Is there a super simple mail client that works on the console that is simpler than mutt? Something like mail(1) but with IMAP and MIME support?

I'm trying to compile aerc. I'm no a person. I wonder: how am I supposed to do this on , if I'd like to use the Debian packages instead of downloading all these sources from all over the net myself? My main problem, however, is that one of the modules requires Go 1.13 and my Debian variant offers Go 1.11.6. :blobsad:

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@cathal Not sure if serious? I use mail(1) a lot on my server. Basically check a small sample of mails with the same subject, then delete them all with d/regex and the like. But I want IMAP and MIME, too… What do you use? Evolution?

@kensanata @cathal Have you heard about aerc ( ?
Not sure if that's what you're looking for. Maybe is not super simple, but it covers the other requirements.

@kensanata Years ago I used mutt for a while. I wouldn't call it "simple", from my POV, but it served on a machine that could barely handle X. I eventually fell back on Thunderbird after trying Evolution and Claws for a while but later still collapsed back into using Rainloop web client. I'm an experienced email n00b. :)

@cathal I went from elm and pine to Gnus on Emacs, then to Gmail and a web UI and that served me well for many years. I know the lure of web UIs. 😄

@kensanata Probably if I didn't have to use Gmail for work I'd return to using desktop clients, I like being able to close a tab and knowing that's the end of the interaction. I just know Google use imap-ping IP addresses to trace locations, no thanks.
Thunderbird had a lot of things to recommend it TBH, but there were lots of cracks, like the bizzarre old database format they used for contact books that made them hard to interop or export. Lots of time wasted on it soured me a bit.

@cathal @kensanata I'm using Gnome evolution... not super sexy, but seems to do everything OK and takes a lot less resources than Thunderbird (feeling)

@douginamug @cathal Maybe I should just give it a try. I remember trying evolution once many years ago. I used Thunderbird for a year or two as well. Must have been twenty years ago or so, haha.

@kensanata @cathal Evolution has come on a lot since I tried it years ago, gave up, tried Thunderbird, Geary and then tried it again.

Calendar, emails, and contacts all seem to work without surprises, and I can't remember it crashing since I started on it ~6 months ago.

I'm using 3.36.2

@douginamug @kensanata Can confirm, have happily used Evolution. I think I had it integrating nicely with Nextcloud for a time (CalDav/CardDav), also, until my Nextcloud server went down permanently after a house-move.

@kensanata @sir user review:

it's really awesome, especially if you're a vim user.

unfortunately I had to stop using it because of how broken the protonmail bridge is. I'll start using it again once I migrate everything off proton though.

@adasauce Thanks for the feedback. Not sure how I feel about this as an Emacs user. 😃

@alexcleac I saw that on a best-of list but it also noted that it wasn't actively maintained anymore. Do you use it?

@kensanata Genau dafür wurden VMs bzw. Docker-Container erfunden.

(Aus der Reihe: Don’t mess with your system’s compilers.)

@sr_rolando Ja, aber als Einzelperson wird der Stack ja dann noch mühsamer. Aber ja, mit Perl habe ich genau den gleichen Dreck: Mit Perlbrew die verschiedenen Versionen installieren, die Module alle selber für jede Version installieren, und mich wundern, wie man das geschickt mit den Paketen von Debian verbinden könnte. Und dann einfach nur müde werden.

@kensanata Wohl wahr.

Das Konzept einer „Virtual Env“ gibt es m.W. bei Go nicht. Aber mit kleinem Dreher am PATH kannst du es temporär „installieren“, halt nicht nach /usr/local.

Muss man natürlich mögen, solche Spiele. (Mir macht das ja glatt Spaß. 🤓)

@sr_rolando ich habe ein Binary Paket von @cstrotm bekommen und dann mit stow(1) in /usr/local installiert. Soweit so gut für dieses Mal. Interessant fand ich den Tipp von Chris Wiegman, die Go Umgebung via Homebrew zu installieren. Mal schauen. Zuerst muss ich mich mal motivieren, wieder etwas mit Go zu entwickeln.

@kensanata @cstrotm

Ach, Homebrew ist gar nicht Mac-only? Wieder was gelernt.

(Und: Chic, dass es läuft. Darum ging’s ja.)

@sr_rolando @cstrotm Ja, das Homebrew mittlerweile auch auf Linux was ist, war mir bis heute auch nicht bekannt. 😃

@kensanata As someone who does a lot of GoLang work, I install Go via homebrew on my Linux machines. That will, at a minimum, keep you up to date with it.

