[Techtalk] mutt direcories

Akkana Peck akkana at shallowsky.com
Sun Jan 29 21:59:56 UTC 2012

Anne Wainwright writes:
> Starting Mutt automagically opens that directory where I can see new mail. Then on exit I am asked if I want to move read messages to ~/mail/inbox. I find 
> I can also access that using the 'c' command, and can create a whole hierachy of directories under ~/mail.
> It just seems unusual to have 2 'inboxes', 

You don't have two inboxes (by default). /var/mail/yourname is your
inbox, and when you've read mail, you can choose to archive it for
later somewhere in your folder hierarchy (~/mail/...). When you
archive mail, you're saving it in case you want to refer to it
later, just like if you'd saved mail to a folder using Claws or
any other mail client.

You can have multiple inboxes, if you want to: you can do something like

mailboxes /var/mail/yourname =inbox =workmail

and have as long a list of incoming folders as you like. Mutt will
check all the folders in that list, and let you know when new mail
appears in any of them. = means your mail directory (~/mail); you
can use either = or + for that.

I have procmail set up to divide my incoming mail into different
folders, which I put in a directory called "in" inside my normal
mail directory. So I have something like

mailboxes =in/Inbox =in/chix =in/ubuntu =in/gimp

and so forth (it's a long list -- I'm on a lot of mailing lists).
I use in/Inbox instead of /var/mail/akkana (another Procmail rule)
to make it easier to back up my whole mail hierarchy to my laptop
or backup disk.

But of course you don't have to use multiple inboxes; you can use it
just like Claws or anything else, read your mail in /var/mail/yourname
and archive it wherever you want ... or keep it in the inbox, or delete
it all and don't save anything.

Does that make it any clearer?


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