posterity is a set of read-only email servers designed specifically for making email archives publicly available. (The name of this package is pronounced with a long "o", as in "post".) These servers can complement or replace a traditional mailing list and web archive, taking a step toward IM2000. So far, there is only a POP3 server, but I'm working on IMAP too.

This package is discussed on the prjware list. New releases are announced on the prjware-announce list.

I gave a talk on posterity at Notacon 2004. You can listen to a recording and follow along with the slides.


posterity is devoid of warranty and is distributed under the GNU General Public License, version 2. But that doesn't mean it's necessarily a good idea for you to distribute modified versions. (That includes repackaging.) I'd like to know if you plan to do that.

This link always points to the latest version (currently 2021.04.30).

Older versions are published for historical interest.


To build posterity, you need Laurent Bercot's skalibs package. Edit conf-compile/depend_* as necessary during installation.


slashpackage is a good thing. You can read more about it here. If you don't already have /package, create it (on any filesystem you like, as long as it's accessible by the name “/package”):

# mkdir -p /usr/local/package
# ln -s /usr/local/package /
# chmod +t /package/.

Then run sp-install:

# sp-install posterity-VERSION.tar.bz2

Or, if you like to do things manually, unpack the tarball and run package/install:

# cd /package
# bunzip2 < /path/to/posterity-VERSION.tar.bz2 |
> tar -xpf -
# cd mail/posterity-VERSION
# package/install

Read package/README and package/INSTALL for more detailed instructions.


Related projects

public-inbox has a broadly similar goal.

Current known bugs