muttrc

NAME
DESCRIPTION
COMMANDS
PATTERNS
CONFIGURATION VARIABLES
SEE ALSO
AUTHOR

NAME

muttrc − Configuration file for the Mutt Mail User Agent

DESCRIPTION

A mutt configuration file consists of a series of “commands”. Each line of the file may contain one or more commands. When multiple commands are used, they must be separated by a semicolon (“;”).

The hash mark, or pound sign (“#”), is used as a “comment” character. You can use it to annotate your initialization file. All text after the comment character to the end of the line is ignored.

Single quotes (“”) and double quotes (“"”) can be used to quote strings which contain spaces or other special characters. The difference between the two types of quotes is similar to that of many popular shell programs, namely that a single quote is used to specify a literal string (one that is not interpreted for shell variables or quoting with a backslash [see next paragraph]), while double quotes indicate a string for which should be evaluated. For example, backtics are evaluated inside of double quotes, but not for single quotes.

\ quotes the next character, just as in shells such as bash and zsh. For example, if want to put quotes (“"”) inside of a string, you can use “\” to force the next character to be a literal instead of interpreted character.

\\” means to insert a literal “\” into the line. “\n” and “\r” have their usual C meanings of linefeed and carriage-return, respectively.

A “\” at the end of a line can be used to split commands over multiple lines, provided that the split points don’t appear in the middle of command names.

It is also possible to substitute the output of a Unix command in an initialization file. This is accomplished by enclosing the command in backquotes (command).

UNIX environments can be accessed like the way it is done in shells like sh and bash: Prepend the name of the environment by a dollar (“$”) sign.

COMMANDS

alias key address [, address [ ... ]]
unalias key

alias defines an alias key for the given addresses. unalias removes the alias corresponding to the given key.

alternative_order type[/subtype] [ ... ]

This command permits you to define an order of preference which is used by mutt to determine which part of a multipart/alternative body to display. A subtype of “*” matches any subtype, as does an empty subtype.

auto_view type[/subtype] [ ... ]

This commands permits you to specify that mutt should automatically convert the given MIME types to text/plain when displaying messages. For this to work, there must be a mailcap(5) entry for the given MIME type with the copiousoutput flag set. A subtype of “*” matches any subtype, as does an empty subtype.

bind map key function

This command binds the given key for the given map to the given function.

Valid maps are: generic, alias, attach, browser, editor, index, compose, pager, pgp, postpone, mix.

For more information on keys and functions, please consult the Mutt Manual.

charset-hook alias charset

This command defines an alias for a character set. This is useful to properly display messages which are tagged with a character set name not known to mutt.

folder-hook [!]regexp command

When mutt enters a folder which matches regexp (or, when regexp is preceded by an exclamation mark, does not match regexp), the given command is executed.

When several folder-hooks match a given mail folder, they are executed in the order given in the configuration file.

macro map key sequence [ description ]

This command binds the given sequence of keys to the given key in the given map. For valid maps, see bind.

color object foreground background [  regexp ]
color index foreground background [  pattern ]
uncolor index pattern [ pattern ... ]

If your terminal supports color, these commands can be used to assign foreground/backgound combinations to certain objects. Valid objects are: attachment, body, bold, header, hdrdefault, index, indicator, markers, message, normal, quoted, quotedN, search, signature, status, tilde, tree, underline. The body and header objects allow you to restrict the colorization to a regular expression. The index object permits you to select colored messages by pattern.

Valid colors include: white, black, green, magenta, blue, cyan, yellow, red, default, colorN.

mono object attribute [ regexp ]
mono index attribute [ pattern ]

For terminals which don’t support color, you can still assign attributes to objects. Valid attributes include: none, bold, underline, reverse, and standout.

[un]ignore pattern [ pattern ... ]

The ignore command permits you to specify header fields which you usually don’t wish to see. Any header field whose tag begins with an “ignored” pattern will be ignored.

The unignore command permits you to define exceptions from the above mentioned list of ignored headers.

lists address [ address ... ]
unlists address [ address ... ]
subscribe address [ address ... ]
unsubscribe address [ address ... ]

Mutt maintains two lists of mailing list addresses, a list of subscribed mailing lists, and a list of known mailing lists. All subscribed mailing lists are known. A mail address matches a mailing list if it begins with the given address. For example, the lists pattern “mutt-” will match mutt-dev@mutt.org and mutt-users@mutt.org.

The lists command adds a mailing list address to the list of known mailing lists. The unlists command removes a mailig list from the lists of known and subscribed mailing lists. The subscribe command adds a mailing list to the lists of known and subscribed mailing lists. The unsubscribe command removes it from the list of subscribed mailing lists.

mbox-hook [!]pattern mailbox

When mutt changes to a mail folder which matches pattern, mailbox will be used as the “mbox” folder, i.e., read messages will be moved to that folder when the mail folder is left.

The first matchig mbox-hook applies.

mailboxes filename [ filename ... ]

This command specifies folders which can receive mail and which will be checked for new messages. When changing folders, pressing space will cycle through folders with new mail.

my_hdr string
unmy_hdr field

Using my_hdr, you can define headers which will be added to the messages you compose. unmy_hdr will remove the given user-defined headers.

hdr_order header1 header2 [ ... ]

With this command, you can specify an order in which mutt will attempt to present headers to you when viewing messages.

save-hook [!]pattern filename

When a message matches pattern, the default file name when saving it will be the given filename.

fcc-hook [!]pattern filename

When an outgoing message matches pattern, the default file name for storing a copy (fcc) will be the given filename.

fcc-save-hook [!]pattern filename

This command is an abbreviation for identical fcc-hook and save-hook commands.

send-hook [!]pattern command

When composing a message matching pattern, command is executed. When multiple send-hooks match, they are executed in the order in which they occur in the configuration file.

pgp-hook pattern key-id

The pgp-hook command provides a method by which you can specify the ID of the public key to be used when encrypting messages to a certain recipient.

push string

This command adds the named string to the keyboard buffer.

set [no|inv]variable[=value] [ ... ]
toggle variable [ ... ]
unset variable [ ... ]
reset variable [ ... ]

These commands are used to set and manipulate configuration varibles.

Mutt knows four basic types of variables: boolean, number, string and quadoption. Boolean variables can be set (true), unset (false), or toggled. Number variables can be assigned a positive integer value.

String variables consist of any number of printable characters. Strings must be enclosed in quotes if they contain spaces or tabs. You may also use the “C” escape sequences \n and \t for newline and tab, respectively.

Quadoption variables are used to control whether or not to be prompted for certain actions, or to specify a default action. A value of yes will cause the action to be carried out automatically as if you had answered yes to the question. Similarly, a value of no will cause the the action to be carried out as if you had answered “no.” A value of ask-yes will cause a prompt with a default answer of “yes” and ask-no will provide a default answer of “no.”

The reset command resets all given variables to the compile time defaults. If you reset the special variabe all, all variables will reset to their system defaults.

source filename

The given file will be evaluated as a configuration file.

unhook [ * | hook-type ]

This command will remove all hooks of a given type, or all hooks when “*” is used as an argument. hook-type can be any of the -hook commands documented above.

PATTERNS

In various places with mutt, including some of the abovementioned hook commands, you can specify patterns to match messages.

Constructing Patterns

A simple pattern consists of an operator of the form “~character”, possibly followed by a parameter against which mutt is supposed to match the obeject specified by this operator. (For a list of operators, see below.)

With some of these operators, the object to be matched consists of several e-mail addresses. In these cases, the object is matched if at least one of these e-mail addresses matches. You can prepend a hat (“^”) character to such a pattern to indicate that all addresses must match in order to match the object.

