Don’t confuse the program msmtp with the ability to use MultipleSMTPAccounts in Gnus.

Basic Setup

Here’s a quick and short description of setting Gnus and msmtp to work with Gmail. This should work with the following software on Windows and *nix platform. The examples here are shown for the Microsoft Windows versions of the software but should work with just the path changes on *nix platforms.

No Gnus v0.6 or higher
GNU Emacs 21.3 or higher
msmtp version 1.4.9 or higher

The details above can be got by

1.	M-x gnus-version in Emacs 
2.	M-x emacs-version in emacs 
3.	msmtp --version at the command prompt 

Your typical msmtprc.txt file would look like this. Note msmtp --version will also tell you where msmtp looks for the configuration file.

account anderson
tls on
auth on
password XXXXXXX
port 587

logfile c:\msmtplog.txt
account neo
tls on
auth on
password XXXXXXX
port 587
logfile c:\msmtplog.txt

Attention: As in version 1.4.31 of msmtp, there is no need to fiddle with ‘message-sendmail-extra-arguments’. Inside your msmtprc file, add the ‘from’ command to each account. msmtp will match the ‘from’ value against the `From: ‘ field of the e-mail header (only the address).

I have found an alternate way to allow msmtp to determine from the email message which SMTP account to use. The following settings in my .gnus.el works for msmtp version 1.4.26:

;; This is needed to allow msmtp to do its magic:
(setq message-sendmail-f-is-evil 't)

;;need to tell msmtp which account we're using
(setq message-sendmail-extra-arguments '("--read-envelope-from"))

A close reading of the msmtp documentation and the definition of message-send-mail-with-sendmail in message.el will reveal how this works. --taltman

Now, we’d like to use Gnus to send email through msmtp. Add the following lines to the .gnus.el file.

;; with Emacs 23.1, you have to set this explicitly (in MS Windows)
;; otherwise it tries to send through OS associated mail client
(setq message-send-mail-function 'message-send-mail-with-sendmail)
;; we substitute sendmail with msmtp
(setq sendmail-program "c:/gnu/bin/msmtp.exe")
;;need to tell msmtp which account we're using
(setq message-sendmail-extra-arguments '("-a" "anderson"))
;; you might want to set the following too
(setq mail-host-address "")
(setq user-full-name "Anderson Guy")
(setq user-mail-address "")

Now compose a mail in Gnus to see whether the headers come up correctly and then send the mail message by hitting C-c C-c After a brief wait, the mail should be sent to the address specified. If there are any errors, msmtp error codes are displayed in the *echo* area as well as the msmtplog.txt file.

Or you can see what’s wrong here by looking up the error code in the man page

In the example above, we have used only 1 of the email accounts. Gnus allows you to post using different accounts, which can be accomplished with PostingStyles.

To use PostingStyles in Gnus with msmtp, here’s an example of how it’s done

(setq gnus-parameters
  ;;Use notthere id for all gmane news group postings
      (address "")
      (name "Sivaram N")
      (body "\n\n\n sivaram\n -- ")
      (eval (setq message-sendmail-extra-arguments '("-a" "anderson")))
      (user-mail-address "")))
      ;;use anotherguy id for all normal mails
      (address "")
      (name "Sivaram Another")
      (body "\n\n\n Sivaram A\n -- \n")
      (eval (setq message-sendmail-extra-arguments '("-a" "neo")))
      (user-mail-address "")))))

The variable message-sendmail-extra-arguments decides which msmtp account is called depending in which folder one is currently in Gnus.

Thanks to ssSslang on gnu.emacs.gnus who requested for message-sendmail-extra-arguments to handle multiple accounts of msmtp

– Updated: 4/18/2008 (blbrown): To the original post, I couldn’t get msmtp and gnus to work properly. It kept returning an exit value 78 error. I went to the msmtp documentation and made sure I could send a message directly from the command line with msmtp. I would make sure that works first. Also, here is my ~/DOTmsmtprc file.

tls on
tls_starttls on

account default
tls on
tls_starttls on
auth on
password PASSWORD
port 587
logfile /home/USER/msmtplog.txt

msmtp complains about the ‘default’ account settings, so if you receive a generic error while running with emacs; go to the command-line and if see if you receive more verbose error messages. Also, recheck your rc file.

