Pure keyboard: Version 2 of the text-based e-mail client Mutt has appeared


The text-based, free e-mail client Mutt has made a version jump to number 2.0. However, the reason for this is not so much an extensive reconstruction or a major expansion, but rather the introduction of some changes, with which the downward compatibility with previous versions is no longer available.

The developer gives in the release notes an overview of the most important innovations; There is also a link to the complete list of all changes in the source code repository at Gitlab. If you are planning an update to version 2.0, you should especially look at the section with the features that break with the compatibility with previous versions: This affects, among other things, the behavior when adding to attachments. Some variables now have default values ​​that are adapted to the respective localization; they can be recognized by their type string (localized). When establishing a connection to the server, encryption is now assumed and TLS is enforced (the variable ssl_force_tls is on yes set).

As usual, there are also some innovations, but as developer Kevin McCarthy emphasizes, this time there are even fewer than in previous versions. For example, you can use the cd-Command within Mutt now change the directory. If the connection to the IMAP server is lost, Mutt automatically tries to re-establish the connection. Mutt now masters the XOAUTH2 protocol as well as completing patterns using the tab key.

In addition, with MuttLisp there is an extension of the configuration syntax based on Lisp, e.g. for the conditional execution of commands. However, the developer emphasizes the limitations: MuttLisp is not a complete programming language, cannot replace macros and is experimental. Last, but not least: Users can specify a directory for storing attachments.

Mutt is freely available for Linux and Unix systems under the GNU General Public License (GPL). The software first appeared in 1995 and has been developed since then; the last version 1.14.7 is from August this year. The last big change came with version 1.6 in 2016. As a mail user agent (MUA) for the console, Mutt is a curiosity, but continues to enjoy a certain popularity because e-mails can be managed quickly and efficiently using the keyboard – once you have familiarized yourself with the software.


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