You can construct complex patterns by combining simple patterns with logical operators. Logical AND is specified by simply concatenating two simple patterns, for instance “~C mutt-dev ~s bug”. Logical OR is specified by inserting a vertical bar (“|”) between two patterns, for instance “~C mutt-dev | ~s bug”. Additionally, you can negate a pattern by prepending a bang (“!”) character. For logical grouping, use braces (“()”). Example: “!(~t mutt|~c mutt) ~f elkins”.

Simple Patterns

Mutt understands the following simple patterns:

In the above, EXPR is a regular expression.

With the ~m, ~n, and ~z operators, you can also specify ranges in the forms <MAX, >MIN, MIN-, and -MAX.

Matching dates

The ~d and ~r operators are used to match date ranges, which are interpreted to be given in your local time zone.

A date is of the form DD[/MM[/[cc]YY]], that is, a two-digit date, optionally followed by a two-digit month, optionally followed by a year specifications. Omitted fields default to the current month and year.

Mutt understands either two or four digit year specifications. When given a two-digit year, mutt will interpret values less than 70 as lying in the 21st century (i.e., “38” means 2038 and not 1938, and “00” is interpreted as 2000), and values greater than or equal to 70 as lying in the 20th century.

Note that this behaviour is Y2K compliant, but that mutt does have a Y2.07K problem.

If a date range consists of a single date, the operator in question will match that precise date. If the date range consists of a dash (“-”), followed by a date, this range will match any date before and up to the date given. Similarly, a date followed by a dash matches the date given and any later point of time. Two dates, separated by a dash, match any date which lies in the given range of time.

You can also specify offsets relative to the current date. An offset is specified as one of the characters <, >, =, followed by a positive number, followed by one of the unit characters y, m, w, or d, specifying a unit of years, months, weeks, or days. An offset which begins with the character > matches dates which are older than the specified amount of time, an offset which begins with the character < matches dates which are more recent than the specified amount of time, and an offset which begins with the character = matches points of time which are precisely the given amount of time ago.

CONFIGURATION VARIABLES

abort_nosubject

Type: quadoption
Default: ask-yes

If set to yes, when composing messages and no subject is given at the subject prompt, composition will be aborted. If set to no, composing messages with no subject given at the subject prompt will never be aborted.

abort_unmodified

Type: quadoption
Default: yes

If set to yes, composition will automatically abort after editing the message body if no changes are made to the file (this check only happens after the first edit of the file). When set to no, composition will never be aborted.

alias_file

Type: path
Default: “~/.muttrc”

The default file in which to save aliases created by the “create-alias” function.

Note: Mutt will not automatically source this file; you must explicitly use the “source” command for it to be executed.

alias_format

Type: string
Default: “%4n %t %-10a   %r”

Specifies the format of the data displayed for the ‘alias’ menu. The following printf(3)-style sequences are available:

%a      alias name
%n      index number
%r      address which alias expands to
%t      character which indicates if the alias is
        tagged for inclusion

allow_8bit

Type: boolean
Default: yes

Controls whether 8-bit data is converted to 7-bit using either Quoted- Printable or Base64 encoding when sending mail.

alternates

Type: regular expression
Default: “”

A regexp that allows you to specify alternate addresses where you receive mail. This affects Mutt’s idea about messages from you and addressed to you.

arrow_cursor

Type: boolean
Default: no

When set, an arrow (“->”) will be used to indicate the current entry in menus instead of hiliting the whole line. On slow network or modem links this will make response faster because there is less that has to be redrawn on the screen when moving to the next or previous entries in the menu.

ascii_chars

Type: boolean
Default: no

If set, Mutt will use plain ASCII characters when displaying thread and attachment trees, instead of the default ACS characters.

askbcc

Type: boolean
Default: no

If set, Mutt will prompt you for blind-carbon-copy (Bcc) recipients before editing an outgoing message.

askcc

Type: boolean
Default: no

If set, Mutt will prompt you for carbon-copy (Cc) recipients before editing the body of an outgoing message.

attach_format

Type: string
Default: “%u%D%I %t%4n %T%.40d%> [%.7m/%.10M, %.6e%?C?, %C?, %s] ”

This variable describes the format of the ‘attachment’ menu. The following printf-style sequences are understood:

%D      deleted flag
%d      description
%e      MIME content-transfer-encoding
%f      filename
%I      disposition (I=inline, A=attachment)
%m      major MIME type
%M      MIME subtype
%n      attachment number
%s      size
%t      tagged flag
%u      unlink (=to delete) flag
%>X     right justify the rest of the
        string and pad with character ”X”
%|X     pad to the end of the line with
        character ”X”

attach_sep

Type: string
Default: “\n”

The separator to add between attachments when operating (saving, printing, piping, etc) on a list of tagged attachments.

attach_split

Type: boolean
Default: yes

If this variable is unset, when operating (saving, printing, piping, etc) on a list of tagged attachments, Mutt will concatenate the attachments and will operate on them as a single attachment. The “attach_sep” separator is added after each attachment. When set, Mutt will operate on the attachments one by one.

attribution

Type: string
Default: “On %d, %n wrote:”

This is the string that will precede a message which has been included in a reply. For a full listing of defined escape sequences see the section on “index_format”.

autoedit

Type: boolean
Default: no

When set, Mutt will skip the initial send-menu and allow you to immediately begin editing the body of your message when replying to another message. The send-menu may still be accessed once you have finished editing the body of your message.

If the “edit_headers” variable is also set, the initial prompts in the send-menu are always skipped, even when composing a new message.

auto_tag

Type: boolean
Default: no

When set, functions in the index menu which affect a message will be applied to all tagged messages (if there are any). When unset, you must first use the tag-prefix function (default: ”;”) to make the next function apply to all tagged messages.

beep

Type: boolean
Default: yes

When this variable is set, mutt will beep when an error occurs.

beep_new

Type: boolean
Default: no

When this variable is set, mutt will beep whenever it prints a message notifying you of new mail. This is independent of the setting of the “beep” variable.

bounce_delivered

Type: boolean
Default: yes

When this variable is set, mutt will include Delivered-To headers when bouncing messages. Postfix users may wish to unset this variable.

charset

Type: string
Default: “iso-8859-1”

Character set your terminal uses to display and enter textual data.

check_new

Type: boolean
Default: yes

Note: this option only affects maildir and MH style mailboxes.

When set, Mutt will check for new mail delivered while the mailbox is open. Especially with MH mailboxes, this operation can take quite some time since it involves scanning the directory and checking each file to see if it has already been looked at. If check_new is unset, no check for new mail is performed while the mailbox is open.

collapse_unread

Type: boolean
Default: yes

When unset, Mutt will not collapse a thread if it contains any unread messages.

uncollapse_jump

Type: boolean
Default: no

When set, Mutt will jump to the next unread message, if any, when the current thread is uncollapsed.

confirmappend

Type: boolean
Default: yes

When set, Mutt will prompt for confirmation when appending messages to an existing mailbox.

confirmcreate

Type: boolean
Default: yes

When set, Mutt will prompt for confirmation when saving messages to a mailbox which does not yet exist before creating it.

copy

Type: quadoption
Default: yes

This variable controls whether or not copies of your outgoing messages will be saved for later references. Also see “record”, “save_name”, “force_name” and “fcc-hook”.

date_format

Type: string
Default: “!%a, %b %d, %Y at %I:%M:%S%p %Z”

This variable controls the format of the date printed by the “%d” sequence in “index_format”. This is passed to the strftime call to process the date. See the man page for strftime(3) for the proper syntax.

