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1. Which console / terminal based email clients do you support?

Which console / terminal based email clients do you support?
Many users prefer to read mail directly on the server. We support (and encourage) this on our systems. For a number of reasons, we keep mail servers separate from customer machines, and do not deliver to standard mbox style mailboxes, so some of the traditional mail tools won't (easily) work with our setup.

You can run many of these programs on your own system. In that case, you'll either need to access your mail via IMAP, or else use a program like getmail or fetchmail to retrieve your mail from your DreamHost account. Pine

Pine should work right off the bat. Since we have the system-wide Pine configuration file setup to use IMAP already, you don't have to do anything. Subfolders are (by default) IMAP folders; you can add or change the folder-collection if you'd like to view / save messages in mbox files in ~/mail/ or somewhere. Note that this type of folder will *not* show up via IMAP. We use Courier IMAP, so what would normally be in mbox folder ~/mail/foo will be a Maildir in ~/Maildir/.foo/.

You can (and should) change the default domain (default will be @mailmachine.dreamhost.com) to your domain in 'Setup' (s from the main menu) and then 'Config' (c from the main menu. If you'd like to do more complex things with your outgoing 'From' header, check out the 'Rules' and 'Roles' - 's','r','r' from the main menu.

We're phasing out support for passwordless auth over SSH due to some recent problems with this. If you'd like, you can create the empty file '.pine_passwd' in your home directory ('touch ~/.pine_passwd' will do the trick) - Pine will then ask you if you'd like to save your password next time you login.

Note that this is somewhat insecure since the password file (which is not readable by other users) doesn't use very strong encryption, and so if someone were to gain access to your account, they could crack your password. On the other hand, if they gained access to your account, they could read your mail anyway. It might be a good idea to use a different password for mail and shell users, to minimize possible damage.

If you need general info on PINE, check out:
http://www.washington.edu/pine/ (Official PINE site)
http://www.ii.com/internet/messaging/pine/ (Lots of useful tips and tricks here)


Mutt is a great (and powerful) email client. You can find out more information at http://www.mutt.org/. I would highly recommend it (it's what I use personally). However it does have a moderately steep learning curve. If you're used to another client like Pine, there are some keybindings you can copy from Pine.rc in /usr/share/doc/mutt/examples.

Mutt is also a very PGP aware client, and is quite useful if you use PGP or GPG. There are some ideas for pgp2, pgp5 and gpg settings in the directory mentioned above. Dreamhost machines currently have pgp2 and pgp5, as well as GnuPG installed. We recommend using GnuPG, and we also suggest carefully reading the documentation for whatever version of PGP you are using.

Mutt can work via IMAP, but we suggest that you use it to access local Maildir files (Mutt has native Maildir support).

You may wish to compile your own version of mutt in your home directory, if you'd like a newer version, or if you'd like to apply some of the many patches available (we use the Debian version, which has a lot of common patches applied by default... the security fixes have also been backported, so the current version we're running should be safe against all known exploits). You may also wish to check out the development branch (1.5.x at the time of writing).


Elm won't work with the new system unless you configure it to look in .mail and use procmail (see the procmail section of kbase) to redirect all your mail to a file in your home directory (like ~/mbox or ~/.mail). We don't officially support this, and make no guarantees, but it should work. This will make it so that you can't retrieve mail via POP or IMAP anymore.

You could also forward mail to user@webmachine (where user is your username and webmachine is the name of your web server. Again, we don't recommend this or make any guarantees that you won't be moved to another web machine without much warning.

We use the ME patched elm, so newer versions may be IMAP aware when we upgrade.

Mailx ("mail")

Same goes for mailx (minus the IMAP part); also there are some security holes in mailx that Debian is not planning to fix since the program is so buggy. Thus, you should be able to send using mailx (the 'mail' command) but receiving mail will probably not work properly. However things like:
% echo 'blah' | mail username@host.invalid
should work (note that you can do pretty much the same thing with mutt).


We don't provide support for MH, and the same caveats as above carry over. It is (currently) installed though. Put "/usr/bin/mh" in your $PATH environment variable to get started (and RTM).

Any questions regarding this can be directed to support; have them forward it to me (William).

Last updated: Aug 22, 2003.

Official Reply (2004-07-28 10:59:22 )
You can also do the converrsion indirectly either via mutt (which can read / write both), or (slightly more indirectly) using mailutil (which can go between mbox and IMAP (and thus Maildir)).
Official Reply (2003-01-16 12:37:07 )
We have our own script that does this as well - if you're moving mbox files from another provider and want them converted, we can probably do this for you.
User Post (2005-01-10 11:58:02 by ybron)
How does one get mutt to acknowledge that "/." is the folder separator for Maildir, and not just for IMAP? I hate specifying "=.name" as the foldername instead of "=name".
User Post (2002-12-04 19:22:02 by ncm)
You don't need to download anything to convert mbox files to Maildir.
Just run
cat mbox | formail -I'From ' -s safecat Maildir/tmp Maildir/new
User Post (2002-07-24 11:15:48 by gabeanderson)
If you need to convert mbox files to Maildir (mail format that DreamHost uses), I'd highly recommend the following Perl script, which works wonderfully and allows you to convert an entire directory and subdirectories of mbox files to Maildir format:


For smoothest use, download 'mb2md.pl' directly from ftp listing:


...then upload to your account. After that, make sure you make the script executable ('$chmod 700 mb2md.pl') and run it according to documentation.