Introduction to Mutt

The Mutt package contains a Mail User Agent. This is useful for reading, writing, replying to, saving, and deleting your email.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-8.3 platform.

Package Information

Mutt Dependencies


Aspell-, Cyrus SASL-2.1.26, GDB-8.1.1, GnuPG-2.2.9, GPGME-1.11.1, libgssapi, libidn-1.35, MIT Kerberos V5-1.16.1, Mixmaster, an MTA (that provides a sendmail command), slang-2.3.2, GnuTLS-3.5.19, Berkeley DB-5.3.28 or QDBM or Tokyo Cabinet

Optional (To Regenerate HTML Documentation)

libxslt-1.1.32 and either Lynx-2.8.9rel.1, w3m-0.5.3, or ELinks

Optional (To Generate PDF Manual)

docbook-dsssl-1.79, OpenJade-1.3.2, and texlive-20180414 (or install-tl-unx with pdfjadetex installed)

User Notes:

Installation of Mutt

Mutt requires a group named mail. You can add this group, if it does not exist, with this command:

groupadd -g 34 mail

If you did not install an MTA, you need to modify the ownership of /var/mail with this command:

chgrp -v mail /var/mail

Mutt will rebuild the html documentation if libxslt is present, then use that to update the text manual - even if none of the specified browsers are present. That will create an empty text file, so we will save the shipped file.

If you intend to create the PDF version of the manual, apply the following sed:

sed -i 's/\(pdfjadetex manual.tex;\)/\1 \1 \1/' doc/

Install Mutt by running the following commands:

cp -v doc/manual.txt{,.shipped} &&
./configure --prefix=/usr                           \
            --sysconfdir=/etc                       \
            --with-docdir=/usr/share/doc/mutt-1.10.1 \
            --with-ssl                              \
            --enable-external-dotlock               \
            --enable-pop                            \
            --enable-imap                           \
            --enable-hcache                         \
            --enable-sidebar                        &&
make &&

To generate the PDF manual with texlive-20180414, run the following command:

make -C doc manual.pdf

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&
test -s doc/manual.txt ||
  install -v -m644 doc/manual.txt.shipped \

If you generated the PDF manual, install it by issuing the following command as the root user:

install -v -m644 doc/manual.pdf \


If you used a DESTDIR method to only install to a temporary location as a regular user (as part of a package menagement process), you will need to run the following as the root user after completing the real install:

chown root:mail /usr/bin/mutt_dotlock &&
chmod -v 2755 /usr/bin/mutt_dotlock

Command Explanations

sed -i 's/\(pdfjadetex manual.tex;\)/\1 \1 \1/' doc/ TeX engines sometimes need to be run multiple times to fix up references. In this case the engine has to run three times to fix page references in the Table of Contents and the List of Tables.

--enable-external-dotlock: In some circumstances the mutt-dotlock program is not created. This switch ensures it is always created.

--enable-pop: This switch enables POP3 support.

--enable-imap: This switch enables IMAP support.

--enable-hcache: This switch enables header caching.

--enable-sidebar: This switch enables support for the sidebar (a list of mailboxes). It is off by default, but can be turned on by :set sidebar_visible in mutt (and off again with ':unset'), or it can be enabled in ~/.muttrc.

--with-ssl: This parameter adds SSL/TLS support from openssl in POP3/IMAP/SMTP.

--enable-smtp: This switch enables SMTP relay support.

--with-idn2: Use this parameter if both libidn and libidn2 have been installed, and you wish to use libidn2 here.

--with-sasl: This parameter adds authentication support from Cyrus SASL-2.1.26 in POP3/IMAP/SMTP if they are enabled. Depending on the server configuration, this may not be needed for POP3 or IMAP. However, it is needed for SMTP authentication.

test -s doc/manual.txt || install -v -m644 doc/manual.txt.shipped ...: if the text manual is now empty (libxslt is installed, but without any of the specified text browsers), install the saved copy after running 'make install' (which would itself empty manual.txt if the shipped file had already been copied back).

Configuring Mutt

Config Files

/etc/Muttrc, ~/.muttrc, /etc/mime.types, ~/.mime.types

Configuration Information

No changes in these files are necessary to begin using Mutt. When you are ready to make changes, the man page for muttrc is a good starting place.

In order to utilize GnuPG, use the following command:

cat /usr/share/doc/mutt-1.10.1/samples/gpg.rc >> ~/.muttrc


Installed Programs: flea, mutt, mutt_dotlock, muttbug, pgpewrap, pgpring, and smime_keys
Installed Libraries: None
Installed Directories: /usr/share/doc/mutt-1.10.1

Short Descriptions


is a script showing where to report bugs.


is a Mail User Agent (MUA) which enables you to read, write and delete your email.


implements the mail spool file lock.


is a script identical to flea.


prepares a command line for the GnuPG-2.2.9 utilities.


is a key ring dumper for PGP. It is not needed for GnuPG-2.2.9.


manages a keystore for S/MIME certificates.

Last updated on 2018-08-27 15:41:22 -0700