Unless the first character in the string is a bang (“!”), the month and week day names are expanded according to the locale specified in the variable “locale”. If the first character in the string is a bang, the bang is discarded, and the month and week day names in the rest of the string are expanded in the C locale (that is in US English).

default_hook

Type: string
Default: “~f %s !~P | (~P ~C %s)”

This variable controls how send-hooks, save-hooks, and fcc-hooks will be interpreted if they are specified with only a simple regexp, instead of a matching pattern. The hooks are expanded when they are declared, so a hook will be interpreted according to the value of this variable at the time the hook is declared. The default value matches if the message is either from a user matching the regular expression given, or if it is from you (if the from address matches “alternates”) and is to or cc’ed to a user matching the given regular expression.

delete

Type: quadoption
Default: ask-yes

Controls whether or not messages are really deleted when closing or synchronizing a mailbox. If set to yes, messages marked for deleting will automatically be purged without prompting. If set to no, messages marked for deletion will be kept in the mailbox.

delete_untag

Type: boolean
Default: yes

If this option is set, mutt will untag messages when marking them for deletion. This applies when you either explicitly delete a message, or when you save it to another folder.

dsn_notify

Type: string
Default: “”

Note: you should not enable this unless you are using Sendmail 8.8.x or greater.

This variable sets the request for when notification is returned. The string consists of a comma separated list (no spaces!) of one or more of the following: never, to never request notification, failure, to request notification on transmission failure, delay, to be notified of message delays, success, to be notified of successful transmission.

Example: set dsn_notify=”failure,delay”

dsn_return

Type: string
Default: “”

Note: you should not enable this unless you are using Sendmail 8.8.x or greater.

This variable controls how much of your message is returned in DSN messages. It may be set to either hdrs to return just the message header, or full to return the full message.

Example: set dsn_return=hdrs

edit_headers

Type: boolean
Default: no

This option allows you to edit the header of your outgoing messages along with the body of your message.

editor

Type: path
Default: “”

This variable specifies which editor is used by mutt. It defaults to the value of the EDITOR or VISUAL environment variable, or to the string ”vi”.

encode_from

Type: boolean
Default: no

When set, mutt will quoted-printable encode messages when they contain the string ”From ” in the beginning of a line. Useful to avoid the tampering certain mail delivery and transport agents tend to do with messages.

envelope_from

Type: boolean
Default: no

When set, mutt will try to derive the message’s envelope sender from the ”From:” header. Note that this information is passed to sendmail command using the ”-f” command line switch, so don’t set this option if you are using that switch in sendmail yourself, or if the sendmail on your machine doesn’t support that command line switch.

escape

Type: string
Default: “~”

Escape character to use for functions in the builtin editor.

fast_reply

Type: boolean
Default: no

When set, the initial prompt for recipients and subject are skipped when replying to messages, and the initial prompt for subject is skipped when forwarding messages.

Note: this variable has no effect when the “autoedit” variable is set.

fcc_attach

Type: boolean
Default: yes

This variable controls whether or not attachments on outgoing messages are saved along with the main body of your message.

fcc_clear

Type: boolean
Default: no

When this variable is set, FCCs will be stored unencrypted and unsigned, even when the actual message is encrypted and/or signed.

folder

Type: path
Default: “~/Mail”

Specifies the default location of your mailboxes. A ‘+’ or ‘=’ at the beginning of a pathname will be expanded to the value of this variable. Note that if you change this variable from the default value you need to make sure that the assignment occurs before you use ‘+’ or ‘=’ for any other variables since expansion takes place during the ‘set’ command.

folder_format

Type: string
Default: “%2C %t %N %F %2l %-8.8u %-8.8g %8s %d %f”

This variable allows you to customize the file browser display to your personal taste. This string is similar to “index_format”, but has its own set of printf()-like sequences:

%C      current file number
%d      date/time folder was last modified
%f      filename
%F      file permissions
%g      group name (or numeric gid, if missing)
%l      number of hard links
%N      N if folder has new mail, blank otherwise
%s      size in bytes
%t      * if the file is tagged, blank otherwise
%u      owner name (or numeric uid, if missing)
%>X     right justify the rest of the string and pad
        with character ”X”
%|X     pad to the end of the line with character ”X”

followup_to

Type: boolean
Default: yes

Controls whether or not the Mail-Followup-To header field is generated when sending mail. When set, Mutt will generate this field when you are replying to a known mailing list, specified with the “subscribe” or “lists” commands.

This field has two purposes. First, preventing you from receiving duplicate copies of replies to messages which you send to mailing lists. Second, ensuring that you do get a reply separately for any messages sent to known lists to which you are not subscribed. The header will contain only the list’s address for subscribed lists, and both the list address and your own email address for unsubscribed lists. Without this header, a group reply to your message sent to a subscribed list will be sent to both the list and your address, resulting in two copies of the same email for you.

force_name

Type: boolean
Default: no

This variable is similar to “save_name”, except that Mutt will store a copy of your outgoing message by the username of the address you are sending to even if that mailbox does not exist.

Also see the “record” variable.

forward_decode

Type: boolean
Default: yes

Controls the decoding of complex MIME messages into text/plain when forwarding a message. The message header is also RFC2047 decoded. This variable is only used, if “mime_forward” is unset, otherwise “mime_forward_decode” is used instead.

forward_format

Type: string
Default: “[%a: %s]”

This variable controls the default subject when forwarding a message. It uses the same format sequences as the “index_format” variable.

forward_quote

Type: boolean
Default: no

When set forwarded messages included in the main body of the message (when “mime_forward” is unset) will be quoted using “indent_string”.

from

Type: e-mail address
Default: “”

When set, this variable contains a default from address. It can be overridden using my_hdr (including from send-hooks) and “reverse_name”.

gecos_mask

Type: regular expression
Default: “^[^,]*”

A regular expression used by mutt to parse the GECOS field of a password entry when expanding the alias. By default the regular expression is set to ”^[^,]*” which will return the string up to the first ”,” encountered. If the GECOS field contains a string like ”lastname, firstname” then you should set the gecos_mask=”.*”.

This can be useful if you see the following behavior: you address a e-mail to user ID stevef whose full name is Steve Franklin. If mutt expands stevef to ”Franklin” stevef@foo.bar then you should set the gecos_mask to a regular expression that will match the whole name so mutt will expand ”Franklin” to ”Franklin, Steve”.

hdrs

Type: boolean
Default: yes

When unset, the header fields normally added by the “my_hdr” command are not created. This variable must be unset before composing a new message or replying in order to take effect. If set, the user defined header fields are added to every new message.

header

Type: boolean
Default: no

When set, this variable causes Mutt to include the header of the message you are replying to into the edit buffer. The “weed” setting applies.

help

Type: boolean
Default: yes

When set, help lines describing the bindings for the major functions provided by each menu are displayed on the first line of the screen.

Note: The binding will not be displayed correctly if the function is bound to a sequence rather than a single keystroke. Also, the help line may not be updated if a binding is changed while Mutt is running. Since this variable is primarily aimed at new users, neither of these should present a major problem.

hidden_host

Type: boolean
Default: no

When set, mutt will skip the host name part of “hostname” variable when adding the domain part to addresses. This variable does not affect the generation of Message-IDs, and it will not lead to the cut-off of first-level domains.

history

Type: number
Default: 10

This variable controls the size (in number of strings remembered) of the string history buffer. The buffer is cleared each time the variable is set.

honor_followup_to

Type: quadoption
Default: yes

This variable controls whether or not a Mail-Followup-To header is honored when group-replying to a message.

hostname

Type: string
Default: “”

Specifies the hostname to use after the “@” in local e-mail addresses. This overrides the compile time definition obtained from /etc/resolv.conf.

ignore_list_reply_to

Type: boolean
Default: no

Affects the behaviour of the reply function when replying to messages from mailing lists. When set, if the “Reply-To:” field is set to the same value as the “To:” field, Mutt assumes that the “Reply-To:” field was set by the mailing list to automate responses to the list, and will ignore this field. To direct a response to the mailing list when this option is set, use the list-reply function; group-reply will reply to both the sender and the list.

imap_checkinterval

Type: number
Default: 60

This variable configures how often (in seconds) IMAP should look for new mail.

imap_force_ssl

Type: boolean
Default: no

If this variable is set, Mutt will always use SSL when connecting to IMAP servers.

imap_list_subscribed

Type: boolean
Default: no

This variable configures whether IMAP folder browsing will look for only subscribed folders or all folders. This can be toggled in the IMAP browser with the toggle-subscribed command.

imap_user

Type: string
Default: “”

Your login name on the IMAP server.

