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neomutt - Man Page

The NeoMutt Mail User Agent (MUA)

Examples (TL;DR)


neomutt[-Enx] [-e command] [-F config] [-H draft] [-i include] [-b address] [-c address] [-s subject] [-a file] ... [--] address ...
neomutt[-nx] [-e command] [-F config] [-b address] [-c address] [-s subject] [-a file] ... [--] address ... < message
neomutt[-nRy] [-e command] [-F config] [-f mailbox] [-m type]
neomutt[-n] [-e command] [-F config] -A alias
neomutt[-n] [-e command] [-F config] -B
neomutt[-n] [-e command] [-F config] -D [-S] [-O]
neomutt[-n] [-e command] [-F config] -d level -l file
neomutt[-n] [-e command] [-F config] -G
neomutt[-n] [-e command] [-F config] -g server
neomutt[-n] [-e command] [-F config] -p
neomutt[-n] [-e command] [-F config] -Q variable [-O]
neomutt[-n] [-e command] [-F config] -Z
neomutt[-n] [-e command] [-F config] -z [-f mailbox]


NeoMutt is a small but very powerful text based program for reading and sending electronic mail under Unix operating systems, including support for color terminals, MIME, OpenPGP, and a threaded sorting mode.

Note: This manual page gives a brief overview of NeoMutt's command line options. You should find a copy of the full manual in /usr/share/doc/neomutt, in plain text, HTML, and/or PDF format.



Special argument forces NeoMutt to stop option parsing and treat remaining arguments as addresses even if they start with a dash

-A alias

Print an expanded version of the given alias to stdout and exit

-a file

Attach one or more files to a message (must be the last option). Add any addresses after the '--' argument, e.g.:

neomutt -a image.jpg -- address1 
neomutt -a image.jpg *.png -- address1 address2

Run in batch mode (do not start the ncurses UI)

-b address

Specify a blind carbon copy (Bcc) recipient


Enable cryptographic operations in the cases in which they're disabled by default. Those include:

  • Batch mode.
  • Sending a postponed message.
  • Resending a message.
-c address

Specify a carbon copy (Cc) recipient


Dump all configuration variables as 'name=value' pairs to stdout

-D -O

Like -D, but show one-liner documentation

-D -S

Like -D, but hide the value of sensitive variables

-d level

Log debugging output to a file (default is "~/.neomuttdebug0"). The level can range from 1–5 and affects verbosity (a value of 2 is recommended)

Using this option along with -l is useful to log the early startup process (before reading any configuration and hence $debug_level and $debug_file)


Edit draft (-H) or include (-i) file during message composition

-e command

Specify a command to be run after reading the config files

-F config

Specify an alternative initialization file to read, see Files section below for a list of regular configuration files

-f mailbox

Specify a mailbox (as defined with mailboxes command) to load


Start NeoMutt with a listing of subscribed newsgroups

-g server

Like -G, but start at specified news server

-H draft

Specify a draft file which contains header and body to use to send a message.  If draft is “-”, then data is read from stdin.  The draft file is expected to contain just an RFC822 email — headers and a body.  Although it is not an mbox file, if an mbox "From " line is present, it will be silently discarded. Draft files are processed the same in interactive and batch mode; they are not passed through untouched.  For example, encrypted draft files will be decrypted.


Print this help message and exit

-i include

Specify an include file to be embedded in the body of a message

-l file

Specify a file for debugging output (default "~/.neomuttdebug0")

This overrules $debug_file setting and NeoMutt keeps up to five debug logs ({ file | $debug_file | ~/.neomuttdebug }[0-4]) before override the oldest file

-m type

Specify a default mailbox format type for newly created folders

The type is either MH, MMDF, Maildir or mbox (case-insensitive)


Do not read the system-wide configuration file


Resume a prior postponed message, if any

-Q variable

Query a configuration variable and print its value to stdout (after the config has been read and any commands executed). Add -O for one-liner documentation.


