Mutt Basic

Leonard Chatagnier lenc5570 at
Tue Sep 4 07:12:41 UTC 2007

Peter Garrett wrote:
> OK I am starting a new thread with this, and it probably is more of a 
> basic intro/howto than a mailing list post, but I thought it might be 
> useful. Apologies to dial-up users if this is a bit big...
> Leonard Charagnier is the latest in a long line of puzzled Mutt 
> attempters. I am also one, having configured mutt very recently. So 
> this is pitched at that level. No doubt others will have tips and 
> corrections.
> * Mutt Simple
> I have found the easiest way to set Mutt up is to go with IMAP (or 
> IMAPS), so this is just an outline of my progress so far, as a guide 
> to the perplexed ;-)
> * Things to understand (not technically correct but comprehensible)
> 	Mutt is only a Mail User Agent, not an SMTP program.
> 	Mutt needs helpers.
> 	People make it more complicated than necessary in their 
> 	howtos.
100% in agreement here.

> * For Email you need a *pusher* and a *puller*.
> 	Most clients these days do both.
> 	Mutt doesn't. 
> 	You may or may not need a distributor/filter.
> * Pusher: smtp
> 	Agents: this is where people complicate matters.
> 	***You do not need postfix, exim, or sendmail***
> 	You need a simple pusher to push your mail out.
> 	I chose msmtp-mta (universe repository)
> 	The -mta is important - don't get msmtp, get
> 	msmtp-mta to satisfy the Mail transport Agent dependency for 
> 	Mutt.
> * Puller: Something that will grab the mail or allow you to view it.
> 	Pop3 - grabs it and pulls it in, dumping it on your hard drive 
> 	:)
> 	The classic example of a puller would be fetchmail.
> 	Most ISPs support imap, so we don't need this puller if we use 
> 	imap instead of pop3.
> * Filter/Distributor:			
> 	MDA, Mail Delivery Agent... classic example procmail. We don't 
> 	need this either for a simple setup with IMAP.
> * First set up your pusher:
> 	This is done in ~/.msmtprc or on the command line (file is 
> 	better and easier in the long run) We need to tell mutt that 
> 	msmtp is pretending to be sendmail in ~/.muttrc as well.
> * Now the puller:
> 	Not exactly a puller with IMAP - we just connect to the IMAP 
> 	server to see what is there ( think webmail without a web 
> 	browser).You can even do this in one line something like
> mutt -f imaps://arthur.dent:t0w3Lm1ss!
>                     ^^^^      ^^^^
>                    username:password 
>         The -f tells mutt it is looking for a file. It doesn't care if 
>         the file is local or not. this way is a bit clumsy, and we 
>         probably want to use TLS or something similar rather than a 
>         plain text login. ~/.muttrc allows us to do this.
Ok, tried this with:
mutt -f 
output:Could not connect to (Interrupted system 
and with:
  mutt -f 
maps:// to get 
rid of pop.
output:Could not find the host ""
Also tried with imap ipo pop with this output:
Could not find the host ""
Either yahoo was no imap server or I'm missing something.
Also didn't work with mail ipo imap, imaps, or pop.
Perhaps you will clarify or am I missing some prerequisite.

> * Getting fancy: Is what most of the stuff you find on the web is 
> 	about, when it comes to mutt config. You can play with about 
> 	300 options, and most of the howtos can't restrain themselves 
> 	;p        
>      	This is long enough as a starter ;-) if people are interested 
>      	I can post a more-or-less generic config on the model I am 
>      	currently using.
>      	I know this ruins the mystique, but actually it is rather 
>      	simple. ;-) I get the impression a lot of people who write 
>      	about this stuff are deliberately complicating it.
Not simple for me. Welcome your tutorial.  Looking forward to more.

>      	Hope this is some use conceptually. It may not be technically 
>      	pure but I think it helps to explain things ...
Thanks very much, Peter, for this. Best explanation of how mail and mutt 
works, I've seen. I for one want to see your more-or-less generic config 
on the model you are currently using. You are appreciated.

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: lenc5570.vcf
Type: text/x-vcard
Size: 116 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>

More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list