The Mutt E-Mail Client

Michael Elkins

version 1.8.3 (2017-05-23)

Abstract

All mail clients suck. This one just sucks less. — me, circa 1995


Table of Contents

1. Introduction
1. Mutt Home Page
2. Mailing Lists
3. Getting Mutt
4. Mutt Online Resources
5. Contributing to Mutt
6. Typographical Conventions
7. Copyright
2. Getting Started
1. Core Concepts
2. Screens and Menus
2.1. Index
2.2. Pager
2.3. File Browser
2.4. Sidebar
2.5. Help
2.6. Compose Menu
2.7. Alias Menu
2.8. Attachment Menu
3. Moving Around in Menus
4. Editing Input Fields
4.1. Introduction
4.2. History
5. Reading Mail
5.1. The Message Index
5.2. The Pager
5.3. Threaded Mode
5.4. Miscellaneous Functions
6. Sending Mail
6.1. Introduction
6.2. Editing the Message Header
6.3. Sending Cryptographically Signed/Encrypted Messages
6.4. Sending Format=Flowed Messages
7. Forwarding and Bouncing Mail
8. Postponing Mail
3. Configuration
1. Location of Initialization Files
2. Syntax of Initialization Files
3. Address Groups
4. Defining/Using Aliases
5. Changing the Default Key Bindings
6. Defining Aliases for Character Sets
7. Setting Variables Based Upon Mailbox
8. Keyboard Macros
9. Using Color and Mono Video Attributes
10. Message Header Display
10.1. Header Display
10.2. Selecting Headers
10.3. Ordering Displayed Headers
11. Alternative Addresses
12. Mailing Lists
13. Using Multiple Spool Mailboxes
14. Monitoring Incoming Mail
15. User-Defined Headers
16. Specify Default Save Mailbox
17. Specify Default Fcc: Mailbox When Composing
18. Specify Default Save Filename and Default Fcc: Mailbox at Once
19. Change Settings Based Upon Message Recipients
20. Change Settings Before Formatting a Message
21. Choosing the Cryptographic Key of the Recipient
22. Adding Key Sequences to the Keyboard Buffer
23. Executing Functions
24. Message Scoring
25. Spam Detection
26. Setting and Querying Variables
26.1. Variable Types
26.2. Commands
26.3. User-Defined Variables
26.4. Type Conversions
27. Reading Initialization Commands From Another File
28. Removing Hooks
29. Format Strings
29.1. Basic usage
29.2. Conditionals
29.3. Filters
29.4. Padding
30. Control allowed header fields in a mailto: URL
4. Advanced Usage
1. Character Set Handling
2. Regular Expressions
3. Patterns: Searching, Limiting and Tagging
3.1. Pattern Modifier
3.2. Simple Searches
3.3. Nesting and Boolean Operators
3.4. Searching by Date
4. Marking Messages
5. Using Tags
6. Using Hooks
6.1. Message Matching in Hooks
6.2. Mailbox Matching in Hooks
7. Managing the Environment
8. External Address Queries
9. Mailbox Formats
10. Mailbox Shortcuts
11. Handling Mailing Lists
12. Display Munging
13. New Mail Detection
13.1. How New Mail Detection Works
13.2. Polling For New Mail
13.3. Calculating Mailbox Message Counts
14. Editing Threads
14.1. Linking Threads
14.2. Breaking Threads
15. Delivery Status Notification (DSN) Support
16. Start a WWW Browser on URLs
17. Miscellany
5. Mutt's MIME Support
1. Using MIME in Mutt
1.1. MIME Overview
1.2. Viewing MIME Messages in the Pager
1.3. The Attachment Menu
1.4. The Compose Menu
2. MIME Type Configuration with mime.types
3. MIME Viewer Configuration with Mailcap
3.1. The Basics of the Mailcap File
3.2. Secure Use of Mailcap
3.3. Advanced Mailcap Usage
3.4. Example Mailcap Files
4. MIME Autoview
5. MIME Multipart/Alternative
6. Attachment Searching and Counting
7. MIME Lookup
6. Optional Features
1. General Notes
1.1. Enabling/Disabling Features
1.2. URL Syntax
2. SSL/TLS Support
3. POP3 Support
4. IMAP Support
4.1. The IMAP Folder Browser
4.2. Authentication
5. SMTP Support
6. Managing Multiple Accounts
7. Local Caching
7.1. Header Caching
7.2. Body Caching
7.3. Cache Directories
7.4. Maintenance
8. Exact Address Generation
9. Sending Anonymous Messages via Mixmaster
10. Sidebar
10.1. Introduction
10.2. Variables
10.3. Functions
10.4. Commands
10.5. Colors
10.6. Sort
10.7. See Also
11. Compressed Folders Feature
11.1. Introduction
11.2. Commands
7. Security Considerations
