Elric's random thoughts in idle times

"Why stop now, when I'm just starting to hate it?" – Marvin the robot


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Mutt and Gmail with offline mail

I’m just new on Mutt, and already hooked. The initial introduction and setup to be able to use Mutt has been interesting, and at times, hard, yet the flexibility and ease of use (once you learn, and properly configured :) just set it apart. My setup is basically bits and pieces of different sources of information, plus my own additions.

This is intended to be a simple guide for people new into the mail concept as different from Outlook, Thunderbird, etc… written by a person new to this.
Mutt is very different from other MUA, and its definitely worth the effort to learn how to use it.

There are various sources of information on how to properly configure a Mutt installation (see links at the bottom), yet every person has its own settings, and Mutt is installed with no preset behavior, yet full of options. You can access your IMAP server directly with Mutt, but this tool is actually meant to be used as a MUA, and nothing else. Mutt actually encourages it’s usage through the use of external applications, and in some cases, it is necessary to do so. For more information on the different parts involved in mailing with a client, see Mail Concept at MuttWiki.

What I have now for my email is offlineimap + mutt + vim + abook + msmtp.

I do not use a MDA (mail delivery agent) like procmail to sort my mail into folders. This would be necessary with POP, but nowadays I try to setup as much as I can at gmail’s website through folders/labels and filters so I get my mail filtered and organized regardless of the MUA I may be using. You can always use folder-hooks (and much, much more) for further tuning.
Since Mutt doesn’t provide an editor, I configured Vim as the external editor, which seems the way to go :) (No complains on my side).

Regarding the address book, Mutt offers the use of aliases. However, it’s pretty limited, yet Mutt offers a great interaction with abook, a very nice address book for the terminal.

You’ll find how to piece it all together in the following links.

[1] muttrc

[2] offlineimap and msmtp

[3] macros and keybindings

[4] mutt tips

  • Abook
  • Mutt and Vim
  • Foldernames with spaces
  • Sidebar – mutt-patched

    [5] colors

    More links of interest:

    Cedric’s Duval Mutt page
    Andrew’s comprehensive guide
    Go crazy with a million examples! Thanks to Redondos

    Written by elric80

    November 21, 2009 at 4:28 pm

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