Above configuration tested with:
OS: Ubuntu Linux 7.10
Emacs: 22.1.1 x86
msmtp version 1.4.14
TLS/SSL library: OpenSSL

Note that tls_cert_check = off makes you susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks. The correct thing to do is to download the appropriate SSL certificates and configure them as describe in the msmtp man page.

Yet Another Gnus/MSMTP Setting for Easy Multi-SMTP Sending

Multi-SMTP email sending in Gnus tortured me for long time. I searched for a sound solution for long time and can not find one. And I think using Posting Styles is too tedious, boring and prone to shooting myself. ILast Saturday night, I spent several hours, and found a sound and safe solution, and its setting is quite simple.

;; Choose account label to feed msmtp -a option based on From header in Message buffer;
;; This function must be added to message-send-mail-hook for on-the-fly change of From address
;; before sending message since message-send-mail-hook is processed right before sending message.
(defun cg-feed-msmtp ()
  (if (message-mail-p)
                (let* ((from
                                         (message-fetch-field "from")))
                                            ;; I use email address as account label in ~/.msmtprc
                                        ((string-match "" from)"")
                                ;; Add more string-match lines for your email accounts
                                ((string-match "" from)""))))
                  (setq message-sendmail-extra-arguments (list '"-a" account)))))) ; the original form of this script did not have the ' before "a" which causes a very difficult to track bug --frozencemetery

(setq message-sendmail-envelope-from 'header)
(add-hook 'message-send-mail-hook 'cg-feed-msmtp)

Though I use email address as account label, it’s not necessary. You can use any style you like. Just keep labels the same as in .msmtprc and code above.

Anyone who can read Chinese, and if you are interested, you can visit original article at my site - / Gnus+MSMTP or the same article in Chinese Emacs wiki - / Gnus+MSMTP.

Q: Is there any way to protect the password? I don’t like the idea of leaving it in plain text in the file, and for some reason I do not get prompted in gnus if I leave it out (although it works fine from the command line).

A1: MSMTP can use gnome keyring to store your password. If you specify auth but no pass, it will interrogate gnome-keyring-daemon for a password. This mitigates the risk of plain text password storage but is difficult to configure in a non-desktop environment.

A2: MSMTP takes the argument --passwordeval=<cmd>. In order to retrieve the password for the specified account, it will then run <cmd>. Since <cmd> can be anything, in particular gpg, you need not store your password unencrypted, just add "--passwordeval=gpg --quiet --batch -d name-of-file" to message-sendmail-extra-arguments, where name-of-file should be a gpg-encrypted text file containing nothing but the password. Note that if you miss --batch or --quiet, you will get errors which are hard to trace; the two disable unnecessary output to stdout and stderr, both of which emacs would capture.

Using msmtpQ to queue your mail

msmtp comes with a simple script which adds the ability to queue mail. I use it in gnus with these settings:

(setq message-send-mail-function 'message-send-mail-with-sendmail)
(setq sendmail-program "/usr/local/bin/msmtpQ"
      mail-specify-envelope-from t
;; needed for debians message.el cf. README.Debian.gz 
      message-sendmail-f-is-evil nil                
      mail-envelope-from 'header
      message-sendmail-envelope-from 'header)

msmtpQ sends the mail if there is a connection or queues it when there is none. It is part of the debian package: (/usr/share/doc/msmtp/examples/msmtpq/), but afaics is also in included in upstream. I put it into “/usr/local/bin/”. Don’t forget to set 3 vars in the script and make it +x. To send your mails, you flush your queue with “msmtpq -r” (Yes, small q).