|Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4: Red Hat Enterprise Linux Step By Step Guide|
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Most modern email clients allow the user to select whether they want to send their emails in plain text or in HTML. HTML formatted email can contain formated text, graphics, and interactive links to Web sites. The particular font can be specified, the layout is very controllable, textures, and pictures or backgrounds can be added; all this makes for a visually appealing message when it gets to the recipient.
On the other hand, plain text email is just that — plain text. There is nothing fancy, there are no pictures embedded in the email, and there are no special fonts.
The term plain text refers to textual data in ASCII format. Plain text (also called clear text) is the most portable format because it is supported by nearly every email application on various types of machines.
This chapter discusses the mutt plain text email client.
Mutt is a small but very powerful text-based mail client for UNIX operating systems.
The configuration file for Mutt, ~/.muttrc, is highly configurable. Because a user can control nearly all of the functions within Mutt, new users sometimes run into problems with initial configuration.
Most of the options for Mutt are invoked using the set or unset commands, with either boolean or string values, e.g. set folder = ~/Mail.
All configuration options can be changed at any time by
If you cannot remember the command, there is always tab-completion to help.
You do not have to type all your preferred configuration commands each time you run mutt, you can save them in a file which is loaded every time the program starts up. This configuration file must exist in your home directory, and it must be named either ~/.muttrc or ~/.mutt/muttrc.
When you launch mutt (by typing mutt at a shell prompt), a screen appears with a list of email messages. This initial menu is called the index.
These messages are in a default mail folder, called the
inbox or mailspool. Use the
In the index or pager views, use the
After editing the email, Mutt
displays the compose menu, which allows you to customize your
message headers, change the encoding, add file attachments or
To learn more about mutt, refer to the man pages for muttrc and mutt (type man muttrc or man mutt at the shell prompt). You may also find the mutt manual to be very helpful. The mutt manual is installed in /usr/share/doc/mutt-1.2.x/, where x is the version number of mutt installed on your system.