Introduction to Mutt

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

Package Information

Mutt Dependencies


GnuPG-1.4.7 or GnuPG-2.0.8, OpenSSL-0.9.8g or GnuTLS-1.6.3, an MTA (that provides a sendmail command), Aspell-0.60.5, MIT Kerberos V5-1.6 or Heimdal-1.1, Cyrus SASL-2.1.22, S-Lang-2.1.3, libidn-0.6.14, GDBM-1.8.3 or QDBM, and GDB

Optional (To Regenerate HTML Documentation)

libxslt-1.1.22 and either Lynx-2.8.6rel.5, w3m or ELinks

Optional (To Generate PDF Manual)

JadeTeX-3.13 and DocBook DSSSL Stylesheets-1.79

User Notes:

Installation of Mutt



This version of Mutt is a development release. The BLFS staff has determined that it provides a stable program and fixes two issues in the current stable version of Mutt: a segmentation fault that occurs under certain conditions and a compilation problem when building with GCC-4.1.2. To find the current stable release, please refer to the Mutt home page.



If you choose to link Mutt against GnuTLS-1.6.3, you won't have SSL client certificate support. Specifically the ssl_client_cert configuration variable is recognized as invalid. That means you will lose the ability to use mutt via SMTP over TLS or in the case when a client certification is required for authentication on an IMAP server. For these reasons it is recommended to link Mutt against OpenSSL-0.9.8g if you want SSL/TLS support.

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, such as Postfix-2.5.1 or Sendmail-8.14.1, you need to modify the ownership of /var/mail with this command:

chgrp -v mail /var/mail

Install Mutt by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc \
    --with-docdir=/usr/share/doc/mutt-1.5.17 \
    --enable-pop --enable-imap \
    --enable-hcache --without-qdbm \
    --without-gdbm --with-bdb &&

If you have the necessary dependencies installed and would like to rebuild the HTML documentation, issue the following commands:

make -C doc clean &&
make -C doc

To generate the PDF manual with JadeTeX-3.13, 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

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

install -v -m644 doc/manual.{pdf,tex} \

Command Explanations

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

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

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

--without-qdbm: This switch disables QDBM as the header cache backend.

--without-gdbm: This switch disables GDBM as the header cache backend.

--with-bdb: This switch enables Berkeley DB as the header cache backend.

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

--with-ssl: This parameter adds SSL/TLS support from OpenSSL-0.9.8g in POP3/IMAP/SMTP if they are enabled.

--with-sasl: This parameter adds authentication support from Cyrus SASL-2.1.22 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.

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-1.5.17/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-1.5.17

Short Descriptions


is a bug submitter for Mutt.


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 that executes flea.


prepares a command line for the GnuPG-1.4.7 utilities.


is a key ring dumper for PGP. It is not needed for GnuPG-1.4.7.


manages a keystore for S/MIME certificates.

Last updated on 2008-05-09 08:00:42 -0500