1. Passwords
2. Temporary Files
3. Information Leaks
3.1. Message-Id: headers
3.2. mailto:-style Links
4. External Applications
8. Performance Tuning
1. Reading and Writing Mailboxes
2. Reading Messages from Remote Folders
3. Searching and Limiting
9. Reference
1. Command-Line Options
2. Configuration Commands
3. Configuration Variables
3.1. abort_nosubject
3.2. abort_unmodified
3.3. alias_file
3.4. alias_format
3.5. allow_8bit
3.6. allow_ansi
3.7. arrow_cursor
3.8. ascii_chars
3.9. askbcc
3.10. askcc
3.11. assumed_charset
3.12. attach_charset
3.13. attach_format
3.14. attach_sep
3.15. attach_split
3.16. attribution
3.17. attribution_locale
3.18. auto_tag
3.19. autoedit
3.20. beep
3.21. beep_new
3.22. bounce
3.23. bounce_delivered
3.24. braille_friendly
3.25. certificate_file
3.26. charset
3.27. change_folder_next
3.28. check_mbox_size
3.29. check_new
3.30. collapse_unread
3.31. compose_format
3.32. config_charset
3.33. confirmappend
3.34. confirmcreate
3.35. connect_timeout
3.36. content_type
3.37. copy
3.38. crypt_autoencrypt
3.39. crypt_autopgp
3.40. crypt_autosign
3.41. crypt_autosmime
3.42. crypt_confirmhook
3.43. crypt_opportunistic_encrypt
3.44. crypt_replyencrypt
3.45. crypt_replysign
3.46. crypt_replysignencrypted
3.47. crypt_timestamp
3.48. crypt_use_gpgme
3.49. crypt_use_pka
3.50. crypt_verify_sig
3.51. date_format
3.52. default_hook
3.53. delete
3.54. delete_untag
3.55. digest_collapse
3.56. display_filter
3.57. dotlock_program
3.58. dsn_notify
3.59. dsn_return
3.60. duplicate_threads
3.61. edit_headers
3.62. editor
3.63. encode_from
3.64. entropy_file
3.65. envelope_from_address
3.66. escape
3.67. fast_reply
3.68. fcc_attach
3.69. fcc_clear
3.70. flag_safe
3.71. folder
3.72. folder_format
3.73. followup_to
3.74. force_name
3.75. forward_decode
3.76. forward_decrypt
3.77. forward_edit
3.78. forward_format
3.79. forward_quote
3.80. from
3.81. gecos_mask
3.82. hdrs
3.83. header
3.84. header_cache
3.85. header_cache_compress
3.86. header_cache_pagesize
3.87. help
3.88. hidden_host
3.89. hide_limited
3.90. hide_missing
3.91. hide_thread_subject
3.92. hide_top_limited
3.93. hide_top_missing
3.94. history
3.95. history_file
3.96. honor_disposition
3.97. honor_followup_to
3.98. hostname
3.99. idn_decode
3.100. idn_encode
3.101. ignore_linear_white_space
3.102. ignore_list_reply_to
3.103. imap_authenticators
3.104. imap_check_subscribed
3.105. imap_delim_chars
3.106. imap_headers
3.107. imap_idle
3.108. imap_keepalive
3.109. imap_list_subscribed
3.110. imap_login
3.111. imap_pass
3.112. imap_passive
3.113. imap_peek
3.114. imap_pipeline_depth
3.115. imap_servernoise
3.116. imap_user
3.117. implicit_autoview
3.118. include
3.119. include_onlyfirst
3.120. indent_string
3.121. index_format
3.122. ispell
3.123. keep_flagged
3.124. mail_check
3.125. mail_check_recent
3.126. mail_check_stats
3.127. mail_check_stats_interval
3.128. mailcap_path
3.129. mailcap_sanitize
3.130. maildir_header_cache_verify
3.131. maildir_trash
3.132. maildir_check_cur
3.133. mark_macro_prefix
3.134. mark_old
3.135. markers
3.136. mask
3.137. mbox
3.138. mbox_type
3.139. menu_context
3.140. menu_move_off
3.141. menu_scroll
3.142. message_cache_clean
3.143. message_cachedir
3.144. message_format
3.145. meta_key
3.146. metoo
3.147. mh_purge
3.148. mh_seq_flagged
3.149. mh_seq_replied
3.150. mh_seq_unseen
3.151. mime_forward
3.152. mime_forward_decode
3.153. mime_forward_rest
3.154. mix_entry_format
3.155. mixmaster
3.156. move
3.157. narrow_tree
3.158. net_inc
3.159. pager
3.160. pager_context
3.161. pager_format
3.162. pager_index_lines
3.163. pager_stop
3.164. pgp_auto_decode
3.165. pgp_autoinline
3.166. pgp_check_exit
3.167. pgp_clearsign_command
3.168. pgp_decode_command
3.169. pgp_decrypt_command
3.170. pgp_decryption_okay
3.171. pgp_encrypt_only_command
3.172. pgp_encrypt_sign_command
3.173. pgp_entry_format
3.174. pgp_export_command
3.175. pgp_getkeys_command
3.176. pgp_good_sign
3.177. pgp_ignore_subkeys
3.178. pgp_import_command