This variable defaults to your user name on the local machine.

imap_cramkey

Type: string
Default: “”

Sets your CRAM secret, for use with the CRAM-MD5 IMAP authentication method (this is the IMAP equivelent of APOP). This method will be attempted automatically if the server supports it, in preference to the less secure login technique. If you use CRAM-MD5, you do not need to set imap_pass.

imap_pass

Type: string
Default: “”

Specifies the password for your IMAP account. If unset, Mutt will prompt you for your password when you invoke the fetch-mail function. Warning: you should only use this option when you are on a fairly secure machine, because the superuser can read your muttrc even if you are the only one who can read the file.

imap_passive

Type: boolean
Default: yes

When set, mutt will not open new IMAP connections to check for new mail. Mutt will only check for new mail over existing IMAP connections. This is useful if you don’t want to be prompted to user/password pairs on mutt invocation, or if opening the connection is slow.

imap_servernoise

Type: boolean
Default: yes

When set, mutt will display warning messages from the IMAP server as error messages. Since these messages are often harmless, or generated due to configuration problems on the server which are out of the users’ hands, you may wish to suppress them at some point.

imap_home_namespace

Type: string
Default: “”

You normally want to see your personal folders alongside your INBOX in the IMAP browser. If you see something else, you may set this variable to the IMAP path to your folders.

imap_preconnect

Type: string
Default: “”

If set, a shell command to be executed if mutt fails to establish a connection to the server. This is useful for setting up secure connections, e.g. with ssh(1). If the command returns a nonzero status, mutt gives up opening the server. Example:

imap_preconnect=”ssh -f -q -L 1234:mailhost.net:143 mailhost.net sleep 20 < /dev/null > /dev/null”

Mailbox ’foo’ on mailhost.net can now be reached as ’{localhost:1234}foo’.

NOTE: For this example to work, you must be able to log in to the remote machine without having to enter a password.

implicit_autoview

Type: boolean
Default: no

If set to “yes”, mutt will look for a a mailcap entry with the copiousoutput flag set for every MIME attachment it doesn’t have an internal viewer defined for. If such an entry is found, mutt will use the viewer defined in that entry to convert the body part to text form.

include

Type: quadoption
Default: ask-yes

Controls whether or not a copy of the message(s) you are replying to is included in your reply.

indent_string

Type: string
Default: “> ”

Specifies the string to prepend to each line of text quoted in a message to which you are replying. You are strongly encouraged not to change this value, as it tends to agitate the more fanatical netizens.

in_reply_to

Type: string
Default: “%i; from %a on %{!%a, %b %d, %Y at %I:%M:%S%p %Z}”

This specifies the format of the In-Reply-To header field added when replying to a message. For a ful llisting of defined escape sequences, see the section on index_format.

Note: Don’t use any sequences in this format string which may include 8-bit characters. Using such escape sequences may lead to bad headers.

index_format

Type: string
Default: “%4C %Z %{%b %d} %-15.15L (%4l) %s”

This variable allows you to customize the message index display to your personal taste.

“Format strings” are similar to the strings used in the “C” function printf to format output (see the man page for more detail). The following sequences are defined in Mutt:

%a      address of the author
%b      filename of the original message
        folder (think mailBox)
%B      the list to which the letter was sent,
        or else the folder name (%b).
%c      number of characters (bytes) in the message
%C      current message number
%d      date and time of the message in the format
        specified by “date_format” converted to
        sender’s time zone
%D      date and time of the message in the format
        specified by “date_format” converted to
        the local time zone
%f      entire From: line (address + real name)
%F      author name, or recipient name if the
        message is from you
%i      message-id of the current message
%l      number of lines in the message
%L      list-from function
%m      total number of message in the mailbox
%M      number of hidden messages if the thread
        is collapsed.
%N      message score
%n      author’s real name (or address if missing)
%O      (_O_riginal save folder)  Where
        mutt would formerly have stashed the
        message: list name or recipient name
        if no list
%s      subject of the message
%S      status of the message (N/D/d/!/r/*)
%t      ‘to:’ field (recipients)
%T      the appropriate character from the
        to_chars string
%u      user (login) name of the author
%v      first name of the author, or the
        recipient if the message is from you
%Z      message status flags
%{fmt}  the date and time of the message is
        converted to sender’s time zone, and
        “fmt” is expanded by the library
        function “strftime”; a leading bang
        disables locales
%[fmt]  the date and time of the message is
        converted to the local time zone, and
        “fmt” is expanded by the library
        function “strftime”; a leading bang
        disables locales
%(fmt)  the local date and time when the
        message was received.
        “fmt” is expanded by the library
        function “strftime”;
        a leading bang disables locales
%<fmt>  the current local time.
        “fmt” is expanded by the library
        function “strftime”;
        a leading bang disables locales.
%>X     right justify the rest of the string
        and pad with character ”X”
%|X     pad to the end of the line with
        character ”X”

See also: “to_chars”.

ispell

Type: path
Default: “ispell”

How to invoke ispell (GNU’s spell-checking software).

locale

Type: string
Default: “C”

The locale used by strftime(3) to format dates. Legal values are the strings your system accepts for the locale variable LC_TIME.

mail_check

Type: number
Default: 5

This variable configures how often (in seconds) mutt should look for new mail.

mailcap_path

Type: string
Default: “”

This variable specifies which files to consult when attempting to display MIME bodies not directly supported by Mutt.

mailcap_sanitize

Type: boolean
Default: yes

If set, mutt will restrict possible characters in mailcap % expandos to a well-defined set of safe characters. This is the safe setting, but we are not sure it doesn’t break some more advanced MIME stuff.

DON’T CHANGE THIS SETTING UNLESS YOU ARE REALLY SURE WHAT YOU ARE DOING!

mark_old

Type: boolean
Default: yes

Controls whether or not Mutt makes the distinction between new messages and old unread messages. By default, Mutt will mark new messages as old if you exit a mailbox without reading them. The next time you start Mutt, the messages will show up with an ”O” next to them in the index menu, indicating that they are old. In order to make Mutt treat all unread messages as new only, you can unset this variable.

markers

Type: boolean
Default: yes

Controls the display of wrapped lines in the internal pager. If set, a “+” marker is displayed at the beginning of wrapped lines. Also see the “smart_wrap” variable.

mask

Type: regular expression
Default: “!^\.[^.]”

A regular expression used in the file browser, optionally preceded by the not operator “!”. Only files whose names match this mask will be shown. The match is always case-sensitive.

mbox

Type: path
Default: “~/mbox”

This specifies the folder into which read mail in your “spoolfile” folder will be appended.

mbox_type

Type: folder magic
Default: mbox

The default mailbox type used when creating new folders. May be any of mbox, MMDF, MH and Maildir.

metoo

Type: boolean
Default: no

If unset, Mutt will remove your address from the list of recipients when replying to a message.

menu_scroll

Type: boolean
Default: no

When set, menus will be scrolled up or down one line when you attempt to move across a screen boundary. If unset, the screen is cleared and the next or previous page of the menu is displayed (useful for slow links to avoid many redraws).

meta_key

Type: boolean
Default: no

If set, forces Mutt to interpret keystrokes with the high bit (bit 8) set as if the user had pressed the ESC key and whatever key remains after having the high bit removed. For example, if the key pressed has an ASCII value of 0xf4, then this is treated as if the user had pressed ESC then “x”. This is because the result of removing the high bit from “0xf4” is “0x74”, which is the ASCII character “x”.

mh_purge

Type: boolean
Default: no

When unset, mutt will mimic mh’s behaviour and rename deleted messages to ,<old file name> in mh folders instead of really deleting them. If the variable is set, the message files will simply be deleted.

mime_forward

Type: quadoption
Default: no

When set, the message you are forwarding will be attached as a separate MIME part instead of included in the main body of the message. This is useful for forwarding MIME messages so the receiver can properly view the message as it was delivered to you. If you like to switch between MIME and not MIME from mail to mail, set this variable to ask-no or ask-yes.

