March 22, 2019

Better IMAP for Linux's Mutt Mail Client

OfflineIMAP for Better Mutt

  • February 2, 2011
  • By Joe Brockmeier
Linux server admins know that a great mail client is a crucial tool, and Mutt is one of the best. Joe Brockmeier introduces a tool to improve Mutt's handling of IMAP messages.
Mail is the lifeblood of system administrators. Having a great, not good, mail system in place is key to being productive in many cases. If you can escape the corporate horror of Microsoft Outlook and use a more capable client like Mutt, you can be much more productive. One of the support tools I depend on for productive use of Mutt is OfflineIMAP

What is OfflineIMAP? The name says it all, really. I turned to OfflineIMAP for two reasons. One, I needed a good way to download mail from Gmail. Second, I decided to start using Mutt again to streamline my mail processing and Gmail's interface just wasn't cutting it.

Technically, Mutt does do IMAP, but I've found it to be very slow. OfflineIMAP is relatively speedy. Plus, you know, it does give the benefit of allowing you to process mail offline, far away from the loving embrace of a network connection. This means if I want to slog through a backlog of email without distraction, I can slurp down my email, head to my favorite coffee shop and slam through my mail with a good cup of coffee.

Most Linux distributions and BSD flavors should have OfflineIMAP packages. If not, or if you just want to grab the latest, see the source repo at Github. Note that the maintainership has transferred from John Goerzen to Nicolas Sebrecht as of November 2010, despite many of the Google results still pointing to Goerzen's repo.

Once installed, OfflineIMAP is very easy to configure. Let's take a look at my configuration:... Read the rest of Joe Brockmeier's OfflineIMAP story at Serverwatch.com