Mutt - The mongrel of text-based mail user agents
I will happily confess that I am an oldfart when it comes down to basic Internet usage: I still use UUCP for my (backup) mail usage, regularly use the command-line to do things on my machines and all that.
E-mail, as one of my primary communication tools, is not different: I’m fan of a text-based E-mail client, Mutt.
I used to run another mail client called Elm a longtime ago but at some point, one of the authors, Michael Elkins decided that patching Elm was getting out of hand and created Mutt in 1995. I contributed a few patches back in 1996 when I started to use it.
Mutt is just incredible, it has lots of commands, both in the configuration file and within the interface, has “hooks” for different parts of its features, is fast and relatively small. I have still to find a GUI-based client that rivals it (and I have tested a lot of them).
It has some flaws, mostly inherited from its text-based design:
- it is synchronous meaning that when you are editing a mail, you can not do anything else
- to workaround this, you can launch a second instance but you have to be careful
- it can not easily display images or special attachements (though
I wrote a Ruby script to convert Elm’s
aliases.text into a Mutt one: here.
Here is an somewhat old version of mutt