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-8.2 platform.

Package Information

  • Download (FTP):

  • Download MD5 sum: 2cfaabbf0c0ef74cff9af2a0a30de30d

  • Download size: 4.1 MB

  • Estimated disk space required: 39 MB (plus a further 5MB for the PDF manual)

  • Estimated build time: 0.3 SBU (plus a further 0.2 SBU to build the PDF manual)

Mutt Dependencies


Aspell-, Cyrus SASL-2.1.26, GDB-8.1, GnuPG-2.2.4, GPGME-1.10.0, libgssapi, libidn-1.33, MIT Kerberos V5-1.16, Mixmaster, an MTA (that provides a sendmail command), slang-2.3.1, GnuTLS-3.6.2, Berkeley DB-6.2.32 or QDBM or Tokyo Cabinet

Optional (To Regenerate HTML Documentation)

libxslt-1.1.32 and either Lynx-2.8.8rel.2, w3m-0.5.3, or ELinks

Optional (To Generate PDF Manual)

docbook-dsssl-1.79, OpenJade-1.3.2, and texlive-20170524 (or install-tl-unx)

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.

Install Mutt by running the following commands:

cp -v doc/manual.txt{,.shipped} &&
./configure --prefix=/usr                           \
            --sysconfdir=/etc                       \
            --with-docdir=/usr/share/doc/mutt-1.9.3 \
            --with-ssl                              \
            --enable-external-dotlock               \
            --enable-pop                            \
            --enable-imap                           \
            --enable-hcache                         \
            --enable-sidebar                        &&
make &&
test -s doc/manual.txt || mv -v doc/manual.txt{.shipped,}

To generate the PDF manual with texlive-20170524, 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 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

--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-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 || mv -v doc/manual.txt{.shipped,}: if the text manual is now empty (libxslt is installed, but without any of the specified text browsers), restore it from the copy.

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-1.9.3/samples/gpg.rc >> ~/.muttrc


Installed Programs: mutt, mutt_dotlock, pgpewrap, pgpring, and smime_keys
Installed Libraries: None
Installed Directories: /usr/share/doc/mutt-1.9.3

Short Descriptions


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


implements the mail spool file lock.


prepares a command line for the GnuPG-2.2.4 utilities.


is a key ring dumper for PGP. It is not needed for GnuPG-2.2.4.


manages a keystore for S/MIME certificates.

Last updated on 2018-03-02 15:39:21 -0800