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markush 11-26-2012 02:15 PM

Mailclients - is mutt an alternative to Thunderbird?
 
Hello,

I feel that Thunderbird becomes more and more bloated. It starts very slowly.

Now I'm considering to use another mailclient. I've tried claws-mail, but it's not better than Thunderbird.

But how about mutt? I've read some documentation and tried it out. I managed to configure it with one of my imap-mailaccounts and it works.
But referring to the documentation there's much more to it.

My questions: how about your experiences? is mutt a good alternative to thunderbird? which configuration is useful? is it worth the effort to learn all the special keys and to learn how to configure it?

Thanks in advance

Markus

mRgOBLIN 11-26-2012 02:50 PM

Mutt is very powerful but has quite a learning curve. You might find Pine (alpine) a little easier to use and configure if you don't need the advanced features that mutt provides.

markush 11-26-2012 02:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mRgOBLIN (Post 4837466)
Mutt is very powerful but has quite a learning curve. You might find Pine (alpine) a little easier to use and configure if you don't need the advanced features that mutt provides.

Thanks for the answer mRgOBLIN, could you please explain which advanced features you mean.
One of my requirements would be to use two or three mailaccounts with Mutt (what I do as yet with Thunderbird).
And I don't shy away from the learningcurve, provided it's valuable.

Markus

patostevens 11-26-2012 03:31 PM

I have used eudora for a long time and am very happy with it. Has all the bells and whistles but runs quickly - even on an HP netbook.

markush 11-26-2012 03:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by patostevens (Post 4837489)
I have used eudora for a long time and am very happy with it. Has all the bells and whistles but runs quickly - even on an HP netbook.

Thanks for this idea, but referring to Wikipedia it seems that Eudora has problems with UTF-8, but I need UTF-8 for German Umlaute.

Markus

jmccue 11-26-2012 04:33 PM

Hi Markush,

Been using mutt/fetchmail combination for quite a while without issue, but configuration may be a bit involved depending upon how your ISP handles mail.

One simple config you can do deals with html email, this debian link describes how to view with html email in mutt, works great for me.

John

D1ver 11-26-2012 04:40 PM

Every once in a while I try to get mutt working as my main mail client, but I never can stick with it. It seems like it's awesome at dealing with plaintext emails, but I get sent so many HTML emails, attachments and calendar invitations that I can't seem to leave Seamonkey/Thunderbird + Lightning.

I prefer seamonkey to thunderbird as it's got the old fashioned search and threaded message display..

TobiSGD 11-26-2012 05:19 PM

Changed from Claws Mail to Mutt not long ago, works fine here. I use it together with an IMAP server on my server, that collects the mail from all my mail accounts and sorts them into different mailboxes. Took me quite some time to wrap my head around Mutt and I think I am still a newb, but it is totally worth it.
These are the links that helped me to configure it and learn the concept:
http://www.mutt.org/doc/manual/
http://mutt.blackfish.org.uk/
http://www.ucolick.org/~lharden/learnmutt.html

Cesare 11-26-2012 05:33 PM

I wanted a console-based mailer for my little netbook and started with mutt but ditched it after a couple of months. I liked the user interface, but I found mutt's IMAP support poor and its configuration very cumbersome. There's no real notion of accounts or profiles, so I needed a 150 line config full of account- and folder-hooks just for basic operation, and even that never worked very well. Things might be different when your mail is local, but with several IMAP-accounts and profiles mutt is unusable, IMHO.

I switched to alpine then. Confusing in the beginning, but once you grok the concept of roles and folder-collections it's very easy to setup and you actually won't have to touch most of the config options (there are lots!). The user interface is mostly fixed, though. It's fine by me, but if you want to change a keyboard shortcut you're out of luck. Other than mutt, switching between several profiles and IMAP-accounts works fast and reliably.

It wasn't intended that way, but alpine has become my main tool for IMAP access since. It just fits the way I use mail very well. YMMV.

Before alpine, I was using KDE's kmail from 1998 till KDE4 broke it and claws after that. Maybe you should try claws a second time; it's a nice tool with lots of options for the advanced user.

markush 11-27-2012 12:59 AM

Thanks for all the answers, I will take a look at Seamonkey and Alpine as well.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cesare (Post 4837542)
...
... Maybe you should try claws a second time; it's a nice tool with lots of options for the advanced user.

claws-mail always checked any lables in my gmail box when checking for new mail, and there was no option (didn't find one) to make it look only into the inbox-folder.

I'm using Xmonad (tiling windowmanager) and often work without the mouse, therefore I want to try out if a terminal-based mailclient is convenient for me.

Markus

kooru 11-27-2012 02:40 AM

mRgOBLIN already said.
Mutt is fantastic but if you want a client-terminal easy to configure, try (al)pine.

Mark Pettit 11-27-2012 03:03 AM

Have you thought of trying to find out why you find Thunderbird slow ? I'm quite happy with the speed. I only use smtp and pop3 - I dislike the idea of my emails sitting on someone else's server - but then I am a bit old fashioned. How big is your inbox ? I archive mails every 2 to 3 months into subfolders. These I then compact.

kikinovak 11-27-2012 03:28 AM

Mutt is a replacement for Thunderbird in the sense that a Ferrari is a replacement for a Toyota. Not everyone can drive it, but boy is it fast.

Cesare 11-27-2012 04:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by markush (Post 4837716)
claws-mail always checked any lables in my gmail box when checking for new mail, and there was no option (didn't find one) to make it look only into the inbox-folder.

GMail labels look like folders in IMAP, don't they? Then just right-click on the folder-name, goto "Properties" and uncheck "Scan for new mail".

diwljina 11-27-2012 04:52 AM

I'm using mutt for two years now and I'm very happy with it. You can't really say that it's replacement for Thunderbird since their concepts of usage are so different. Thunderbird is all in one, mutt is MUA and mostly just that. It didn't have SMTP support until recent versions. So five mutt users can have 5 different way of handling mail. mutt have it's strengths, but is not perfect. Mind it's motto: "All mail clients suck. This one just sucks less."

You can use it to access your IMAP accounts. I tried that and if you're using header and body caching it will be fast (I have ~50000 mails). But, since I cache headers and bodies, I just as well can have local folders, God intended them to be. So I started to use offlineimap to have all mails at home and at work in the same configuration in Maildir format. This setup works very well for me. I switched to isync after some problems with offlineimap, but it didn't changed anything important in the way I use mutt. I filter mails on servers, so no need for procmail for me.

As for html mails, they can be problematic. I have mailcap entry that invoke lynx to automatically display this kind of mails. That won't work every time. In that case, I have shortcut that can send it to Firefox so I can see it the way sender wanted it. I have mailcap entry for most of the attachments that can be send so I can view them easily including video files (yeah, there are still people that send video files by mail).

I have several different accounts. folder-hooks do it's job in separating it's different settings.

You wont need it's all advanced features, but you will have them if you ever need some of them. I like it's pattern matching ability. You can easily find your mails. Or delete them or move them or whatever you want.
http://www.mutt.org/doc/manual/manual-4.html#ss4.2

Your muttrc will change in time and you will adjust it to your needs. And you will learn about it's features when you need them. But yes, it does takes time to get used to mutt.


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