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The MUA Sylpheed is one hell of a mail client: it's small and fast and offers everything one could need.
It's a Gnome based GTK+ application.

Here's the Sylpheed documentation project.

Do it yourself

  ./configure --with-included-gettext --enable-gpgme --enable-ssl --prefix=/opt/sylpheed
  make install

/opt/sylpheed/bin/sylpheed creates/uses ~/Mail as the mail directory.
Sylpheed uses the MH-format (which is "one file per mail").


At least as of version 0.8.11, Sylpheed can create inline-signed and/or inline-encrypted messages. Nevertheless, although mail clients such as Outlook use this format, this is not RFC-compatible!
Sylpheed by default uses PGP/MIME (where an attachment is used for the signature and/or the encrypted message) is definitely better, not only because it offers features such as encrypting attachments and so on, but also because this is RFC-compatible.

As of version 0.7.8cvs17, Sylpheed includes Sylpheed's Actions. Using them, it is possible to decrypt/verify inline-processed GPG-messages. Just create the following actions:

A description of how these command-lines can be built and used is to be found on the Sylpheed's Actions homepage (link above).
(Mind: I did not use %f in the actions, as trying to use them on Kmail-inline-encrypted mail will generate a GPG error "malformed CRC, quoted printable character in armor". Using %p instead, the current part of a multipart message is sent to the command line programme ... Anyway, somehow everything works fine this way :) ...)

If you use Sylpheed 0.9.0, upgrade to 0.9.1 or later or use the patch provided below.

Patching Sylpheed 0.9.0

Sylpheed 0.9.0 has a bug in the actions implementation:
Using the sign "*" at the beginning of a rule (e.g. the "Decrypt" from above) should result in masking of a user-entry (e.g. the password should be replaced by "*******"). Nevertheless, due to the bug, the entries are always shown in cleartext.

Here's a patch I wrote. (To see how it was created using diff, see Useful Scripts and Similar Stuff.)
It has already been accepted into Sylpheed 0.9.1.

The EURO symbol (€)

As of version 0.8.11, everything seems to work fine. Sylpheed can display the Euro symbol correctly within the compose- and/or the display-windows. Furthermore, it doesn't crash anymore if there's a € in the subject line. ;)


Sylpheed is based on GTK1. According to Hiroyuki Yamamoto, a GTK2-port is not planned until after the release of version 1.0. This probabely means it will not come before 2004.
sylpheed-gtk2 is a project by Takuro Ashie who creates Sylpheed patches to port it to GTK2. He has moved it to Sourceforge: sylpheed-gtk2 meanwhile. Everyone who wants anti-aliased fonts can give this a try.

Anti-Aliasing with GTK+-1.2

If you just want anti-aliasing but want to stick with GTK1, you might try .

Replying without the original message's signature

Using the official signature delimiter "-- ", the original message's signature can be deleted automatically when replying by changing the preferences on "Quote - Reply format" using "%q" instead of the default "%Q".

Have Mozilla use Sylpheed as MUA

Check out http://linux.sgms-centre.com/howto/mozilla.php.
(I did a super-short summary over here.)

Have OpenOffice.org use Sylpheed as MUA

To use OpenOffice.org's functionality "File > Send" with Sylpheed, which you can use to open a new email with the current document being attached to it in the specified format (e.g. "sxw", "pdf" or "doc"):

Please note: This has been tested on "Ubuntu Linux 5.04" with the default "OpenOffice.org 1.1.3" and a custom compiled "Sylpheed 2.1.3".

Have Sylpheed Request Delivery- and/or Read-Notification

While Sylpheed itself does not act on these requests by incoming mails (at least that's the case for Sylpheed 0.9.10, which is used here), you can tweak outgoing mails to request a receipt-notification yourself. The receiver's MUA (if it supports it) prompts the reader of the mail to return a notification about the successful delivery and/or reading of the mail.
If you want a mail to have a special characteristic, it's most always related to the mail's header. That's the case here too, so adding two headers to outgoing mails is all you need to do:

MIME type to application binding

If you want to assign an application to a specific MIME type, check out $HOME/.mailcap. Adding something like the following assigns an application to the PDF-type:

  application/pdf;/usr/bin/xpdf "%s"
  application/x-pdf;/usr/bin/xpdf "%s"

Check that you have metamail installed, you will most probably need it ... (I certainly did :) ...).

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last modified: 2010-02-23 15:56:34
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