Also see “forward_decode” and “mime_forward_decode”.

mime_forward_decode

Type: boolean
Default: no

Controls the decoding of complex MIME messages into text/plain when forwarding a message while “mime_forward” is set. Otherwise “forward_decode” is used instead.

mime_forward_rest

Type: quadoption
Default: yes

When forwarding multiple attachments of a MIME message from the recvattach menu, attachments which cannot be decoded in a reasonable manner will be attached to the newly composed message if this option is set.

mix_entry_format

Type: string
Default: “%4n %c %-16s %a”

This variable describes the format of a remailer line on the mixmaster chain selection screen. The following printf-like sequences are supported:

%n      The running number on the menu.
%c        Remailer capabilities.
%s        The remailer’s short name.
%a        The remailer’s e-mail address.

mixmaster

Type: path
Default: “mixmaster”

This variable contains the path to the Mixmaster binary on your system. It is used with various sets of parameters to gather the list of known remailers, and to finally send a message through the mixmaster chain.

move

Type: quadoption
Default: ask-no

Controls whether you will be asked to confirm moving read messages from your spool mailbox to your “mbox” mailbox, or as a result of a “mbox-hook” command.

message_format

Type: string
Default: “%s”

This is the string displayed in the “attachment” menu for attachments of type message/rfc822. For a full listing of defined escape sequences see the section on “index_format”.

pager

Type: path
Default: “builtin”

This variable specifies which pager you would like to use to view messages. builtin means to use the builtin pager, otherwise this variable should specify the pathname of the external pager you would like to use.

Using an external pager may have some disadvantages: Additional keystrokes are necessary because you can’t call mutt functions directly from the pager, and screen resizes cause lines longer than the screen width to be badly formatted in the help menu.

pager_context

Type: number
Default: 0

This variable controls the number of lines of context that are given when displaying the next or previous page in the internal pager. By default, Mutt will display the line after the last one on the screen at the top of the next page (0 lines of context).

pager_format

Type: string
Default: “-%Z- %C/%m: %-20.20n   %s”

This variable controls the format of the one-line message “status” displayed before each message in either the internal or an external pager. The valid sequences are listed in the “index_format” section.

pager_index_lines

Type: number
Default: 0

Determines the number of lines of a mini-index which is shown when in the pager. The current message, unless near the top or bottom of the folder, will be roughly one third of the way down this mini-index, giving the reader the context of a few messages before and after the message. This is useful, for example, to determine how many messages remain to be read in the current thread. One of the lines is reserved for the status bar from the index, so a pager_index_lines of 6 will only show 5 lines of the actual index. A value of 0 results in no index being shown. If the number of messages in the current folder is less than pager_index_lines, then the index will only use as many lines as it needs.

pager_stop

Type: boolean
Default: no

When set, the internal-pager will not move to the next message when you are at the end of a message and invoke the next-page function.

pgp_autosign

Type: boolean
Default: no

Setting this variable will cause Mutt to always attempt to PGP/MIME sign outgoing messages. This can be overridden by use of the pgp- menu, when signing is not required or encryption is requested as well.

pgp_autoencrypt

Type: boolean
Default: no

Setting this variable will cause Mutt to always attempt to PGP/MIME encrypt outgoing messages. This is probably only useful in connection to the send-hook command. It can be overridden by use of the pgp-menu, when encryption is not required or signing is requested as well.

pgp_entry_format

Type: string
Default: “%4n %t%f %4l/0x%k %-4a %2c %u”

This variable allows you to customize the PGP key selection menu to your personal taste. This string is similar to “index_format”, but has its own set of printf()-like sequences:

%n      number
%k      key id
%u      user id
%a      algorithm
%l      key length
%f      flags
%c      capabilities
%t      trust/validity of the key-uid association
%[<s>]  date of the key where <s> is an strftime(3)
         expression

pgp_long_ids

Type: boolean
Default: no

If set, use 64 bit PGP key IDs. Unset uses the normal 32 bit Key IDs.

pgp_replyencrypt

Type: boolean
Default: no

If set, automatically PGP encrypt replies to messages which are encrypted.

pgp_replysign

Type: boolean
Default: no

If set, automatically PGP sign replies to messages which are signed.

Note: this does not work on messages that are encrypted and signed!

pgp_replysignencrypted

Type: boolean
Default: no

If set, automatically PGP sign replies to messages which are encrypted. This makes sense in combination with “pgp_replyencrypt”, because it allows you to sign all messages which are automatically encrypted. This works around the problem noted in “pgp_replysign”, that mutt is not able to find out whether an encrypted message is also signed.

pgp_retainable_sigs

Type: boolean
Default: no

If set, signed and encrypted messages will consist of nested multipart/signed and multipart/encrypted body parts.

This is useful for applications like encrypted and signed mailing lists, where the outer layer (multipart/encrypted) can be easily removed, while the inner multipart/signed part is retained.

pgp_show_unusable

Type: boolean
Default: yes

If set, mutt will display non-usable keys on the PGP key selection menu. This includes keys which have been revoked, have expired, or have been marked as “disabled” by the user.

pgp_sign_as

Type: string
Default: “”

If you have more than one key pair, this option allows you to specify which of your private keys to use. It is recommended that you use the keyid form to specify your key (e.g., “0x00112233”).

pgp_sign_micalg

Type: string
Default: “pgp-md5”

This variable contains the default message integrity check algorithm. Valid values are “pgp-md5”, “pgp-sha1”, and “pgp-rmd160”. If you select a signing key using the sign as option on the compose menu, mutt will automagically figure out the correct value to insert here, but it does not know about the user’s default key.

So if you are using an RSA key for signing, set this variable to “pgp-md5”, if you use a PGP 5 DSS key for signing, say “pgp-sha1” here. The value of this variable will show up in the micalg parameter of MIME headers when creating RFC 2015 signatures.

pgp_strict_enc

Type: boolean
Default: yes

If set, Mutt will automatically encode PGP/MIME signed messages as quoted-printable. Please note that unsetting this variable may lead to problems with non-verifyable PGP signatures, so only change this if you know what you are doing.

pgp_timeout

Type: number
Default: 300

The number of seconds after which a cached passphrase will expire if not used.

pgp_verify_sig

Type: quadoption
Default: yes

If “yes”, always attempt to verify PGP/MIME signatures. If “ask”, ask whether or not to verify the signature. If “no”, never attempt to verify PGP/MIME signatures.

pgp_sort_keys

Type: sort oder
Default: address

Specifies how the entries in the ‘pgp keys’ menu are sorted. The following are legal values:

address   sort alphabetically by user id
keyid     sort alphabetically by key id
date      sort by key creation date
trust      sort by the trust of the key

If you prefer reverse order of the above values, prefix it with ‘reverse-’.

pgp_create_traditional

Type: quadoption
Default: no

This option controls whether Mutt generates old-style PGP encrypted or signed messages under certain circumstances.

Note that PGP/MIME will be used automatically for messages which have a character set different from us-ascii, or which consist of more than a single MIME part.

Also note that using the old-style PGP message format is strongly deprecated.

pgp_decode_command

Type: string
Default: “”

This format strings specifies a command which is used to decode application/pgp attachments.

