or more Git repositories, facilitating replication (see https://public-inbox.org/reproducibility.html). For example, you can clone the mailing list archives of ‘git.vger.kernel.org’ with

git clone --mirror https://lore.kernel.org/git/0 git/git/0.git

After the initial clone, new messages can be retrieved with via git fetch. Unsurprisingly git log is not a pleasant way to read a mailing list; instead this method is useful for mirroring the archive or bulk importing of the messages. (See https://public-inbox.org/clients.html for a list of some tools designed to work with public-inbox archives.)