What is mutt's way to provide "templates" for sending new email?

One simple way is:

  • start a new email,
  • fill in the template data & body,
  • in the compose-menu execute the function "write-fcc" and
  • specify your template-folder.

Then, to use a template, apply the "resend-message"
function on the desired template and continue to fill out the
missing data and body.

You can also read a template from a file with partial headers and
body text when you launch mutt with -H file.

How to make random signatures?

You can specify a script that produces random STDOUT, which then
can be used as signature, if you specify

 set signature="script|"

What am I missing when I invoke mutt in batch mode from the cmd-line but it goes interactive?

Please read carefully "mutt -h" for the desired arguments (and their order),
and make sure you specify a "body" file to be read from STDIN:

 mutt < body-file
 cmd | mutt

If you want an empty body (when you provide everything else via parameters),
use /dev/null instead of the file name.

 mutt < /dev/null

How can I access the development versions of Mutt?

Periodic snapshots are available from

The source code is maintained in a Mercurial repository. You can pull your own copy for hacking with

 hg clone

Because of a slight bug in the CVS import process (the default branch is called "HEAD" instead of "default"),
you may have to use another command to get the latest version into your working directory after the clone:

 hg update -C HEAD

Afterwards, hg pull -u should keep you up to date.

Where do I find the change log of the differences/ features between releases (stable, dev)?

One way is to look at the ChangeLog file packaged with the source distribution.
However, it's cluttered with lots of code internal noise which probably makes it hard to find the
relevant entries of interest for end-users.

Therefore you're better off look at the UPDATING link on the MuttWiki start page for digested changes.

Mutt config is pretty static, how to make it more dynamic even without ScriptSupport?

There are still some ways to have the config adapt dynamically,
maybe one of the ConfigTricks does it for you.

What is the meaning of "mbox", "maildir", "mailbox" and "folder"?

These terms are heavily OverloadedNames,
meaning different people use the same terms for different meanings.

How to fix error 'Could not copy message'?

A general-purpose error message. Frequently, the reason is that your "$tmpdir" becomes full when you try to read this message.
Either free some hdd space in that volume, or use another volume.

Other causes may be other 'helper' applications, including crytpo tools used to decrypt/verify signed/encrypted mail. Enabling debug mode (if compiled in) may reveal more helpful error output.

Switching folders is too slow with big folders, how to speed up?

Upgrade to 1.5.15 or later (or wait for 1.6 ;), there is header caching included.
Once the cache is built, you should notice an improvement.
Beware to clear/ remove the cache when upgrading or debugging.

How to trigger a script on new mail?

This doesn't work before 1.5.xx, so upgrade first.
Then see the example in manual.txt about Filters and status_format.

How do I help update the site?

Last modified 6 months ago Last modified on Aug 5, 2016 1:14:23 PM