Mutt An Open Source Text Based Email Client For Linux


Table of Contents

​Mutt is an email client but with a different approach. It is fully based on the terminal when it comes to working. Mutt is a very simple email client easy to configure and use. It was really awesome to use it and now it is the default email client on my PC. Let us see more about mutt and see how to install mutt on our Linux box.  

How to install mutt email client?

​The installation of mutt is pretty much easy. You should be able to find it in Software Center or you can use apt to install it through the terminal – sudo apt install mutt ​Mutt is pretty much available on all platforms. You can search your required distro or download the tar package from mutt official site and install it.

how to install mutt email client in linux

​Setting up mutt. Setting up mutt is where you will feel a bit difficult but I am here to help.

Type the following commands one by one.

mkdir -p ~/.mutt/cache/headers
mkdir ~/.mutt/cache/bodies
touch ~/.mutt/certificates 
how to setup mutt text based email client

​Now we will create the configuration file by this command –

touch ~/.mutt/muttrc

​Now you will need to edit the muttrc file. In other tutorials you may find the use of some unknown text editors or will surely find some difficulty, this is why I am taking a different approach here. Move to your HOME directory and turn on view hidden files option. Normally this option is in right-click menu.

nemo file manager

This is my HOME folder for the sample. You will see the .mutt folder. Go inside it. Now open the muttrc file, you will see there. Open this file in your favorite text editor. I am using “xed” to edit.

mutt configuration file

Also Read – Top 4 Open Source Email Clients For Linux     ​

Now you need settings for your email account. I am assuming that you use Gmail account as I do. Also, you may be required to turn on access for the less secure app in your Gmail account.

set ssl_starttls=yes
set ssl_force_tls=yesset imap_user = '[email protected]'
set imap_pass = 'PASSWORD' 
set from='[email protected]'
set realname='Your Name'
set folder = imaps://
set spoolfile = imaps://
set postponed="imaps://[Gmail]/Drafts"
set header_cache = "~/.mutt/cache/headers"
set message_cachedir = "~/.mutt/cache/bodies"
set certificate_file = "~/.mutt/certificates"
set smtp_url = 'smtps://[email protected]:[email protected]:465/'
set move = no
set imap_keepalive = 900 ​

Copy and paste the above settings in muttrc file and change your email id and password properly wherever mentioned. Also, change your name to your real name that people call you.

edit muttrc configuration file

​Save and exit this file now. Now open the terminal and type and hit mutt.

If you see to accept some certificate or data hit required key and accept and you will be greeted with the inbox.

accept mutt certificate
mutt text based email client inbox

​Mutt is successfully set up. Enjoy reading, receiving and sending emails from the terminal which is super fast.  

Here is what I feel about mutt

​I personally enjoyed mutt. It is easy, fast and I can literally open it anytime without wasting too much data and time. Although mutt is so good but where it falls off is that it cannot display images which is not its fault. It is made in text format to be fast. But nowadays we mostly receive emails in images which force me to open my mail account in the browser or some other email client. But still, It helps me to check quickly if there is any email that I require to check quickly.  


​I recommend mutt as it serves the purpose and is really fast, small sized and does the job. I would like to hear your opinion about mutt and also what email client you currently use. Let me know in the comment section below, I am waiting.