Offlineimap + mu4e

So I live in emacs most of the time: writing papers, coding, and composing emails. The markup from org mode and a latex front end such as auctex make it really uncessary to resort to any other writing/typesetting systems, let alone MS word, especially when I’m doing scientific writing. So after replacing a failed hard drive and upgrading to Ubuntu 14.04, one of the first things was to set up the email for emacs, so I can assure others that I am still kicking.

To do that is not difficult at all, by using offlineimap + mu4e. No I don’t use gnus and yes I’ve tried that and it didn’t work out. In this scenario, we use offlineimap as a mail manager and retriever, and use mu4e as the front-end of emacs to do the work. Setting up offlineimap is pretty straightforward, one needs only to set up a profile file “~/.offlineimaprc”. Setting up mu4e is pretty easy too, as everything should work out of box from a mu installation and a minimum emacs setup.

On top of these two, I needed to set up the “~/.authinfo” file so that I don’t have to type in password everytime checking mails. This can be done in several ways. I opt for a simple python script and emacs’s in-house EasyPG package. Basically what I did was make the offlineimap use the passphrase encrypted in the ~/.authinfo.gpg file.

And that’s it. Now I can fire up mu4e and manage emails through the message-mode. IMHO this is how emacs’ email management should be, and I’m not the only one.