The PGP command formats have their own set of printf-like sequences:

%p        Expands to PGPPASSFD=0 when a pass phrase
          is needed, to an empty string otherwise.
          Note: This may be used with a %? construct.
%f        Expands to the name of a file containing
          a message.
%s        Expands to the name of a file containing
          the signature part of a multipart/signed
          attachment when verifying it.
%a        The value of pgp_sign_as.
%r        One or more key IDs.

For examples on how to configure these formats for the various versions of PGP which are floating around, see the pgp*.rc and gpg.rc files in the samples/ subdirectory which has been installed on your system alongside the documentation.

pgp_getkeys_command

Type: string
Default: “”

This command is invoked whenever mutt will need public key information. %r is the only printf-like sequence used with this format.

pgp_verify_command

Type: string
Default: “”

This command is used to verify PGP/MIME signatures.

pgp_decrypt_command

Type: string
Default: “”

This command is used to decrypt a PGP/MIME encrypted message.

pgp_clearsign_command

Type: string
Default: “”

This format is used to create a ”clearsigned” old-style PGP attachment. Note that the use of this format is strongly deprecated.

pgp_sign_command

Type: string
Default: “”

This command is used to create the detached PGP signature for a multipart/signed PGP/MIME body part.

pgp_encrypt_sign_command

Type: string
Default: “”

This command is used to combinedly sign/encrypt a body part.

pgp_encrypt_only_command

Type: string
Default: “”

This command is used to encrypt a body part without signing it.

pgp_import_command

Type: string
Default: “”

This command is used to import a key from a message into the user’s public key ring.

pgp_export_command

Type: string
Default: “”

This command is used to export a public key from the user’s key ring.

pgp_verify_key_command

Type: string
Default: “”

This command is used to verify key information from the key selection menu.

pgp_list_secring_command

Type: string
Default: “”

This command is used to list the secret key ring’s contents. The output format must be analogous to the one used by gpg --list-keys --with-colons.

This format is also generated by the pgpring utility which comes with mutt.

pgp_list_pubring_command

Type: string
Default: “”

This command is used to list the public key ring’s contents. The output format must be analogous to the one used by gpg --list-keys --with-colons.

This format is also generated by the pgpring utility which comes with mutt.

forward_decrypt

Type: boolean
Default: yes

Controls the handling of encrypted messages when forwarding a message. When set, the outer layer of encryption is stripped off. This variable is only used if “mime_forward” is set and “mime_forward_decode” is unset.

certificate_file

Type: path
Default: “”

This variable specifies the file where the certificates you trust are saved. When an unknown certificate is encountered, you are asked if you accept it or not. If you accept it, the certificate can also be saved in this file and further connections are automatically accepted.

You can also manually add CA certificates in this file. Any server certificate that is signed with one of these CA certificates are also automatically accepted.

Example: set certificate_file=~/.mutt/certificates

ssl_usesystemcerts

Type: boolean
Default: yes

If set to yes, mutt will use CA certificates in the system-wide certificate store when checking if server certificate is signed by a trusted CA.

entropy_file

Type: path
Default: “”
library functions.

ssl_use_sslv2


Type: boolean
Default: yes

This variables specifies whether to attempt to use SSLv2 in the SSL authentication process.

ssl_use_sslv3

Type: boolean
Default: yes

This variables specifies whether to attempt to use SSLv3 in the SSL authentication process.

ssl_use_tlsv1

Type: boolean
Default: yes

This variables specifies whether to attempt to use TLSv1 in the SSL authentication process.

pipe_split

Type: boolean
Default: no

Used in connection with the pipe-message command and the “tag- prefix” operator. If this variable is unset, when piping a list of tagged messages Mutt will concatenate the messages and will pipe them as a single folder. When set, Mutt will pipe the messages one by one. In both cases the the messages are piped in the current sorted order, and the “pipe_sep” separator is added after each message.

pipe_decode

Type: boolean
Default: no

Used in connection with the pipe-message command. When unset, Mutt will pipe the messages without any preprocessing. When set, Mutt will weed headers and will attempt to PGP/MIME decode the messages first.

pipe_sep

Type: string
Default: “\n”

The separator to add between messages when piping a list of tagged messages to an external Unix command.

pop_delete

Type: boolean
Default: no

If set, Mutt will delete successfully downloaded messages from the POP server when using the fetch-mail function. When unset, Mutt will download messages but also leave them on the POP server.

pop_host

Type: string
Default: “”

The name or address of your POP3 server.

pop_port

Type: number
Default: 110

This variable specifies which port your POP server is listening on.

pop_last

Type: boolean
Default: no

If this variable is set, mutt will try to use the ”LAST” POP command for retrieving only unread messages from the POP server.

pop_user

Type: string
Default: “”

Your login name on the POP3 server.

Defaults to your login name on the local system.

pop_pass

Type: string
Default: “”

Your password on the POP3 server.

post_indent_string

Type: string
Default: “”

Similar to the “attribution” variable, Mutt will append this string after the inclusion of a message which is being replied to.

postpone

Type: quadoption
Default: ask-yes

Controls whether or not messages are saved in the “postponed” mailbox when you elect not to send immediately.

postponed

Type: path
Default: “~/postponed”

Mutt allows you to indefinitely “postpone sending a message” which you are editing. When you choose to postpone a message, Mutt saves it in the folder specified by this variable. Also see the “postpone” variable.

print

Type: quadoption
Default: ask-no

Controls whether or not Mutt asks for confirmation before printing. This is useful for people (like me) who accidentally hit “p” often.

print_command

Type: path
Default: “lpr”

This specifies the command pipe that should be used to print messages.

print_decode

Type: boolean
Default: yes

Used in connection with the print-message command. If this option is set, the message is decoded before it is passed to the external command specified by print_command. If this option is unset, no processing will be applied to the message when printing it. The latter setting may be useful if you are using some advanced printer filter which is able to properly format e-mail messages for printing.

prompt_after

Type: boolean
Default: yes

If you use an external “pager”, setting this variable will cause Mutt to prompt you for a command when the pager exits rather than returning to the index menu. If unset, Mutt will return to the index menu when the external pager exits.

query_command

Type: path
Default: “”

This specifies the command that mutt will use to make external address queries. The string should contain a %s, which will be substituted with the query string the user types. See “query” for more information.

quit

Type: quadoption
Default: yes

This variable controls whether “quit” and “exit” actually quit from mutt. If it set to yes, they do quit, if it is set to no, they have no effect, and if it is set to ask-yes or ask-no, you are prompted for confirmation when you try to quit.

quote_regexp

Type: regular expression
Default: “^([ \t]*[|>:}#])+”

A regular expression used in the internal-pager to determine quoted sections of text in the body of a message.

Note: In order to use the quotedx patterns in the internal pager, you need to set this to a regular expression that matches exactly the quote characters at the beginning of quoted lines.

read_inc

Type: number
Default: 10

If set to a value greater than 0, Mutt will display which message it is currently on when reading a mailbox. The message is printed after read_inc messages have been read (e.g., if set to 25, Mutt will print a message when it reads message 25, and then again when it gets to message 50). This variable is meant to indicate progress when reading large mailboxes which may take some time. When set to 0, only a single message will appear before the reading the mailbox.

Also see the “write_inc” variable.

read_only

Type: boolean
Default: no

If set, all folders are opened in read-only mode.

realname

Type: string
Default: “”

This variable specifies what ”real” or ”personal” name should be used when sending messages.

By default, this is the GCOS field from /etc/passwd. Note that this variable will not be used when the user has set a real name in the from variable.

recall

Type: quadoption
Default: ask-yes

Controls whether or not you are prompted to recall postponed messages when composing a new message. Also see “postponed”.

Setting this variable to “yes” is not generally useful, and thus not recommended.

record

Type: path
Default: “”

This specifies the file into which your outgoing messages should be appended. (This is meant as the primary method for saving a copy of your messages, but another way to do this is using the “my_hdr” command to create a Bcc: field with your email address in it.)

