[kwlug-disc] Mutt + Procmail (+ fetchmail)
cdfrey at foursquare.net
Sun Dec 14 23:01:48 EST 2008
I use mutt + procmail for my email, very similar to your setup. I also
ssh into my ISP to process my email. I'm a bit surprised that you consider
this too slow on a slow connection. You must have a really slow connection
if text is an issue. :-)
Anyway, I've setup procmail to filter mail into /home/cdfrey/Mail, using
one mbox file per filter. Filters are usually setup according to mailing
lists, or people, or projects. I use it to do all my spam filtering too,
which is basically a whitelist system.
I use a C++ program I wrote myself which I use to generate command line
reports on what is new. This program is written to cache as much information
as possible, since the server I use for email is often overloaded CPU-wise,
and I don't want to wait.
My general method for reading mail involves:
# ./newmail -n
Total New Mbox
------ ------ ----------------------------------------------
585 562 *asterisk-dev (54)
2051 1979 *asterisk-users (97)
1243 84 *barry (8)
339 177 *bochs-dev (1)
3029 1702 *boost (41)
2390 3 *cdfrey (3)
116 116 *cdfrey-misc (76)
4722 4686 *coreboot (78)
1620 87 *cryptography (3)
132 1 *debian (1)
1062 928 *full-disclosure (13)
28 19 *gentoo-announce (2)
1128 281 *git (164)
288 146 *gnupg-users (9)
5032 4891 *gnuradio-discuss (6)
834 5 *kwlug (3)
5261 5261 *linux-kernel (555)
712 362 *linux-thinkpad (20)
5305 5112 *linux-usb-devel (33)
2 2 *open-graphics (1)
780 98 *plusplus (2)
5111 360 *qemu-devel (248)
40 18 *slashdot (3)
This shows me how many messages are in each mbox, how many are unread,
and how many are new since the last time I ran newmail.
Then I read the mailbox with:
# mutt -f Mail/kwlug
Tab completion saves me typing most of this, so I don't mind the command line.
I don't like using the 'c' command, since it doesn't seem to let me
control the new message markers to my liking. I make heavy use of mutt's
'$' command, the 'x' command, and even the 'w' command, to keep the
read pointers where I want them. This probably reflects a deficiency
in my method of email processing, but it is what works so far. :-)
This setup leaves me at the command line most of the time, using newmail
to see what's new, and mutt only as a mail reader one mbox at a time.
I also have helper scripts, for example, that will cycle through all
mboxes with new mail, etc.
I don't make use of IMAP or POP at all. If my connection was exceedingly
slow so as to make a remote command line unusable, then I'd probably want
to download my mail to a local machine as well. So far, connection speed
has not been a problem, even when I used to be on dialup.
Since all my mail is stored on a remote server, I also do periodic backups,
using a simple ssh+tar download. I also have other programs I've written
that calculate SHA1 sums on each message in an mbox file, so I can verify
my mail has not been altered, at least for important mailboxes.
If this setup sounds useful to you, let me know and I can send you the
source code to newmail, mboxsum, and a supporting script or two.
I'm sure my system could be improved, so I'm interested in hearing what you
end up with.
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