A simpler e-mail client: Diving into mutt

My installation notes for mutt_+Homebrew_+gmail, based on this post by steve losh and this other post


brew search offlineimap
brew info offlineimap
brew home offlineimap
brew install offlineimap
mvim .offlineimaprc
brew install sqlite
cat  ~/.mutt/certificates
ls -l ~/pool/docs/Mail
ls /usr/local/Cellar/offline-imap/6.5.6/
brew info offlineimap
vim /usr/local/Cellar/offline-imap/6.5.6/bin/offlineimap
/usr/bin/env python
# dooh! works only in python2
pyenv global 2.7.9
pyenv rehash
offlineimap --info
offlineimap --dry-run


mv ~/Documents/Mail ~/pool/docs/
brew info mutt
brew install mutt --sidebar-patch
brew remove mutt
brew tap mrtazz/misc
brew install mrtazz/misc/mutt --with-sidebar-patch
man mutt
o /usr/local/Cellar/mutt/1.5.23_2/share/doc/mutt/
o /usr/local/Cellar/mutt/1.5.23_2/share/doc/mutt/manual.html
vim .muttrc
git mv .muttrc .mutt/muttrc
vim .mutt/muttrc
ls -aR .mutt
vim .mutt/muttrc
grep pass .mutt/muttrc
vim .mutt/mailcap
vim .mutt/view_attachment.sh
chmod +x .mutt/view_attachment.sh
rmdir .mutt/certificates
mkdir .mutt/temp
mvim .mutt/sig
man mutt

sending e-mail

brew install msmtp
msmtp --help
vim .mutt/Equifax_Secure_CA.cert
vim .msmtprc
msmtp -a laurent.perrinet --serverinfo


brew install contacts

all in one script

# brew install mutt
# a nice command-line utility to read and send e-mails
brew install offlineimap
brew install sqlite
#brew tap mrtazz/misc
#brew uninstall mrtazz/misc/mutt --with-sidebar-patch
#brew install mutt
brew tap kevwil/patches
brew install kevwil/patches/mutt --with-sidebar-patch --with-trash-patch

brew install msmtp
brew install contacts
brew install notmuch --without-python@2 --with-python3
brew install urlview

mkdir -p ~/.mutt/cache/bodies
mkdir -p ~/.mutt/cache/headers
# wget -O ~/.mutt/certificates http://www.geotrust.com/resources/extended-validation-ssl/certs/Equifax%20Secure%20Certificate%20Authority.crt
mkdir -p ~/mail
mkdir -p ~/mail/home
mkdir -p ~/mail/work
mkdir -p ~/mail/local

key bindings

We’re going to use j and k to move around, so we may as well support Vim keys like gg and G too. We’ll use R for reply all, since that comes in handy fairly often. Ctrl-R will mark all messages in the current folder as read.

The tab key is going to “commit” changes we’ve made in Mutt (like deleting an email) to our local Maildir folder. Once those changes are in the Maildir folder offlineimap will sync them to the server the next time it runs. This is nice because it lets us recover if we accidentally do something stupid like deleting the wrong email.

The space key will toggle collapsing of threads, which can be convenient when viewing mailing lists (or any conversations with many messages).

The o and O keys will run offlineimap to sync mail. Like I said before, I prefer having to press a button to grab mail instead of it constantly grabbing and nagging me. o will sync only the inbox (fast), and O will sync everything (much slower).

Finally we rebind C and M to perform the same operations they usually do, but in a more user-friendly manner. We’re binding the up and down arrow keys to switch between folders, and right to “enter” a folder. Give it a try.

We don’t need the arrows because we can navigate with j and k, but if you prefer to rebind them to something else feel free. Press return in the index to open the selected email. This view is called the pager.

When you’re in the pager view reading an email with attachments, you can press v to view a list of them Attachment List

Scroll through the list with j and k and press return to view one. But first we need to tell Mutt how to view things that aren’t text!

Other interesting key bindings:

  • h to toggle hide / view headers in pager view.


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