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The Mutt Mail User Agent

Mutt is a UNIX mail user agent (aka mail client) that is available to all SDF users.

This is a brief tutorial on reading and sending mail with mutt. It does not cover some useful features, such as folders.

On SDF, it is already configured for sending and receiving mail with your SDF account.

To launch mutt, type mutt at the command line.

Reading mail

When you launch mutt without any options, you will see a list of messages in your inbox.

You can select a message by moving between them using 'j' and 'k', as in vi, or the arrow keys, or jumping to a message by entering its index number, as seen in the leftmost column, and pressing the return key.

To read a message, select it and press the return key. Press the space bar to see the next page of the message or '-' to see the previous page. To return to the previous screen, press 'i'.

You can perform a number of actions on the selected message, or the message you are currently reading. To reply to the message, press 'r'. (See the section below on sending mail.) To delete the message, press 'd'. The message will be marked for deletion, and mutt will ask if you want to purge deleted messages when you leave the folder it is in. If the message has attachments, you can view a list of them by pressing 'v', and save them by pressing 's'.

Sending mail

To send a message, you may press 'm' from within mutt to begin a new message or 'r' to reply to the selected message or the message you are reading. You will then be prompted for a recipient, followed by a subject. Mutt will then launch your $EDITOR, where you can write your message. When you are done, write the message out to the file (mutt will have provided a temporary filename) and quit your editor. Mutt will then take you to the Compose screen, where you can change the subject, recipients, etc. if desired. If you want to re-edit part of your message, select it, and press 'e'. You can add an attachment by pressing 'a'. When you are ready to send your message, press 'y'. You will be returned to the previous screen and will see a notification "Mail sent."

Getting help

At the top of your terminal, mutt will show you a selection of common keybindings that you can use at the moment, with brief descriptions. To see a longer list of keybindings, with less brief descriptions, press '?'. To read the mutt manual, press the F1 key from within mutt, or view the file /usr/pkg/share/doc/mutt/manual.txt. You can also consult the mutt man page for information on command line options, environment variables, etc.

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