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README.md

mutt-wizard

Get this great stuff without effort:

  • A full-featured and autoconfigured email client on the terminal with neomutt
  • Mail stored offline so you can view and write email while you’re away from internet and keep backups

Specifically, this wizard:

  • Determines your email server’s IMAP and SMTP servers and ports
  • Creates dotfiles for neomutt, isync, and msmtp appropriate for your email address
  • Encrypts and locally stores your password for easy remote access, accessible only by your GPG key
  • Handles as many as nine separate email accounts automatically
  • Auto-creates bindings to switch between accounts or between mailboxes
  • Can automatically set mail updates as often as you want to sync your mail and update you when new mail arrives
  • Provides sensible defaults and an attractive appearance for the neomutt email client
  • If mutt-wizard doesn’t know your server’s IMAP/SMTP info by default, it will prompt you for them and will put them in all the right places.

Install and Use

git clone https://github.com/LukeSmithxyz/mutt-wizard
cd mutt-wizard
sudo make install

User of Arch-based distros can also install mutt-wizard from the AUR as mutt-wizard-git.

The mutt-wizard is run with the command mw. It also installs the mailsync command. Once everything is setup, you’ll use neomutt to access your mail.

  • mw add -- add a new email account
  • mw ls -- list existing accounts
  • mw pass -- revise an account’s password
  • mw delete -- delete an added account
  • mw purge -- delete all accounts and settings
  • mw cron -- toggle/configure a cronjob to sync mail

Dependencies

  • neomutt - the email client.
  • isync - downloads and syncs the mail. (required at install)
  • msmtp - sends the email.
  • pass - safely encrypts passwords (required at install)

There’s a chance of errors if you use a slow-release distro like Ubuntu, Debian or Mint. If you get errors in neomutt, install the most recent version manually or manually remove the offending lines in the config in /usr/share/mutt-wizard/mutt-wizard.muttrc.

Optional

  • lynx - view HTML email in neomutt.
  • notmuch - index and search mail. Install it and run notmuch setup, tell it that your mail is in ~/.local/share/mail/ (although mw will do this automatically if you haven’t set notmuch up before). You can run it in mutt with ctrl-f. Run notmuch new to process new mail, although the included mailsync script does this for you.
  • libnotify/libnotify-bin - allows notifications when syncing mail with mailsync
  • abook - a terminal-based address book. Pressing tab while typing an address to send mail to will suggest contacts that are in your abook.
  • A cron manager - if you want to enable the auto-sync feature.
  • pam-gnupg - this is a more general program that I use. It automatically logs you into your GPG key on login so you will never need to input your password once logged on to your system. Check the repo and directions out here.
  • urlview - outputs urls in mail to browser.

Neomutt user interface

To give you an example of the interface, here’s an idea:

  • m - send mail (uses your default $EDITOR to write)
  • j/k and d/u - vim-like bindings to go down and up (or d/u to go down/up a page).
  • l - open mail, or attachment page or attachment
  • h - the opposite of l
  • r/R - reply/reply all to highlighted mail
  • s - save selected mail or selected attachment
  • gs,gi,ga,gd,gS - Press g followed by another letter to change mailbox: sent, inbox, archive, drafts, Spam, etc.
  • M and C - For Move and Copy: follow them with one of the mailbox letters above, i.e. MS means “move to Spam”.
  • i# - Press i followed by a number 1-9 to go to a different account. If you add 9 accounts via mutt-wizard, they will each be assigned a number.
  • a to add address/person to abook and Tab while typing address to complete one from book.
  • ? - see all keyboard shortcuts
  • ctrl-j/ctrl-k - move up and down in sidebar, ctrl-o opens mailbox.
  • ctrl-b - open a menu to select a url you want to open in you browser.

New stuff and improvements since the original release

  • isync/mbsync has replaced offlineimap as the backend. Offlineimap was error-prone, bloated, used obsolete Python 2 modules and required separate steps to install the system.
  • mw is now an installed program instead of just a script needed to be kept in your mutt folder.
  • dialog is no longer used (le bloat) and the interface is simply text commands.
  • More autogenerated shortcuts that allow quickly moving and copying mail between boxes.
  • More elegant attachment handling. Image/video/pdf attachments without relying on the neomutt instance.
  • abook integration by default.
  • The messy template files and other directories have been moved or removed, leaving a clean config folder.
  • msmtp configs moved to ~/.config/ and mail default location moved to ~/.local/share/mail/, reducing mess in ~.
  • pass is used as a password manager instead of separately saving passwords.
  • Script is POSIX sh compliant.
  • Error handling for the many people who don’t read or follow directions. Less errors generally.
  • Addition of a manual man mw

Help the Project!

  • Try mutt-wizard out on weird machines and weird email addresses and report any errors.
  • Open a PR to add new server information into domains.csv so their users can more easily use mutt-wizard.
  • If nothing else, Donate!

See Luke’s website here. Email him at luke@lukesmith.xyz.

mutt-wizard is free/libre software, licensed under the GPLv3.

Details for Tinkerers

  • The critical mutt/neomutt files are in ~/.config/mutt/.
  • Put whatever global settings you want in muttrc. mutt-wizard will add some lines to this file which you shouldn’t remove unless you know what you’re doing, but you can move them up/down over your personal config lines if you need to. If you get binding conflict errors in mutt, you might need to do this.
  • Each of the accounts that mutt-wizard generates will have custom settings set in a separate file in accounts/. You can edit these freely if you want to tinker with settings specific to an account.
  • In /usr/share/mutt-wizard are several global config files, including mutt-wizard's default settings. You can overwride this in your muttrc if you wish.

Watch out for these things:

  • Gmail accounts can now create ‘App Password’ to use with “““less secure””” applications. This password is single use (ie. for setup) and will be stored and encrypted locally. Enabling third-party applications requires turning off two-factor authentication and this will circumvent that. You might also need to manually “Enable IMAP” in the settings.
  • Protonmail accounts will require you to set up “Protonmail Bridge” to access PM’s IMAP and SMTP servers. Configure that before running mutt-wizard. Note that when mutt-wizard asks for a password, you should put in your bridge password, not your account password.
  • Protonmail bridge is prone to timing out. Watch out for this while adding an account. If the bridge times out, try again. It might help to increase the timeout in your mbsyncrc.
  • If you have a university email, or enterprise-hosted email for work, there might be other hurdles or two-factor authentication you have to jump through. Some, for example, will want you to create a separate IMAP password, etc.
  • isync is not fully UTF-8 compatible, so non-Latin characters may be garbled (although sync should succeed). mw will also not autocreate mailbox shortcuts since it is looking for English mailbox names. I strongly recommend you to set your email language to English on your mail server to avoid these problems.

To-do

  • Add Mac OS/BSD compatibility (the script is confirmed to work for Mac OS and FreeBSD now)
  • Out-of-the-box compatibility with Protonmail Bridge (I believe this is done, but more bug-testing is welcome since I don’t have PM)