[Techtalk] mutt direcories

Akkana Peck akkana at shallowsky.com
Mon Jan 30 02:39:38 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.

I realized that I didn't really address the central question in my
previous reply: it sounds like Anne would rather not have mutt
prompt her about moving those messages. I've never actually seen
that prompt, so I guess our systems have different default mutt
configurations, but I looked it up, and you can get it to stop
asking you that by adding this to your .muttrc (create that file in
your home directory if you don't already have one):

set move=no

I got that by googling 
  mutt "move read messages" "mail/inbox"
and finding a Mutt FAQ, http://wiki.mutt.org/?MuttFaq/Folder
But like a lot of mutt docs, it's not very friendly -- it suggests
you RTFM "move", but doesn't give any clue where to find it in the
FM (and google was no help in finding it either). After some
searching, I found it here:
(scroll down about halfway to where move is defined). It says:

  Default: ask-no

  Controls whether you will be asked to confirm moving read messages
  from your spool mailbox to your `` $mbox'' mailbox, or as a result
  of a `` mbox-hook'' command.

So it's asking you because the default is ask-no (ask the user but
default to no, don't move), and the mbox variable controls where it
wants to store it. If you scroll up a bit to where mbox is documented,
it says it defaults to "~/mbox", but maybe on your distro someone
has changed that to =inbox.

I'm actually not sure why mutt has never asked me that; I don't set
move=no in my .muttrc and it's not set in /etc/Muttrc either.
Maybe Ubuntu compiles in different defaults from what the manual says.


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