Open mailbox in read-only mode

-s subject

Specify a subject (must be enclosed in quotes if it has spaces)


Print the NeoMutt version and compile-time definitions and exit


Print the NeoMutt license and copyright information and exit


Start NeoMutt with a listing of all defined mailboxes


Open the first mailbox with new message or exit immediately with exit code 1 if none is found in all defined mailboxes


Open the first or specified (-f) mailbox if it holds any message or exit immediately with exit code 1 otherwise



Specifies the editor to use if VISUAL is unset. Defaults to the Vi editor if unset.


For OpenSSL since version 0.9.5, files, mentioned at RANDFILE below, can be Entropy Gathering Daemon (EGD) sockets. Also, and if exists, ~/.entropy and /tmp/entropy will be used to initialize SSL library functions. Specified sockets must be owned by the user and have permission of 600 (octal number representing).


The user's email address.


Full path of the user's home directory.


Full path of the user's spool mailbox.


Path to search for mailcap files. If unset, a RFC1524 compliant search path that is extended with NeoMutt related paths (at position two and three): "$HOME/.mailcap:/usr/share/neomutt/mailcap:/etc/mailcap:/etc/mailcap:/usr/etc/mailcap:/usr/local/etc/mailcap" will be used instead.


Full path of the user's spool mailbox if MAIL is unset. Commonly used when the spool mailbox is a maildir(5) folder.


If this variable is set, mailcap are always used without prompting first.


Similar to configuration variable $news_server, specifies the domain name or address of the default NNTP server to connect. If unset, /etc/nntpserver is used but can be overridden by command line option -g.


Like configuration variable $entropy_file, defines a path to a file which includes random data that is used to initialize SSL library functions. If unset, ~/.rnd is used. DO NOT store important data in the specified file.


When set, specifies the default Reply-To address.


Defines an absolute path corresponding to /usr/share/locale that will be recognised by GNU gettext(1) and used for Native Language Support (NLS) if enabled.


Directory in which temporary files are created. Defaults to /tmp if unset. Configuration variable $tmp_dir takes precedence over this one.


Specifies the editor to use when composing messages.


Specifies a X Desktop Group (XDG) compliant location for the system-wide configuration file, as described in Files section below. This variable defaults to /etc/xdg. Bypass loading with command line option -n.


Specifies a XDG compliant location for the user-specific configuration file, as described in Files section below. This variable defaults to $HOME/.config. Can be overridden by command line option -F.


Configuration files

NeoMutt will read just the first found configuration file of system-wide and user-specific category, from the list below and in that order.

But it allows building of a recursive configuration by using the source command.

2$XDG_CONFIG_DIRS/neomutt/Muttrc *)$XDG_CONFIG_HOME/neomutt/muttrc
4/etc/Muttrc *)$XDG_CONFIG_HOME/mutt/muttrc
6/usr/share/neomutt/Muttrc *)~/.neomutt/muttrc
*) Note the case of the filename

Other relevant files

Unless otherwise stated, NeoMutt will process all grouped files in the order (from top to bottom) as they are specified in that listing.


User-specific and system-wide definitions for handling non-text MIME types, look at environment variable MAILCAPS above for additional search locations.


User's default debug log file. For further details or customising file path see command line options -d and -l above.


Description files for simple plain text mapping between MIME types and filename extensions. NeoMutt parses these files in the stated order while processing attachments to determine their MIME type.


The full NeoMutt manual in HTML, PDF or plain text format.


Temporary files created by NeoMutt. For custom locations look at description of the environment variable TMPDIR above. Notice that the suffix -XXXX-XXXX-XXXX is just a placeholder for, e.g. hostname, user name/ID, process ID and/or other random data.


See issue tracker at <https://github.com/neomutt/neomutt/issues>.

No Warranties

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

See Also

gettext(1), msmtp(1), notmuch(1), sendmail(1), smail(1), RAND_egd(3), curses(3), ncurses(3), mailcap(5), maildir(5), mbox(5), neomuttrc(5).

For further NeoMutt information:


Richard Russon and friends. Use <neomutt-devel@neomutt.org> to contact the developers.

Referenced By

mbox_neomutt(5), neomuttrc(5), nmudiff(1).

2024-04-25 Unix User Manuals