My favorite command line email client has a big new version. Mutt version 1.7.0 has been released on August 18th 2016 and among other changes and improvements the developers have merged the very useful 'sidebar' patch. I am very keen to come to grips with this!

How do I install this newest version of mutt on Xenial Xerus and Trusty Tahr?


As one may expect, Jonathon Fernyhough has a PPA for version 1.7.0 of mutt for Ubuntu 16.04 (and 14.04 too) at https://launchpad.net/~jonathonf/+archive/ubuntu/backports:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jonathonf/backports
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mutt
  • 2
    Note: The mentioned repo "ppa:jonathonf/backports" has backports of several more packages, not just mutt. Adding this repo and doing "apt-get update/upgrade" will update more packages than just mutt. Just saying, so you are not surprised when it happens. – Vassilis Papanikolaou Feb 7 '17 at 8:38

Edwin's answer of using PPA is great. But if you like being adventurous You can try building from source too.

  1. Download the source

    wget -c ftp://ftp.mutt.org/pub/mutt/mutt-1.7.0.tar.gz
  2. Extract it and cd to it

    tar xf mutt-1.7.0.tar.gz
    cd mutt-1.7.0/
  3. Make sure you have necessary development packages installed. I had build-essential installed already and needed to install libncurses5-dev. So do this

    sudo apt-get install build-essential libncurses5-dev
  4. Then proceed with installation. You should check the INSTALL file customize the build. For example you might want to use these parameters to configure

    • --enable-pop for enabling POP3 support
    • --enable-imap for enabling IMAP support
    • --with-ssl which will enable SSL support for POP and IMAP. Needs OpenSSL headers and development libraries.

    Now the typical sequence of commands. (If you want customizations, you'll need to pass the options after ./configure like ./configure --enable-pop.)

    sudo make install

    or if you want to use checkinstall the last step would be

    sudo checkinstall -D make install 

    the -D switch is used to make a debian package from installation. Check details on it in the Addition section.

    Mutt 1.7 should get installed.

Addition: As andrew.46 said, we can also use checkinstall instead of make install. This will give us the opportunity to remove the package with a single command and to have a debian package (if -D option is used), which can be used in multiple other machines to install it.

More on checkinstall

  • 2
    Just for future reference, the following should flags should be enabled for a functional mail client: --enable-imap --enable-pop --enable-smtp --enable-sidebar --enable-gpgme --with-curses --with-ssl --with-sasl – bergercookie May 17 '17 at 16:52

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