mu4e

Author:Emre Şahin
Date:12637

I used mutt for years. I like it. Its customizability and macros make me feel at home and I was able to automate most of my tasks with it.

I began to use mutt after gnus on Emacs. The reason I left gnus behind is that it was incompatible with offlineimap and slow for IMAP use. I see no point installing a local IMAP server when the tool must work with Maildirs does not work. I don’t know the situation with Gnus nowadays, but I think it was a good decision to use mutt.

However recently, in Emacs circles I saw that people are talking about mu4e as a search based email client. Almost all my development life is under Emacs and I’m using org-mode for non-development more and more. Using email links with mutt and org requires ugly hacks and I don’t like ugly hacks. So I wasn’t able to use links to email messages in org-mode with mutt. (They weren’t vital as my previous TODO scheme was based on email and I still keep it for archiving on notes in the cloud.)

I decided to give mu4e a go. It seems to work with offlineimap without fuss and Debian packages are available. And unlike some other email packages, Emacs support is one of the important parts.


I have more than a single email account and offlineimap reads these to different mailfolders. Since I wasn’t thinking to combine these email messages, these were residing in different Maildirs. I used mu4e for several days on only one of these. As mu updates its index by checking only the newest messages, (I think) it’s not straightforward to adapt it to different Maildirs.

Then, I saw a post that puts all Maildirs into a single directory and gives this mail root to mu as the indexing directory. Ah, nice idea. I should have thought this.

But I was too lazy to update my offlineimap configuration. First I tried to put symlinks in a directory and supply this to mu, but it didn’t work. It doesn’t follow symlinks and as far as I can tell, there is no option to ask him to do so.

Then I moved my Maildirs to directory and created symlinks for offlineimap and mutt in my $HOME. Symlinks a my friend. Pity to those whose OS doesn’t give an easy way to use them.