3.179. pgp_list_pubring_command
3.180. pgp_list_secring_command
3.181. pgp_long_ids
3.182. pgp_mime_auto
3.183. pgp_replyinline
3.184. pgp_retainable_sigs
3.185. pgp_show_unusable
3.186. pgp_sign_as
3.187. pgp_sign_command
3.188. pgp_sort_keys
3.189. pgp_strict_enc
3.190. pgp_timeout
3.191. pgp_use_gpg_agent
3.192. pgp_verify_command
3.193. pgp_verify_key_command
3.194. pipe_decode
3.195. pipe_sep
3.196. pipe_split
3.197. pop_auth_try_all
3.198. pop_authenticators
3.199. pop_checkinterval
3.200. pop_delete
3.201. pop_host
3.202. pop_last
3.203. pop_pass
3.204. pop_reconnect
3.205. pop_user
3.206. post_indent_string
3.207. postpone
3.208. postponed
3.209. postpone_encrypt
3.210. postpone_encrypt_as
3.211. preconnect
3.212. print
3.213. print_command
3.214. print_decode
3.215. print_split
3.216. prompt_after
3.217. query_command
3.218. query_format
3.219. quit
3.220. quote_regexp
3.221. read_inc
3.222. read_only
3.223. realname
3.224. recall
3.225. record
3.226. reflow_space_quotes
3.227. reflow_text
3.228. reflow_wrap
3.229. reply_regexp
3.230. reply_self
3.231. reply_to
3.232. resolve
3.233. resume_draft_files
3.234. resume_edited_draft_files
3.235. reverse_alias
3.236. reverse_name
3.237. reverse_realname
3.238. rfc2047_parameters
3.239. save_address
3.240. save_empty
3.241. save_history
3.242. save_name
3.243. score
3.244. score_threshold_delete
3.245. score_threshold_flag
3.246. score_threshold_read
3.247. search_context
3.248. send_charset
3.249. sendmail
3.250. sendmail_wait
3.251. shell
3.252. sidebar_delim_chars
3.253. sidebar_divider_char
3.254. sidebar_folder_indent
3.255. sidebar_format
3.256. sidebar_indent_string
3.257. sidebar_new_mail_only
3.258. sidebar_next_new_wrap
3.259. sidebar_short_path
3.260. sidebar_sort_method
3.261. sidebar_visible
3.262. sidebar_width
3.263. sig_dashes
3.264. sig_on_top
3.265. signature
3.266. simple_search
3.267. sleep_time
3.268. smart_wrap
3.269. smileys
3.270. smime_ask_cert_label
3.271. smime_ca_location
3.272. smime_certificates
3.273. smime_decrypt_command
3.274. smime_decrypt_use_default_key
3.275. smime_default_key
3.276. smime_encrypt_command
3.277. smime_encrypt_with
3.278. smime_get_cert_command
3.279. smime_get_cert_email_command
3.280. smime_get_signer_cert_command
3.281. smime_import_cert_command
3.282. smime_is_default
3.283. smime_keys
3.284. smime_pk7out_command
3.285. smime_sign_command
3.286. smime_sign_digest_alg
3.287. smime_sign_opaque_command
3.288. smime_timeout
3.289. smime_verify_command
3.290. smime_verify_opaque_command
3.291. smtp_authenticators
3.292. smtp_pass
3.293. smtp_url
3.294. sort
3.295. sort_alias
3.296. sort_aux
3.297. sort_browser
3.298. sort_re
3.299. spam_separator
3.300. spoolfile
3.301. ssl_ca_certificates_file
3.302. ssl_client_cert
3.303. ssl_force_tls
3.304. ssl_min_dh_prime_bits
3.305. ssl_starttls
3.306. ssl_use_sslv2
3.307. ssl_use_sslv3
3.308. ssl_use_tlsv1
3.309. ssl_use_tlsv1_1
3.310. ssl_use_tlsv1_2
3.311. ssl_usesystemcerts
3.312. ssl_verify_dates
3.313. ssl_verify_host
3.314. ssl_ciphers
3.315. status_chars
3.316. status_format
3.317. status_on_top
3.318. strict_threads
3.319. suspend
3.320. text_flowed
3.321. thorough_search
3.322. thread_received
3.323. tilde
3.324. time_inc
3.325. timeout
3.326. tmpdir
3.327. to_chars
3.328. trash
3.329. ts_icon_format
3.330. ts_enabled
3.331. ts_status_format
3.332. tunnel
3.333. uncollapse_jump
3.334. uncollapse_new
3.335. use_8bitmime
3.336. use_domain
3.337. use_envelope_from
3.338. use_from
3.339. use_ipv6
3.340. user_agent
3.341. visual
3.342. wait_key
3.343. weed
3.344. wrap
3.345. wrap_headers
3.346. wrap_search
3.347. wrapmargin
3.348. write_bcc
3.349. write_inc
4. Functions
4.1. Generic Menu
4.2. Index Menu
4.3. Pager Menu
4.4. Alias Menu
4.5. Query Menu
4.6. Attachment Menu
4.7. Compose Menu
4.8. Postpone Menu
4.9. Browser Menu
4.10. Pgp Menu
4.11. Smime Menu
4.12. Mixmaster Menu
4.13. Editor Menu
10. Miscellany
1. Acknowledgements
2. About This Document

