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I read email. I read a lot of email. In the course of reading this mail, I used Elm for the longest time, but there wasn't any development going on with it. Then I tried Michael Elkins' elm me until he gave up on Elm. I've looked at the code. I'm impressed he lasted that long.

So, he started from scratch, and the result is Mutt, the Mongrel of all mail readers.

``All mail clients suck. This one just sucks less.'' -me, circa 1995

Mutt Helpers

The following are programs and additions which can be used along with mutt. There are several places where mutt calls external programs, or perhaps you need a script to format mail before it hits your inbox.

External Address Query Scripts

Mutt now contains support for running an external program to search for email addresses, originally from my patch. Here are some programs you can use: Note that the LDAP wrappers require Open LDAP.
The Palm accessible scripts require pilot-link.

Autoview Programs

With the autoview feature, you can transform various attachment types into something that is viewable as plain text. Here are some useful ones:

Mutt Patches

Mutt does suck less. But even with Michael's responsiveness to changes, suggestions, and patches, he won't take everything. These are my patches which haven't made it into mutt (yet) or aren't likely to ever make it into the official release.

Note, the readme file associated with each patch should contain useful information about the patch, and possibly problems associated with them.

Incorporated Patches

The following patches have been incorporated into the current version of mutt.

Cygwin32 NT/95 Port

This is an ALPHA port of mutt to Win32 using Cygnus Solution's Cygwin GNU Tools for Win32. Please see the readme file for instructions on use.

First Version: 0.83
Last Version: 0.87.4
Author: Brandon Long
README - Mutt PATCH - Slang PATCH - Cygwin32 TERMCAP

NNTP Mailbox Support

This patch adds support for NNTP (ie, usenet news) to mutt. It is not meant to make mutt into a newsreader, but allow you to treat newsgroups the same as your mailboxes. This patch requires inews. See the README for more information.

First Version: 0.84
Last Version: 0.95.1
Author: Brandon Long
README - PATCH mini inews

Content-MD5 (RFC 1864) Support

This patch allows you to add support for RFC 1864 to mutt. This causes mutt to add a Content-MD5: header to each outgoing message (or section of a multipart message) which is the BASE64 encoding of the MD5 Digest of the message body. In addition, this patch will check the Content-MD5 header of a message you are viewing and tell you whether the header matches the computed value or not.

First Version Patched: 0.51
Last Version Patched: 0.58.1
Author: Brandon Long
PGP Effects: None, but it's around the handler.c part, so the patch might fail
RFC 1864 - README - PATCH - Extra Files

Folder Count

This patch causes mutt to count the number of messages and new messages in a folder when you are using the mutt Folder Mode (dirlist.c). This has a lot of overhead, and is slow (especially over NFS), but if you have cycles to spare, or few mail folders, this is for you.

First Version Patched: 0.47
Author: Brandon Long
PGP Effects: None

UUDeview Support

Are you the type of person who receives a lot of attachments, and they aren't all in MIME format, or Encoded with one of the formats supported by mutt? Then UUDeview support is for you. It supports uuencoding, xxencoding, and BinHEX, and will automatically handle files which are split over multiple messages. This patch was provided by the author of UUDeview, to work with UUDeview version 0.5.7 and Mutt 0.44. This means that it probably won't patch cleanly against newer versions of mutt. If you do get it to patch, provide me with a new patch.

First Version Patched: 0.44
Author: Frank Pilhofer (
PGP Effects: None

Alternative PGP View

Does it irritate you that mutt has a separate sequence to show you the pgp output on pgp signed and encrypted messages? This patch makes mutt parse the output of pgp, and add the results of the signature check to the paged information where you can view it without the "second step."

First Version Patched: 0.56
Latest Version Patched: 0.58
Author: Frank Pilhofer (
PGP Effects: This is a patch for the output of PGP, so it effects it greatly. This should work against both the US version and the International version, but it isn't that widely tested, and that may change in later versions.
README - PATCH 0.56.3 - PATCH 0.57.1 - PATCH 0.58.1

Copyright (C) 2009 Brandon Long. All Rights Reserved. / Terms of Service

The "I work for a big public company" disclaimer:
The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.
I am not now, nor have I ever been employed to speak for anyone.
Well, except my own company, but that's gone now.