Mutt in Feisty

Have been trying to make mutt work since dapper days, did not quite get it right. After seeing a post in ilugc mailing list today, was determined to try again. It did not take me any more than 5 minutes to get mutt working with exim4. Here are the steps..

[1] install exim4 (+exim4-base, exim4-config, exim4-daemon-light) and mutt

[2] configure exim4 as follows,

$ sudo dpkg-reconfigure exim4-config split configuration into small files ? YES

choose "mail sent my smarthost; received via SMTP or fetchmail

System mail name: localhostIP Address to listen on for incoming SMTP connections:

Other destinations for which mail is accepted: <blank>Machines to relay mail to: <blank>

Machine handling outgoing mail for this host (smarthost): local mail name in outgoing mail ? NO

Keep number of DNS queries minimal(Dial-On-Deman) ? NO

[3] Now configure the password client

$ sudo vim /etc/exim4/passwd.client


[4] Specify the port,

$ sudo vim /etc/exim4/conf.d/transport/30_exim4-config_remote_smtp_smarthost # add the following line after the line containing 'host_try_auth ..'


[5] Add your outgoing email address,

$ sudo vim/etc/exim4/email-address # myuser@localhost:


[6] Update the exim4 config

$ sudo update exim4.conf

[7] create a ~/.muttrc and add the following,

# mail check options

set pop_host="pops://"

set pop_last

unset pop_delete

# mail send options

set sendmail="/usr/sbin/exim4"

# check for new mail on startup

exec fetch-mail

[8] The necessary configurations are done. Open up a terminal and issue the following command

$ mutt

This will ask you to accept a security certificate and then check your mails. If the configurations are done as given above, you should be able to get the list of mails in your gmail inbox.

If it shows the error “/var/mail/UserName: permission denied (error-13)“, then send a test mail to ‘Username@localhost’. This will create the required /var/mail/UserName and make things work fine.

Happy mutt’ing 🙂


[1] Gmail and Exim4 – Debian Wiki

[2] Using mutt with Gmail


2 thoughts on “Mutt in Feisty

  1. Pingback: Mutt Notes | xyzLand: Open Source

  2. Very useful guide — many thanks for writing it! There appears to be couple of spelling mistakes here that might mess things up, though. E.g. in step five, the correct file is /etc/exim4/email-addresses (rather than _address_), I think. But thanks again!

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