I am using mu4e for reading and sending emails wherever possible: mostly for the technical discussions or any quick emails where HTML isn’t required. I have multipl accounts, Gmail & Fastmail, the latter mostly because it provides an excellent service, has support for custom domain, and seemingly unlimited aliases.
Having said that, I had a few hiccups while setting up muliple providers with
mu4e. Out of the box, it provides what are called as
contexts which are
dynamic placeholders for messages based on some predefined rules. Sending an
email from given address is as quick as changing the context by pressing
writing & sending it off. But I wasn’t able to make it work really well for one
reason or another and wasn’t able to send mails using Fastmail.
I spend quite some time today, read all over the internet, tried debugging the emacs configuration but finally decided to make the configuration a bit more sane after reading a reddit comment from IceDane. The gist is that email can be divided into three parts:
- Getting it
- Indexing & Reading it
- Sending it
And using good applications where each can do one thing well makes sense:
- Getting it: mbsync
- Indexing & Reading it: mu + mu4e
- Sending it: ??
Getting the emails and indexing them was working flawlessly. Initially I was
rolling with the default
sendmail that came with Debian. The problem of using
mu4e was that the entire configuration had to come as part of
(setq mu4e-contexts `( ,(make-mu4e-context :name "fastmail" :enter-func (lambda () (mu4e-message "Entering Fastmail contenxt")) :leave-func (lambda () (mu4e-message "Leaving fastmail context")) :vars '((; A lot of stuff removed from here (smtpmail-smtp-server "smtp.fastmail.com") (smtpmail-default-smtp-server . "smtp.fastmail.com") (smtpmail-smtp-server . "smtp.fastmail.com") (smtpmail-local-domain . "fastmail.com") (user-mail-address . "firstname.lastname@example.org")))))
msmtp provides a good configuration file to setup each email differently. The
benefit of using it was that I could move the configuration out to its own file,
and just forward the send request from emacs to
The changes on emacs side were actually minimal as well. I needed to configure
msmtp as the
sendmail program in Emacs, and provide the option
--read-envelope-from as an extra argument. This causes
msmtp to read the
sending address from the header of the message and use that to get the
configuration for sending the email. This also means that the individual
contexts in mu4e are pretty slim as well as the configuration for ports,
endpoints, etc. can be moved out.
Also, we need to set
message-sendmail-f-is-evil to remove the username from
the emacs message. This is anyhow read from the
(setq sendmail-program "/usr/bin/msmtp" send-mail-function 'smtpmail-send-it message-sendmail-f-is-evil t message-sendmail-extra-arguments '("--read-envelope-from") message-send-mail-function 'message-send-mail-with-sendmail)
~/.msmtprc configuration is also pretty sleek:
# Set default values for all following accounts. defaults auth on tls on tls_trust_file /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt logfile ~/.msmtp.log # Gmail account gmail host smtp.gmail.com port 587 from email@example.com user username password app-specific-password # A freemail service account fastmail host smtp.fastmail.com port 465 from firstname.lastname@example.org user email@example.com tls_starttls off password app-specific-password # Set a default account account default : gmail
Adding new account is just adding it to the configuration file, adding the context to mu4e configuration and start sending the message.