Some time ago, spent some time during Hackweek to find a developer friendly mail client. I recommended claws, since I am very content with it. For me it was important that it has a simple configuration file, which I can backup using git and share it among different computers. It makes it quite easy to reinstall your machine then.

I always thought it would be nice to be able to run my mail client on a remote server though. And mutt was on my list of try-it-out programs for some time.

So basically I played around with alpine, mutt, and neomutt. Findint out that the openSUSE package is some bastard between mutt and neomutt.

I read mail indexers like sup and notmuch.

And then I found the thing for me: mu.

mu is also a mail indexer. Additionally there is a client called mu4e. I am a vim user, but actually never looked at emacs. So this was a good time to do so.

Why not notmuch?

notmuch doesnt sort your mails in folders but tags them, which is nice. However it saves all this via xapian in some binary file. You would need to synchronize this file among all your computers and maybe on some systems they are not compatible (Android?). A guy in #neomutt pointed me to muchsync which tries to solve the problem partly.

But what if I want to change my mail setup in the future? I will have a huge Inbox and the tags wont help me much.

So this is a very personal choice.


When I discovered mu, there was no openSUSE package for it. I followed the example of the Debian package and gave it a more expressive name, it now lives in server:mail/maildir-utils on OBS, and already made its way into Tumbleweed.

So all you TW and future Leap 42.3 users can get it:

zypper in maildir-utils mu4e

Learning some Emacs basics

To get some Emacs basics down I first bothered a friend who is a long term emacs user and then skimmed through the book Mastering Emacs by Mickey Petersen. I think its pretty good.

But the power of vim was too strong which is why I decided to install evil mode, to get my loved vi-keybindings into emacs.

Configuring Emacs

On openSUSE the Emacs package also ships with some configuration. At first this was confusing to me, and I preferred to start from scratch:

rm .emacs .gnu-emacs-custom
vi .emacs.d/init.el

mu4e configuration

Sending and receiving mail

You can see in the mu4e configuration that I use mbsync to receive and msmtp to send the mail.

zypper in isync msmtp

What it looks like

mu4e in action

Composed with vim. Published on Tue, Jul 18, 2017 via Hugo.
© Michael Vetter