My patches to mutt are on this page.
These are a few suggestions for how I like to do things in mutt. I hope someone will find them useful.
I use Gmail and FastMail for email. I like Gmail (having worked at Google and all), but FastMail is still pretty cool and bit of a more traditional email provider.
I also like to use mutt whenever possible, as it's fast, keyboard driven, standards compliant, and integrates GPG. In order to be able to use mutt with many different accounts, I have my own method of implementing profiles.
There are many ways to implement "profiles" in mutt. (By profiles, I mean a group of settings specific to an email account). A quick google search will show many "helper" programs and hooks used to toggle between settings within a single running instance of mutt.
The problem with all these is that mutt wasn't designed with profiles in mind. You have to be extremely careful one profile doesn't bleed over into another as you switch between them.
I have several accounts I like to check with mutt: gmail, fastmail, and spool. I use a much simpler way of managing them: shell aliases that source a different custom muttrc, along with a single "common" muttrc file. An example will probably make this clearer. My .zshrc file contains the aliases:
alias mutt='LOCAL_CONFIG=spool /usr/bin/mutt' alias mutt-fastmail='LOCAL_CONFIG=fastmail /usr/bin/mutt' alias mutt-gmail='LOCAL_CONFIG=gmail /usr/bin/mutt'
In my .mutt/muttrc file, the last line uses the environment variable set by each alias to load a custom config file:
The main .mutt/muttrc file contains generic settings I prefer across all my mutt profiles:
unset arrow_cursor # use arrow cursor unset askbcc # don't prompt for bcc's unset askcc # don't prompt for cc's unset beep # don't beep on error unset beep_new # don't beep on new message set bounce_delivered # unset: remove Delivered-To: when bouncing? unset collapse_unread # don't collapse threads with unread mails set uncollapse_jump # jump to unread message when uncollapse set confirmappend # may want to change this later set copy # save copies of sent messages set delete # don't ask me to delete messages - just do it! set edit_headers # display the headers when I'm editing a message set fast_reply # don't prompt for stuff when replying set followup_to # add Mail-Followup-To header set help # show help on first line of display unset mark_old # don't mark unread messages as Old unset menu_scroll # scroll menu a page on last line set narrow_tree # narrow threading trees set pager_stop # don't go to next message at end of message ... ... ... source ~/.mutt/muttrc.local.$LOCAL_CONFIG
Then, each muttrc.local.[profile] file can contain specifics for connecting and sending mail for that account. Here are my settings for fastmail, in the file .mutt/muttrc.local.fastmail:
set my_server=mail.messagingengine.com set my_smtp_server=mail.messagingengine.com set my_user=foo set my_pass=bar set record="imaps://$my_server/INBOX.Sent Items" set postponed="imaps://$my_server/INBOX.Drafts" # # This is who I am # set from="XXXX@XXX.XX" ########################################### # IMAP settings # # # Header caching directory # set header_cache=~/.mutt/hcache/fastmail # # SMTP server to relay to # # NOTE: to get this to work, I had to install the libsasl2-modules package set smtp_url="smtp://$my_user:$my_pass@$my_smtp_server:587/" # # Slow down over imap # set mail_check=300 # How often to check in seconds set imap_user=$my_user # set imap_pass=$my_pass # # Default inbox # set spoolfile=imaps://$my_server/INBOX # # Default location of mailboxes # set folder=imaps://$my_server/INBOX # # Mailboxes to monitor for mail # (arranged in urgency reading order) # mailboxes imaps://$my_server/INBOX # high mailboxes imaps://$my_server/INBOX.foo mailboxes imaps://$my_server/INBOX.bar mailboxes imaps://$my_server/INBOX.baz ... ... ...
The setting for muttrc.local.gmail are similar, with just the different accounts, passwords, smtp servers, etc for that account. Here is an example for gmail.
Combined with gnu screen, I can easily flip between different accounts, launching mutt-fastmail in one shell, mutt-gmail in another, etc. It's simple to manage and works well for me.
I have a command set up called screen-mail. This runs:
screen -S mail -c ~/screen/mail.screenrc
source $HOME/.screenrc screen -t fastmail zsh -i -c mutt-fastmail screen -t gmail zsh -i -c mutt-gmail screen -t spool zsh -i -c mutt screen -t oi zsh -c '$HOME/bin/offlineimap.sh; zsh -i' screen -t newsbeuter newsbeuter
This launches all my mutt instances, along with offlineimap, in one go. I added a zsh invocation after offlineimap so that I don't lose the screen window when I exit offlineimap (or it crashes).
Those paying attention (or who just haven't fallen asleep) will have noticed my above mutt profile examples use imap directly and here I'm using offlineimap. I actually have an IMAP and a local offlineimap based profile for each: mutt-gmail-imap and mutt-gmail, mutt-fastmail-imap and mutt-fastmail. By default right now I'm using offlineimap and the local profile. But it's easy this way to launch a new screen window and run mutt-fastmail-imap if I want to directly connect using imap for some reason.
I use lbdb to query several different sources for my address book. One of those is m_inmail, which is populated from the mails I receive.
Most sites say to run lbdb-fetchaddr through procmail, adding them as you receive emails. But this isn't practical over IMAP or when using offlineimap. Instead, I use a cron job to find recent emails and add them.
One of the difficulties in doing this is that each email has to be piped to the 'lbdb-fetchaddr' command, which is not so easy to do via find. My solution is below:
#!/bin/bash find /home/kjm/Mail/fastmail/INBOX -type f -mtime -7 -print0 | \ xargs -0 -n 1 -r /bin/bash -c 'lbdb-fetchaddr -a < "$1"' lbdb-fetchaddr find /home/kjm/Mail/gmail/INBOX -type f -mtime -7 -print0 | \ xargs -0 -n 1 -r /bin/bash -c 'lbdb-fetchaddr -a < "$1"' lbdb-fetchaddr # remove dups SORT_OUTPUT=name /usr/lib/lbdb/lbdb-munge
This uses a few clever tricks. The find/xargs invocation is pretty standard, but here we add the flag '-n 1' to invoke the command with one argument at a time. The '-r' prevents the command from running if no results are found.
The invocation of the shell by xargs is most interesting. xargs by default will append the file to the command. However, the bash man page says: If there are arguments after the string, they are assigned to the positional parameters, starting with $0. The 'lbdb-fetchaddr' at the end is $0 for the command, and the email file will be $1 (appended by xargs). So this essentially tricks xargs into giving us the file as stdin, (via the sh -c 'mycmd < $1' arg0 arg1 construct).
See my goobook page for more about goobook and mutt/lbdb integration.