The Grumpy Editor's guide to mail clients: introduction
Posted Jun 17, 2004 13:07 UTC (Thu) by leonid
Parent article: The Grumpy Editor's guide to mail clients: introduction
I have been a happy Mutt user for few years now. Sometimes I try other MUAs just out curiosity, but none of them came even close to replacing Mutt for me.
Mutt, of course, is not by any chance a complete solution to all the email tasks. I, myself, use this setup:
- fetchmail retrieves my email from several places and feeds it to exim
- exim processes email and feeds it to procmail
- procmail filters email into different mail folders, scripts, and whatever else I want. It also passes all messages through SpamAssassin.
- I use mutt to work with folders, search and sort for messages, and all.
- Vim is used from mutt for composing replies.
- Mutt then passes reply messages to exim, which in turn delivers them.
This might sound as a complex system and indeed it is. It took me few years to build it and I am still modifying it according to my needs. I have my email setup exactly as I want it to be and that allows me to process few thousand messages a day and still do something useful. :)
Here are Mutt features that I consider very valuable:
- console mode. Lightning fast with very flexible configuration. All key bindings and defaults are reconfigurable if need be.
- support for mbox and Maildir mail folders. Support for POP/POPS/IMAP/IMAPS. These are about all ways of email storage that I forsee myself using ever. :)
- threaded discussions. Something I cannot live without.
- excellent support of mailing lists. One can teach it a lot about mailing lists you are subscribed to and will recognize them and behave accordingly.
- flexible configuration that can be based on a number of things - console/xterm, destination address, current mail folder, etc...
- flexible handling of attachments. It is easy to configure which attachments you want to see automatically and which not, and how to display them to you.
- coloring. Very flexible color schemes. Colors can be assigned to headers, body, scores, matches, status, quoting, etc. These fastens the email processing a lot when you can focus on the important parts.
- flexible use of external functionality. I have a number of message processing scripts binded to comfortable keys.
There is much more, but this should give you an idea. :)
I should also mention that Mutt has an excellent documentation shipped with the package. /etc/Muttrc will have all possible options with comments and possible values. There are a lot of patches that add all sorts of wierd functionality to mutt, like support for compressed mail folders, breaking and merging of threads, etc. mutt-users mailing list is also very helpful and fast responding.
... I hope I didn't sound like a sales person from the 50s. :)
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