Thirty Days of Mutt - Day 1

January 14, 2021

I have often tinkered with mutt but I’ve never really used it beyond occasionally checking mail with it. I want to see if it will really work for me as my primary email client. Therefore I’ve dusted off my mutt configuration, and starting today, January 14, I plan on using it for all my personal email for the next 30 days.

First Issue

I keep all my “dot files” in a Git repository on GitHub. It’s very cleverly called dotfiles. On each of my machines I clone this repository and then I use symlinks to wire configuration files into the places their respective applications expect to find them.

Under the mutt directory in my dotfiles repository one of the files is the configuration for msmtp, which is an SMTP client. I use this to send mail from mutt out into the ether. msmtp expects to find its configuration file, msmtprc in your home directory, or under .config/msmtp/ as config. When I set mutt up, I put .msmtprc in my home directory.

Actually I put a symlink to the file in my home directory:

cd ~
ln -s ~/.dotfiles/mutt/msmtprc .msmtprc

I haven’t used mutt for a little while, and when I tried to send an email this morning I got an error message saying, “configuration file not found”. After some experimenting I discovered that everything works if the file itself in in my $HOME, but it fails if there is a symlink to the file.

On the mutt IRC channel I was able to get a confirmation from another person that a symlinked .msmtprc file does not work. I have no idea why.

Relearning Commands

Since I haven’t used mutt in sometime, I’ve forgotten some keyboard commands. By reading through my muttrc file I refreshed my memory on some of my personalizations, but I still need to brush up on things like tagging emails so I can archive them in mass.

It will take some time to adjust to reading HTML heavy emails in lynx. It works, but it’s a bit like reading the actual Matrix code rather than seeing the woman in the red dress.

Day 1

I’m calling it a success. I got sending email working again, and I’ve read my incoming email.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.