List of Tables

1.1. Typographical conventions for special terms
2.1. Most common navigation keys in entry-based menus
2.2. Most common navigation keys in page-based menus
2.3. Most common line editor keys
2.4. Most common message index keys
2.5. Message status flags
2.6. Message recipient flags
2.7. Most common pager keys
2.8. ANSI escape sequences
2.9. Color sequences
2.10. Most common thread mode keys
2.11. Most common mail sending keys
2.12. Most common compose menu keys
2.13. PGP key menu flags
3.1. Symbolic key names
4.1. POSIX regular expression character classes
4.2. Regular expression repetition operators
4.3. GNU regular expression extensions
4.4. Pattern modifiers
4.5. Simple search keywords
4.6. Date units
4.7. Mailbox shortcuts
5.1. Supported MIME types
6.1. Sidebar Variables
6.2. Sidebar Functions
6.3. Sidebar Colors
6.4. Sidebar Sort
6.5. Not all Hooks are Required
9.1. Command line options
9.2. Default Generic Menu Bindings
9.3. Default Index Menu Bindings
9.4. Default Pager Menu Bindings
9.5. Default Alias Menu Bindings
9.6. Default Query Menu Bindings
9.7. Default Attachment Menu Bindings
9.8. Default Compose Menu Bindings
9.9. Default Postpone Menu Bindings
9.10. Default Browser Menu Bindings
9.11. Default Pgp Menu Bindings
9.12. Default Smime Menu Bindings
9.13. Default Mixmaster Menu Bindings
9.14. Default Editor Menu Bindings

List of Examples

3.1. Multiple configuration commands per line
3.2. Commenting configuration files
3.3. Escaping quotes in configuration files
3.4. Splitting long configuration commands over several lines
3.5. Using external command's output in configuration files
3.6. Using environment variables in configuration files
3.7. Configuring external alias files
3.8. Setting sort method based on mailbox name
3.9. Header weeding
3.10. Configuring header display order
3.11. Defining custom headers
3.12. Using %-expandos in save-hook
3.13. Embedding push in folder-hook
3.14. Configuring spam detection
3.15. Using user-defined variables for config file readability
3.16. Using user-defined variables for backing up other config option values
3.17. Deferring user-defined variable expansion to runtime
3.18. Type conversions using variables
3.19. Using external filters in format strings
4.1. Matching all addresses in address lists
4.2. Matching restricted to aliases
4.3. Matching any defined alias
4.4. Using boolean operators in patterns
4.5. Specifying a default hook
4.6. Subject Munging
5.1. mime.types
5.2. Attachment counting
6.1. URLs
6.2. Managing multiple accounts