@chris I used Homebrew a lot on OSX. I did not know it was also available for Linux. Amazing!

@kensanata You can't use Cask but for CLI tools, especially dev tools, it's pretty much perfect on Linux

@chris Don't you ever run into conflicts with your distro's package manager? Or do you simply delineate it along the Go line and say, anything that uses Go I install via Homebrew, the rest uses apt/pacman/whatever?

@kensanata I put homebrew's packages first in the path in my own profile and let the system do it's own thing for other users. From GIT to Go and dozens of others I've found this effective without, so far, a single conflict. To date I've used this for Git as well as environments in Go, PHP, Python, Node and Ruby. It's surprisingly solid.

@chris Wow. A whole old/new world before my eyes. 😄 Thanks a lot!


I can make a version for Linux available. As Go binaries are static without dependencies, they run on any Linux. I will test on Debian 10.

32bit or 64bit?

@cstrotm Wow, super nice. Thanks! uname -a says "Linux melanobombus 4.19.0-5-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 4.19.37-5+deb10u2 (2019-08-08) x86_64 GNU/Linux" so 64bit. 😃


Compiled and (briefly) tested

Download from

Install via
sudo tar -C / -xvf aerc-linux-x86_64.tgz

@wolf480pl I'm on PureOS and I think I'll end up in Debian Hell if I start mixing stuff up, don't you think?

@wolf480pl It's a Debian descendant, but with it's own mix of testing and stable and whatnot. I don't really understand it but I also don't want to change it since it came with the laptop. For most purposes, Debian knowledge does transfer easily, though.

@kensanata As a former Debian-loving sysadmin, installing Go from source seems icky, but you install it in your $HOME and use the apt-provided Go to bootstrap installation and as a source for man pages.

@alrs @kensanata Did you change job away from sysadmining, or fall out of love with Debian?

@alrs @kensanata What caused the "break up"? I am slowly realising that, actually, I don't like Debian all that much. I run it mostly because it is the only distro I know which indulges my complete lack of interest in running up to date software (beyond security patches).

@solderpunk @kensanata Mostly all the Redhat and GNOME stuff getting muscled in that broke menu system, introduced PA, brought in systemd. Seeing good people driven out of the project.

@alrs @solderpunk Hm, I guess I don’t mind that much, as a end user. I was never all that invested in the details of what they’re using, I just liked how apt mostly always worked. And I want to use the same OS on the server and on the laptop. If I want to get back to a world I understand I imagine myself going back to Slackware. (It focuses on KDE I guess?)

@kensanata @alrs My main complaints are: ridiculous plurality of packaging tools (do I use apt-get or apt-cache or aptitude or dpkg to do X?), ridiculous splitting of packages (foo, foo-config, foo-doc), over-zealous designation of packages as "required" or "recommended" leading to bloat being pulled in, substantial modifications to upstream software (e.g. splitting up config file sections into separate files) and, yeah, systemd.

I have considered Slackware, but from what I understand the dominant philosophy there is "just install the entire standard system", and I strongly prefer a minimal base install and installing only what I need via a good (simple!) package manager.

Recently I played with Alpine linux in a VM (somewhat ironic, as I have no interest in containers, which seems to be its main niche) and kind of liked what I saw. I might be a tad too minimalistic for a typical desktop, but TBH I am thinking of giving up on that notion and doubling down on the minimalist retrogrouch thing.

@solderpunk @kensanata @alrs you might like Void Linux, it comes pretty bare bones and doc is pretty good. It does not use systemd which is a good thing or not. It’s one of the recent distros I liked before taking the BSD route.

@julienxx @solderpunk @kensanata Now that I do Go I guess I could run any Linux distro. Void sounds like it's loaded up with drama, though.

@alrs @solderpunk @kensanata yeah distros have become less and less meaningful it seems, everything is kinda the same across the current deb and rpm world and the others don’t necessarily bring much value either... just a matter of taste I suppose

@solderpunk @kensanata Alpine uses musl, which is a no-go for me. I switched from Slackware to Debian in '98 for the well-maintained packages that stay updated without being on a version treadmill.

@alrs @kensanata That's exactly what's kept me on it for close to 10 years now.

@kensanata The Go toolchain is pretty good at going out and picking up all the dependencies for you.

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