Just when I thought I would be a reasonnable guy for 2018 and just keep processing my email with Apple Mail, I found myself reconfiguring Emacs to fetch and send some email using mu4e, now in version 1.

The above screenshot is just a side by side arrangement of the header view and the main mode view (with a little help from ace-swap-window).

There are a couple of modifications compared to my previous settings. First, I am now relying mbsync instead of offlineimap (which is in maintenance mode nowadays) to get my email in sync between the mail server and the local Maildir. I find it much simpler and probably faster, although I do not have large amount of email to fetch actually. Second, I no longer use Gmail so my setup was a bit simpler (you know how Gmail think of mailboxes and virtual folders, right?). I know we can configure an iCloud account but I didn’t try that for the moment. The default configuration with mu4e relies on Emacs smtpmail, but it is also possible to use postfix.

I am using Doom Emacs and it comes with a dedicated layer, in Spacemacs parlance, and a set of Evil bindings that I still need to learn.1 However, original mu4e shortcuts are currently working so this is not a big deal. For the record, with OVH we need to use the SSL channel (ssl0.ovh.net) but the outgoing port should be set to 587 and not 465 (which is the one for SSL connection). This is not obvious from the on-line help but in case it helps…

I only configured one account since it is supposed to be used to send quick email or attachments, but I moved my entire archive of Gmail messages into a dedicated mailbox. I consider that it might still be helpful to keep of all my emails in one place as plain text: I can search into the archives from Emacs or a Terminal thanks to mu, and I also get all my contact information, including email addresses from past conversations, in case I need it.

Note that I also added a “queue” folder using (setq smtpmail-queue-dir "~/.mail/queue/cur") in case I have to work remotely and offline. So, for now my Maildir is organized as follows:

% tree -d -L 2 .mail
.mail
├── aliquote
│   ├── Drafts
│   ├── INBOX
│   ├── Sent\ Mail
│   └── Trash
├── archives
│   ├── cur
│   ├── new
│   └── tmp
└── queue
    ├── cur
    ├── new
    └── tmp

Other useful tips & tricks can be found in the following blog posts:

Tom Waits • The Asylum Years


  1. I still haven’t figured out how to make org-mu4e-compose-org-mode play well with the rest of my configuration when hooked under mu4e-compose-mode-hook (C-c C-c in message view does not send the message but remains binded its Org-specific counterpart), and I have to dig further. [return]