Tyler Perkins

Junior Software Engineer - KE8TIZ


Tyler - 2021-08-19 22:13:33

Views - 89

Tyler Perkins - Aerc

One of the steps that I am attempting to make to become more self hosted is hosting my own email. Email seems like its a bit of a harder one, but I plan to transition my gmail over to my own email. Part of this process, however, requires that I choose how I will be interfacing with this email server.

Being that I tend to be more interested in the whole minimalism meme, I went with no web GUI and am instead choosing to use an email client. I've wanted to transition to one for a while, but I couldn't find anything that really suited me needs. Mutt or neomutt was the most promising, but its very high barrier to entry really put me off from it. Thunderbird is made by mozilla, and quite a few others like mailspring are electron apps. A program being an electron app in of itself doesn't make it not worth using, however I really would rather have something a bit more versatile than what most electron apps are. This is where aerc comes in.

I prefer terminal programs for a variety of reasons. They run over ssh, one good terminal emulator means all programs should work and run decent in X11, tend to be lighter on system resources, and personally I like the look of a well made TUI. Aerc is one such terminal program, but for email. It uses plain text configuration, sane defaults, and comes with a setup wizard to add your email and auto detect settings for common services. It really was the best "just works" tool I've found so far, in terms of email. The program was tiny and is in the official Gentoo repositories. All key bindings can be changed, and comes with vi-like bindings by default. It provides hooks for automation of certain tasks. It auto refreshes for emails. It'll even use pass and external contacts programs! It really is everything I wanted from a email client. Feature packed, yet versatile.

Mine is setup to use pass, pull from my gmail, and with a few extra vim like key bindings that are more intuitive to me. You can give it a shot here. Its just part of my dotfiles repo. Check you the site for aerc, along with a video showing it off.

Thats really it, hope I could help you find a new email client!