Wanderlust is a mail and news reader for Emacs with excellent IMAP support. It was originally developed by Yuuichi Teranishi.
Wandlerlust is hosted on GitHub.
It is the only emacs mail reader that I have used that seems to handle IMAP properly (i.e., leaves messages on server, cacheing, etc.). Gnus (CategoryGnus) users may disagree. It integrates with BBDB (CategoryBbdb), supports MIME, can handle integrating with mailcrypt (cvs version) (WanderLustEncryption?). MIME and PGP/MIME is handled via SEMI (SemiIsEmacsMimeInterface). Key-bindings are, at least to me, a little foreign at first. Documentation in English is sufficient though not overwhelming.
You can also install wanderlust through your package manager (for GNU/Linux); search for “wanderlust”, “wl”, or “wl-beta” (recommended for Debian-based systems).
Wanderlust has four basic buffers: Folder buffer, summary buffer, message buffer/view, and draft buffer.
Wanderlust starts in folder buffer, from which you can open a summary buffer (press “q” to close), which lists a summary of all messages in chosen folder. Navigate up/down with n/p, and N/P (only unread messages). Open a message for viewing with RET, and scroll up/down with SPC/BKSPC or RET/M-RET for line-scrolling. You can jump to the message with “j” for copying text, for instance, and press “q” to go back to summary buffer. Pressing “v” hides the message buffer, and “l” toggles the list of folders (folder buffer).
Pressing a/A opens the draft buffer for answering the message at point with/without citing the message. To write a new message press “w”. You can auto complete email addresses (form ~/.addresses), with TAB in the draft buffer.
There’s tons of more stuff you can do so reading the manual is a must. (
M-x info RET >> C-s Wanderlust). The original documentation website has been taken down and the most up-to-date documentation is in the Info file. (At least as of February 2013 in the wl-beta Ubuntu package).
To get started, add the following line to your InitFile:
(autoload 'wl "wl" "Wanderlust" t)
For the new user, the configuration can be quite troublesome. I had to look up most info myself in the wl mailing archives, which was a very tiresome process. I hope the following section helps you getting started with wanderlust.
(This section is only a stub and will be updated gradually.)
The first thing you will want to do is setup your folder. In folder view, go to the next line after Desktop, hit
‘m a’ and add the folder information. You’ll need to read the manual (accessible via info or on the website) about the format and options. If a connection has been established, you can enter the password.
‘M-x elmo-passwd-alist-save’ lets you save your passwords to ~/.elmo/passwd, so that you don’t have to enter them every time.
‘m p’ on a folder gives the folder a nice pet name (which you can choose, of course).
‘s’ on a folder syncs it (checks for updates on the server).
‘q’ exits the current view and asks if changes should be performed.
Wanderlust doesn’t automatically display all your IMAP folders. Add:
to your .folders to get all your folders. This doesn’t obey your subscribed list, but at least it shows your folders. Annoyingly it all sorts them in reverse order.
(It is not difficult to sort them in alphabetical order: simply type “m s” on the parent folder.)
You can use the same notation to browse any of wanderlust’s folder types. For instance, the following in your .folders file:
will produce a hierarchical tree of all shimbun feeds, which you can then browse.
will show you the complete hierarchy of newsgroups available on your default nntp server.
Check that you have enabled IMAP in your Gmail account settings, then put the following in your .wl:
;; IMAP, gmail: (setq elmo-imap4-default-server "imap.gmail.com" elmo-imap4-default-user "email@example.com" elmo-imap4-default-authenticate-type 'clear elmo-imap4-default-port '993 elmo-imap4-default-stream-type 'ssl ;;for non ascii-characters in folder-names elmo-imap4-use-modified-utf7 t) ;; SMTP (setq wl-smtp-connection-type 'starttls wl-smtp-posting-port 587 wl-smtp-authenticate-type "plain" wl-smtp-posting-user "myname" wl-smtp-posting-server "smtp.gmail.com" wl-local-domain "gmail.com" wl-message-id-domain "smtp.gmail.com") (setq wl-from "My Name <firstname.lastname@example.org>" ;;all system folders (draft, trash, spam, etc) are placed in the ;;[Gmail]-folder, except inbox. "%" means it's an IMAP-folder wl-default-folder "%inbox" wl-draft-folder "%[Gmail]/Drafts" wl-trash-folder "%[Gmail]/Trash" wl-fcc "%[Gmail]/Sent" ;; mark sent messages as read (sent messages get sent back to you and ;; placed in the folder specified by wl-fcc) wl-fcc-force-as-read t ;;for when auto-compleating foldernames wl-default-spec "%")
Then you also need to set up your .folder-file. See WlMultipleAccounts for an example.
You can use wl as a NNTP client, and post to usenet newsgroups. In the folder view, type
m a, then add an NTTP folder. Try reading the WL mailinglist:
Check the variable
‘stmp-local-domain’. It should have a real domain, at least “localhost”. See the previous example.
Please read the Info Manual carefully: (
M-x info RET >> C-s Wanderlust). as there is an enormous wealth of knowledge and variables to tweak. The most active channel of wanderlust discussion (in English) is the mailing list.
You can get information and help via the mailing list at email@example.com (English) or firstname.lastname@example.org (Japanese). To join the mailing list, send an email to
email@example.com or for English
firstname.lastname@example.org, with “subscribe YOUR NAME” as subject and body. You can browse the new mailing list here. To unsubscribe mail
email@example.com with “unsubscribe” as body.
As of January 2012 there’s an IRC channel
#wanderlust at irc.freenode.net. If this does not exist, please check