I need a patch for mutt which is called "sidebar" and was a part of the mutt-patched package in Ubuntu 16.04. Now I've switched to Ubuntu 18.04 and it does not seem to exist in Ubuntu 18.04's repository.

The only instructions I can find online on how to install the "sidebar" patch is by applying the patch and compiling the package myself. I have the technical know-how to do that, but I don't like using hand-compiled software because then I'll have to manually check for updates instead of using the apt system.

Apt tells me that the package has been replaced by the mutt package:

[root@bonkwinkler ~]# apt-get install mutt-patched
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Package mutt-patched is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source
However the following packages replace it:
  mutt:i386 mutt

E: Package 'mutt-patched' has no installation candidate
[root@bonkwinkler ~]# 

However, when running mutt, I'm shown a configuration error.

[helgihg@bonkwinkler ~]$ mutt
Error in /home/helgihg/.mutt/muttrc, line 47: sidebar_sort: unknown variable
Error in /home/helgihg/.mutt/muttrc, line 64: sidebar-scroll-up: no such function in map
Error in /home/helgihg/.mutt/muttrc, line 65: sidebar-scroll-down: no such function in map
Error in /home/helgihg/.mutt/muttrc, line 66: sidebar-scroll-up: no such function in map
Error in /home/helgihg/.mutt/muttrc, line 67: sidebar-scroll-down: no such function in map

So the patches in the old mutt-patched package do not seem to be included in the regular mutt package.

Does anyone have information about this, that might shed light on the problem?


Good news is that the sidebar patches were incorporated into the release version of Mutt a while back. So no more patching and compiling is required under Bionic Beaver to get a fully working sidebar!

To correct your syntax errors you would be best to make a clean start to the sidebar syntax in your ~/.muttrc file. This can be accomplished by:

  1. Commenting out all of the existing sidebar entries in your existing ~/.muttrc file
  2. Opening the provided sample file found in /usr/share/doc/mutt/examples/sample.muttrc-sidebar with your favourite text editor and copying the contents into your existing ~/.muttrc file
  3. Start editing the sidebar entries, starting first and most importantly with this one: setting it to 'yes':

    # Should the Sidebar be shown?
    set sidebar_visible = yes

This will set you up quickly with the Bionic Beaver Mutt plus sidebar, below is a screenshot of a quick setup on my own Bionic installation:

enter image description here

And then of course for the endless fine tuning that every Mutt user will know and love:)

  • Thank you so much for the repsonse. :) I had assumed that my old configuration would work if sidebar were included in the main package. – Teekin May 7 '18 at 11:15
  • 1
    Always glad to help out a fellow Mutt user :) – andrew.46 May 7 '18 at 21:34

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