How to use this Guide.
This guide is not meant as replacement for the manual.txt, but as an alternative form of presentation. You don't have to read the reference manual.txt before reading the MuttGuide,
but you should at least look up references to variables & commands ("$var" & "cmd") when you encounter them. If you don't know which key produces a desired function,
hit "?" to see the key-binding for the current context menu (it changes depending on what you do).
This MuttGuide is meant to be used from beginning to end, as a whole; the parts are kept simple to explain the various features step by step, and as basic as possible. Therefore not everything will be explained in all aspects & detail in each part. You might have to read several parts to learn everything for a certain task before you can make it work as you like. Mutt's power lies in the combination of the various features, and it depends on your creativity to make full use of it.
Working with email is a complex task, even though common user front ends might make it seem simple. Well, it can be simple, if you have some system administrator who takes care of all the stuff that happens on the way between two end users. Even if you are not such an admin who has to personally take care of everything in the own system, it will definitely help analyzing issues if you take time to understand the basic mail relationship by reading the MailConcept.
Should you run into trouble with your config, DebugConfig has ways to help you track it down and (possibly) solve it. Once you're done with the Guide or when debugging doesn't help, have a look at the MuttFaq, too.
Remember there are 3 levels regarding mutt usage:
- the build (compilation),
- the configuration and the
On every level you have choices to make about what you want to do, so always make up your mind, take care and don't depend on defaults: admins and distributors tend to customize global configs. So make sure you explicitly set what you need.
The Wiki assumes that you are familiar with editing text files and working with your command-shell and its features, especially the meaning of "shell environment variables" (keyword "export").
Read the man-page by executing "man $SHELL" in a command-line prompt.
And, of course, you should be willing to follow any references to external documents and read them.
(Examples are the documents of other applications used with mutt, and of course mutt's manual.txt).
How to help this Guide.
Always keep in mind that new users are expected to get through this all on their own.
This is not a task for experts only! Especially new users themselves are the best to tell what helped them to get started and how to change the docs to make it easier for the next one reading it. So add what you learn to share it with your fateful comrades who need the help that you can provide.
Before you edit, read WikiWorker first!
Note: you are not alone. There are many like you who need help or want to help out. Just get started, others can and will continue your work.
Please join us!