Finally, got mutt to cache mail headers!

I have been baffled as to why my mutt client always took too long to read in mail and did not realize that the setting to cache the mail headers was never set in my .mutt/muttrc file.

This was what I needed to set: set header_cache=”$HOME/.mutt/.mutt_header_cache”

Done. Documented.


  1. Another cool mutt thing that I took a look at recently was the sidebar patch. Nice if you have lots of imap folders as you can see at a glance which have mail. I can see some of the places where it’s not quite finished yet, though

  2. Body caching
    There is also a body cache. This option is called “message_cachedir”. This is how I enabled it:
    set message_cachedir=~/.mutt-bodycache
    Have you managed getting the sidebar patch to work there? I am always getting a glibc error with it and mutt finally crashes. Compiling mutt without the patch, I do not get any errors.
    By the way, your blog is not very console-friendly. I was not able to post this comment using w3m probably because of this reCAPTCHA script.

    • Re: Body caching
      Firstly, apologies for the console unfriendlyness. I did not realize it. Let me see what I can do make that go away. Perhaps there is a LiveJournal skin that I could use and if you know of one, then please recommend.
      Second, thanks for the suggestion about the bodycache. I did not add it because I did not want to worry about the disk space it would take up. But let me experiment with it anyway.
      About the sidebar patch, I have not come around to testing that out. The mutt I am using is stock Fedora repo version – Mutt 1.5.18 (2008-05-17). I shall leave the hacking work for this National Day weekend.

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