mutt and Exchange

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To my knowledge, I'm one of the only few that still use a terminal based mail reader for email. Almost everyone has gone GUI/HTML/heavyweight. I enjoy that I can fire up an ssh connection from anywhere, have access to all of my email in a way that I know and am comfortable with.

I use an1 MUA called mutt.

My only real complaint since switching from mail-beta.cs.uiuc.edu to Exchange for email was speed. The version of mutt I am using doesn't do a whole lot of caching, and so when the IMAP server hangs for a second (even on a NOOP command – I did some tcpdumps) it stops everything. (It's text based, so there's not much multithreading going on – what you see is what it's doing.)

I noticed on the mutt website the version that ships with RHEL and Fedora is not the latest in the production build, and is quite a few revisions back on their development build. Scanning the development build notes, I see they've added support for header and message caching. This could be very beneficial when dealing with an overloaded Exchange IMAP front end.

So I'm giving it a try. Performance is very much improved, especially when opening a mailbox with thousands of messages in it (after the first load.)

The next thing I want to try is using something like fetchmail to sync local directories with Exchange via IMAP, and use mutt off those local files. I think that will work much better for local searches than what mutt or Exchange provide.

Mutt tricks

Tag messages in a folder older than 30 days and then delete tagged messages

T
~d >30d
;d

~A matches all messages
T is the tag expression command
Control-T is the untag expression command

or put in the .muttrc (from http://wiki.mutt.org/?ConfigTricks)

folder-hook root "push <delete-pattern>~r>2w!~F<enter>"

So that when I open the root folder, any messages older than two weeks (and not flagged important, shift-F) will be marked for deletion. I can U ~A to undelete all messages in the folder if I want to override, or just exit the folder to nuke them.

Footnotes
Ref Notes
1 Marc said 'a MUA' was bad grammar. He works in email. He knows.
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