aerc-notmuch - Man Page

notmuch configuration for aerc(1)


aerc supports using the notmuch email system as a backend, for fast indexing and searching.

For this to be enabled, aerc needs to be build with notmuch support. Refer to the installation instructions for details.


Notmuch accounts currently are not supported with the :new-account command and must be added manually.

In accounts.conf (see aerc-accounts(5)), the following notmuch-specific options are available:

check-mail-cmd = <command>

Command to run in conjunction with check-mail option.


check-mail-cmd = mbsync -a

check-mail-timeout = <duration>

Timeout for the check-mail-cmd. The command will be stopped if it does not complete in this interval and an error will be displayed. Increase from the default if repeated errors occur

Default: 10s

source = notmuch://<path>

The source indicates the path to the directory containing your notmuch database (usually a .notmuch/ folder).

The path portion of the URL following notmuch:// must be either an absolute path prefixed by / or a path relative to your home directory prefixed with ~. For example:

source = notmuch:///home/me/mail

source = notmuch://~/mail

query-map = <file>

Path to a file containing a mapping from display name to notmuch query in the form of <NAME>=<QUERY>.

Multiple entries can be specified, one per line. Lines starting with # are ignored and serve as comments.

e.g. inbox=tag:inbox and not tag:archived

exclude-tags = <tag1,tag2,tag3...>

Comma separated list of tags which will be excluded from query results, unless explicitly mentioned in the query.

This can for example be useful if you use an archive or spam tag.

maildir-store = <path>

Path to the maildir store containing the message files backing the notmuch database. This is often the same as the notmuch database path. This is optional. If specified, it will be used by aerc to list available folders and enable commands such as :delete and :archive.


Notmuch shows slightly different behavior than for example imap. Some commands are slightly different in semantics and mentioned below:

cf <notmuch query>

The change folder command allows for arbitrary notmuch queries. Performing a :cf command will perform a new top-level notmuch query.

filter <notmuch query>

The filter command for notmuch backends takes in arbitrary notmuch queries. It applies the query on the set of messages shown in the message list. This can be used to perform successive filters/queries. It is equivalent to performing a set of queries concatenated with "and".

See Also

aerc(1) aerc-accounts(5) aerc-smtp(5) aerc-maildir(5)


Originally created by Drew DeVault <> and maintained by Robin Jarry <> who is assisted by other open source contributors. For more information about aerc development, see

Referenced By

aerc(1), aerc-accounts(5), aerc-config(5), aerc-maildir(5).