Mutt questions

Originally posted at’s blog site:

I am working on my own website, It is Apache on Linux, ran by a hosting company. I got access to SSH, MySql, and most of Linux utilities. I am planning to use WordPress and host a blog there too. That will be my primary blogging site, including my thoughts on Linux, MySql, personal musings, and whatnot (cannot believe I used the word). It is still a work in progress. Hopefully I can get it up and running within a month.

Anyway, the real reason I post this is to seek advice / pointers on Mutt. I am planning to install Mutt on this Linux machine and use it as my primary email client. I want to use it primarily because it allows me to use my favorite editor, VI / VIM. I also heard from people that it is keyboard driven, which I like too. The fact it is light weight also helps.

Here are my questions:
1. Installation: anything advice, how easy or difficult it is. It looks like that something special needs to be done if you are going to use SSL. Since I don’t have root access to the Linux box, will I encounter problems when install Mutt?
2. Configuration: what do I need to do to configure it so I can have access to multiple POP or IMAP accounts? It looks like I need to play with .muttrc file.

That’s it for now. Email or comment below if you have ideas/suggestions. Thanks a lot.

2 responses to “Mutt questions”

  1. Mutt is pretty simple to install and use. It shouldn’t be necessary to install as root if you’re just using the imap mode, or if the mail spool directory is in your home directory.

    Accessing multiple POP and IMAP accounts isn’t too hard. If you have multiple folders on more than one imap server, you lose a little ease of use. For example, you can do:

    set folder=imap://server/INBOX

    and then open any folder on server with +foldername

    It’s hard to do that with multiple servers.

    On the other hand, you can do:
    mailboxes +folder1 +folder2 imap://server2/INBOX imap://server2/INBOX.subfolder3

    and that’ll point to multiple servers. You can’t use + expansion with server2 but those folders will show up when you hit c (change mailbox) if they have new mail, or if you hit c tab tab, which gives you a list of all your configured mailboxes.

  2. Thanks dbt.

    My original purpose was to check my gmail on this box.

    On my web server that I have SSH access, the mail utilities provided are limited (No pine, postfix, exim, elm, mutt, msmtp). It does have fetchmail and procmail, and I successfully got them work together so I can download from gmail’s pop3 server. I can view it using vi and even this program called mail. Initially I thought gmail provides IMAP. I was mistaken.

    I then downloaded mutt source code. I followed ./configure –help and I thought I may need to set prefix configure and enable SSL (for gmail), so that it uses my home directory and does not touch /usr/bin or /usr/sbin. But before I can do that, I did a dry run and configure came back telling me that the gcc on the machine is not ANSI compliant. Because of that, I could not do MAKE and MAKE Install. I am not a power Linux user or C programmer by any means, so I am a little resigned at this point.

    Plus, to be able to send gmail, I will have to download msmtp or nbsmtp or some other smtp, so at this point I don’t know if it is possible at all for me to do it.

    I will continue to play around with it. In the meantime, I will setup auto-forwarding gmail to my Yahoo mail, SSH into my server, and check Yahoo mail using lynx:)

    Thanks a lot. As I said earlier, I am learning, so feel free to point out if I am totally off-target because of newbie inexperience:)

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