The value of record is overridden by the “force_name” and “save_name” variables, and the “fcc-hook” command.

reply_regexp

Type: regular expression
Default: “^(re([\[0-9\]+])*|aw):[ \t]*”

A regular expression used to recognize reply messages when threading and replying. The default value corresponds to the English ”Re:” and the German ”Aw:”.

reply_self

Type: boolean
Default: no

If unset and you are replying to a message sent by you, Mutt will assume that you want to reply to the recipients of that message rather than to yourself.

reply_to

Type: quadoption
Default: ask-yes

If set, Mutt will ask you if you want to use the address listed in the Reply-To: header field when replying to a message. If you answer no, it will use the address in the From: header field instead. This option is useful for reading a mailing list that sets the Reply-To: header field to the list address and you want to send a private message to the author of a message.

resolve

Type: boolean
Default: yes

When set, the cursor will be automatically advanced to the next (possibly undeleted) message whenever a command that modifies the current message is executed.

reverse_alias

Type: boolean
Default: no

This variable controls whether or not Mutt will display the ”personal” name from your aliases in the index menu if it finds an alias that matches the message’s sender. For example, if you have the following alias:

alias juser abd30425@somewhere.net (Joe User)

and then you receive mail which contains the following header:

From: abd30425@somewhere.net

It would be displayed in the index menu as “Joe User” instead of “abd30425@somewhere.net.” This is useful when the person’s e-mail address is not human friendly (like CompuServe addresses).

reverse_name

Type: boolean
Default: no

It may sometimes arrive that you receive mail to a certain machine, move the messages to another machine, and reply to some the messages from there. If this variable is set, the default From: line of the reply messages is built using the address where you received the messages you are replying to. If the variable is unset, the From: line will use your address on the current machine.

reverse_realname

Type: boolean
Default: yes

This variable fine-tunes the behaviour of the reverse_name feature. When it is set, mutt will use the address from incoming messages as-is, possibly including eventual real names. When it is unset, mutt will override any such realnames with the setting of the realname variable.

rfc2047_parameters

Type: boolean
Default: no

When this variable is set, Mutt will decode RFC-2047-encoded MIME parameters. You want to set this variable when mutt suggests you to save attachments to files named like this: =?iso-8859-1?Q?file=5F=E4=5F991116=2Ezip?=

When this variable is set interactively, the change doesn’t have the desired effect before you have changed folders.

Note that this use of RFC 2047’s encoding is explicitly, prohibited by the standard, but nevertheless encountered in the wild. Also note that setting this parameter will not have the effect that mutt generates this kind of encoding. Instead, mutt will unconditionally use the encoding specified in RFC 2231.

save_address

Type: boolean
Default: no

If set, mutt will take the sender’s full address when choosing a default folder for saving a mail. If “save_name” or “force_name” is set too, the selection of the fcc folder will be changed as well.

save_empty

Type: boolean
Default: yes

When unset, mailboxes which contain no saved messages will be removed when closed (the exception is “spoolfile” which is never removed). If set, mailboxes are never removed.

Note: This only applies to mbox and MMDF folders, Mutt does not delete MH and Maildir directories.

save_name

Type: boolean
Default: no

This variable controls how copies of outgoing messages are saved. When set, a check is made to see if a mailbox specified by the recipient address exists (this is done by searching for a mailbox in the “folder” directory with the username part of the recipient address). If the mailbox exists, the outgoing message will be saved to that mailbox, otherwise the message is saved to the “record” mailbox.

Also see the “force_name” variable.

score

Type: boolean
Default: yes

When this variable is unset, scoring is turned off. This can be useful to selectively disable scoring for certain folders when the “score_threshold_delete” variable and friends are used.

score_threshold_delete

Type: number
Default: -1

Messages which have been assigned a score equal to or lower than the value of this variable are automatically marked for deletion by mutt. Since mutt scores are always greater than or equal to zero, the default setting of this variable will never mark a message for deletion.

score_threshold_flag

Type: number
Default: 9999

Messages wich have been assigned a score greater than or equal to this variable’s value are automatically marked ”flagged”.

score_threshold_read

Type: number
Default: -1

Messages which have been assigned a score equal to or lower than the value of this variable are automatically marked as read by mutt. Since mutt scores are always greater than or equal to zero, the default setting of this variable will never mark a message read.

send_charset

Type: string
Default: “”

The character set that mutt will use for outgoing messages. If this variable is not set, mutt will fall back to “charset”.

sendmail

Type: path
Default: “/usr/sbin/sendmail -oem -oi”

Specifies the program and arguments used to deliver mail sent by Mutt. Mutt expects that the specified program interprets additional arguments as recipient addresses.

sendmail_wait

Type: number
Default: 0

Specifies the number of seconds to wait for the “sendmail” process to finish before giving up and putting delivery in the background.

Mutt interprets the value of this variable as follows:

>0      number of seconds to wait for sendmail to
        finish before continuing
0       wait forever for sendmail to finish
<0      always put sendmail in the background
        without waiting

Note that if you specify a value other than 0, the output of the child process will be put in a temporary file. If there is some error, you will be informed as to where to find the output.

shell

Type: path
Default: “”

Command to use when spawning a subshell. By default, the user’s login shell from /etc/passwd is used.

sig_dashes

Type: boolean
Default: yes

If set, a line containing “-- ” will be inserted before your “signature”. It is strongly recommended that you not unset this variable unless your “signature” contains just your name. The reason for this is because many software packages use “-- \n” to detect your signature. For example, Mutt has the ability to highlight the signature in a different color in the builtin pager.

signature

Type: path
Default: “~/.signature”

Specifies the filename of your signature, which is appended to all outgoing messages. If the filename ends with a pipe (“|”), it is assumed that filename is a shell command and input should be read from its stdout.

simple_search

Type: string
Default: “~f %s | ~s %s”

Specifies how Mutt should expand a simple search into a real search pattern. A simple search is one that does not contain any of the ~ operators. See “patterns” for more information on search patterns.

For example, if you simply type joe at a search or limit prompt, Mutt will automatically expand it to the value specified by this variable. For the default value it would be:

~f joe | ~s joe

smart_wrap

Type: boolean
Default: yes

Controls the display of lines longer then the screen width in the internal pager. If set, long lines are wrapped at a word boundary. If unset, lines are simply wrapped at the screen edge. Also see the “markers” variable.

smileys

Type: regular expression
Default: “(>From )|(:[-^]?[][)(><}{|/DP])”

The pager uses this variable to catch some common false positives of “quote_regexp”, most notably smileys in the beginning of a line

sort

Type: sort oder
Default: date

Specifies how to sort messages in the index menu. Valid values are:

   date or date-sent
   date-received
   from
   mailbox-order (unsorted)
   score
   size
   subject
   threads
   to

You may optionally use the reverse- prefix to specify reverse sorting order (example: set sort=reverse-date-sent).

sort_alias

Type: sort oder
Default: alias

Specifies how the entries in the ‘alias’ menu are sorted. The following are legal values:

   address (sort alphabetically by email address)
   alias (sort alphabetically by alias name)
   unsorted (leave in order specified in .muttrc)

sort_aux

Type: sort oder
Default: date

When sorting by threads, this variable controls how threads are sorted in relation to other threads, and how the branches of the thread trees are sorted. This can be set to any value that “sort” can, except threads (in that case, mutt will just use date-sent). You can also specify the last- prefix in addition to the reverse- prefix, but last- must come after reverse-. The last- prefix causes messages to be sorted against its siblings by which has the last descendant, using the rest of sort_aux as an ordering. For instance, set sort_aux=last- date-received would mean that if a new message is received in a thread, that thread becomes the last one displayed (or the first, if you have set sort=reverse-threads.) Note: For reversed “sort” order sort_aux is reversed again (which is not the right thing to do, but kept to not break any existing configuration setting).

