emacswiki dot wjcf at xoxy dot net

Below is some info on email within emacs. I gave this up, but I’ll leave it around in case there is something useful in there.

Gnus for IMAP Email with Offlineimap and Dovecot

This is a scratchpad, to which I intend to add information and then perhaps promote it out of my personal page:

I decided to try to use offlineIMAP/Dovecot/Gnus for email. Gnus is synchronous so it can tie up emacs, so a good solution is to use offlineimap to get the mail, and then use a local IMAP server like Dovecot to access it (gnus has some problems reading the maildir output itself).

It’s essential to study the internal manual, particularly the “Mail in a Newsreader” section.


Installing offlineIMAP and configuring it is pretty straightforward and well documented. I’m currently running it in a screen session, though it could just run in emacs.


This doesn’t even have to run as a server - gnus can run it as a shell command directly. See config below



(setq gnus-select-method '(nnimap "Mail" (nnimap-stream shell)))
(setq imap-shell-program "/usr/sbin/dovecot --exec-mail imap")

Working out what to do after M-x gnus is pretty bewildering until you trawl through a lot of doc. Some of the important keys I found:

In the groups (folders) view:

LList all groups, including unread
lList only groups with unread
gget new messages - refresh
A AList all groups
^go to a server view, then you can select your Mail server and get at the groups another way. Sometimes this is the only way I can see a new folder. Still working this out.

In the group/folder view

#mark message. M-# unmarks, then commands can be done on multiple marked messages
M-uclear all marks - ticks, read, old etc
M-grefresh. With prefix arg., will also show previously read messages
FFollow-up (reply all)
K Hsend HTML message to display in browser
K bcreate buttons for all mime parts
C-c C-sPrefix for sort commands - C-h will show them all

There’s no way around it though, you have to spend an hour or two reading the manual (and then revisiting it…).