sort_browser

Type: sort oder
Default: subject

Specifies how to sort entries in the file browser. By default, the entries are sorted alphabetically. Valid values:

   alpha (alphabetically)
   date
   size
   unsorted

You may optionally use the reverse- prefix to specify reverse sorting order (example: set sort_browser=reverse-date).

sort_re

Type: boolean
Default: yes

This variable is only useful when sorting by threads with “strict_threads” unset. In that case, it changes the heuristic mutt uses to thread messages by subject. With sort_re set, mutt will only attach a message as the child of another message by subject if the subject of the child message starts with a substring matching the setting of “reply_regexp”. With sort_re unset, mutt will attach the message whether or not this is the case, as long as the non-“reply_regexp” parts of both messages are identical.

spoolfile

Type: path
Default: “”

If your spool mailbox is in a non-default place where Mutt cannot find it, you can specify its location with this variable. Mutt will automatically set this variable to the value of the environment variable MAIL if it is not set.

status_chars

Type: string
Default: “-*%A”

Controls the characters used by the ”%r” indicator in “status_format”. The first character is used when the mailbox is unchanged. The second is used when the mailbox has been changed, and it needs to be resynchronized. The third is used if the mailbox is in read-only mode, or if the mailbox will not be written when exiting that mailbox (You can toggle whether to write changes to a mailbox with the toggle-write operation, bound by default to ”%”). The fourth is used to indicate that the current folder has been opened in attach- message mode (Certain operations like composing a new mail, replying, forwarding, etc. are not permitted in this mode).

status_format

Type: string
Default: “-%r-Mutt: %f [Msgs:%?M?%M/?%m%?n? New:%n?%?o? Old:%o?%?d? Del:%d?%?F? Flag:%F?%?t? Tag:%t?%?p? Post:%p?%?b? Inc:%b?%?l? %l?]---(%s/%S)-%>-(%P)---”

Controls the format of the status line displayed in the index menu. This string is similar to “index_format”, but has its own set of printf()-like sequences:

%b      number of mailboxes with new mail *
%d      number of deleted messages *
%h      local hostname
%f      the full pathname of the current mailbox
%F      number of flagged messages *
%l      size (in bytes) of the current mailbox *
%L      size (in bytes) of the messages shown
        (i.e., which match the current limit) *
%m      the number of messages in the mailbox *
%M      the number of messages shown (i.e., which
        match the current limit) *
%n      number of new messages in the mailbox *
%o      number of old unread messages
%p      number of postponed messages *
%P      percentage of the way through the index
%r      modified/read-only/won’t-write/attach-message
        indicator, according to status_chars
%s      current sorting mode (sort)
%S      current aux sorting method (sort_aux)
%t      number of tagged messages *
%u      number of unread messages *
%v      Mutt version string
%V      currently active limit pattern, if any *
%>X     right justify the rest of the string and
        pad with ”X”
%|X     pad to the end of the line with ”X”

* = can be optionally printed if nonzero

Some of the above sequences can be used to optionally print a string if their value is nonzero. For example, you may only want to see the number of flagged messages if such messages exist, since zero is not particularly meaningful. To optionally print a string based upon one of the above sequences, the following construct is used

%?<sequence_char>?<optional_string>?

where sequence_char is a character from the table above, and optional_string is the string you would like printed if status_char is nonzero. optional_string may contain other sequence as well as normal text, but you may not nest optional strings.

Here is an example illustrating how to optionally print the number of new messages in a mailbox: %?n?%n new messages.?

Additionally you can switch between two strings, the first one, if a value is zero, the second one, if the value is nonzero, by using the following construct: %?<sequence_char>?<if_string>&<else_string>?

You can additionally force the result of any printf-like sequence to be lowercase by prefixing the sequence character with an underscore (_) sign. For example, if you want to display the local hostname in lowercase, you would use: %_h

status_on_top

Type: boolean
Default: no

Setting this variable causes the “status bar” to be displayed on the first line of the screen rather than near the bottom.

strict_threads

Type: boolean
Default: no

If set, threading will only make use of the “In-Reply-To” and “References” fields when “sorting” by message threads. By default, messages with the same subject are grouped together in “pseudo threads.” This may not always be desirable, such as in a personal mailbox where you might have several unrelated messages with the subject “hi” which will get grouped together.

suspend

Type: boolean
Default: yes

When unset, mutt won’t stop when the user presses the terminal’s susp key, usually “control-Z”. This is useful if you run mutt inside an xterm using a command like xterm -e mutt.

thorough_search

Type: boolean
Default: no

Affects the ~b and ~h search operations described in section “patterns” above. If set, the headers and attachments of messages to be searched are decoded before searching. If unset, messages are searched as they appear in the folder.

tilde

Type: boolean
Default: no

When set, the internal-pager will pad blank lines to the bottom of the screen with a tilde (~).

timeout

Type: number
Default: 600

This variable controls the number of seconds Mutt will wait for a key to be pressed in the main menu before timing out and checking for new mail. A value of zero or less will cause Mutt not to ever time out.

tmpdir

Type: path
Default: “”

This variable allows you to specify where Mutt will place its temporary files needed for displaying and composing messages.

to_chars

Type: string
Default: “ +TCF”

Controls the character used to indicate mail addressed to you. The first character is the one used when the mail is NOT addressed to your address (default: space). The second is used when you are the only recipient of the message (default: +). The third is when your address appears in the TO header field, but you are not the only recipient of the message (default: T). The fourth character is used when your address is specified in the CC header field, but you are not the only recipient. The fifth character is used to indicate mail that was sent by you.

use_8bitmime

Type: boolean
Default: no

Warning: do not set this variable unless you are using a version of sendmail which supports the -B8BITMIME flag (such as sendmail 8.8.x) or you may not be able to send mail.

When set, Mutt will invoke “sendmail” with the -B8BITMIME flag when sending 8-bit messages to enable ESMTP negotiation.

use_domain

Type: boolean
Default: yes

When set, Mutt will qualify all local addresses (ones without the @host portion) with the value of “hostname”. If unset, no addresses will be qualified.

use_from

Type: boolean
Default: yes

When set, Mutt will generate the ‘From:’ header field when sending messages. If unset, no ‘From:’ header field will be generated unless the user explicitly sets one using the “my_hdr” command.

user_agent

Type: boolean
Default: yes

When set, mutt will add a ”User-Agent” header to outgoing messages, indicating which version of mutt was used for composing them.

visual

Type: path
Default: “”

Specifies the visual editor to invoke when the ~v command is given in the builtin editor.

wait_key

Type: boolean
Default: yes

Controls whether Mutt will ask you to press a key after shell- escape, pipe-message, pipe-entry, print-message, and print-entry commands.

It is also used when viewing attachments with “autoview”, provided that the corresponding mailcap entry has a needsterminal flag, and the external program is interactive.

When set, Mutt will always ask for a key. When unset, Mutt will wait for a key only if the external command returned a non-zero status.

weed

Type: boolean
Default: yes

When set, mutt will weed headers when when displaying, forwarding, printing, or replying to messages.

wrap_search

Type: boolean
Default: yes

Controls whether searches wrap around the end of the mailbox.

When set, searches will wrap around the first (or last) message. When unset, searches will not wrap.

write_inc

Type: number
Default: 10

When writing a mailbox, a message will be printed every write_inc messages to indicate progress. If set to 0, only a single message will be displayed before writing a mailbox.

Also see the “read_inc” variable.

write_bcc

Type: boolean
Default: yes

Controls whether mutt writes out the Bcc header when preparing messages to be sent. Exim users may wish to use this.

SEE ALSO

mutt(1), mailcap(5), printf(3), strftime(3), regex(7)

The Mutt Manual
The Mutt home page: http://www.mutt.org/

AUTHOR

Michael Elkins, and others. Use <mutt-dev@mutt.org> to contact the developers.