FAQ for comp.mail.pine - Part 1

Reading mail/news messages

Can I read mail from a POP3 server using Pine?

Yes you can. As of Pine 4.00, you can read your email off of a pop3 server. Go to (M)ain (S)etup (C)onfigure and set the inbox-path option like so:

inbox-path = {mail.example.com/pop3/user=xyzzy}INBOX

The important part is the /pop3 which tell Pine that it is contacting a POP server. If your username on your pop3 server is different from your local username, you need to specify the /user= part. Otherwise, you can leave it out.

See also the question on receiving new mail notification for special considerations with POP servers.

I have multiple email addresses. How do I read them all using Pine?

Set up incoming folders. Go to (M)ain (S)etup (C)onfigure and set the following option:

[X] enable-incoming-folders

You will have to restart Pine if you just checked it. Afterwards, follow these steps:

1. (M)ain Folder(L)ist and choose Incoming folders. You should see your current Inbox there.

2. Press (A)dd. Type in your mail server name when prompted. You may need to add the /user= and /pop3 flags as well. For example,


3. For the folder name, type in INBOX

You should repeat those steps for each email address you want to read.

How do I stop Pine from downloading messages to a local mbox in my home directory?

If there is no mbox file in your home directory, then Pine will not download messages to your local mailbox. If you want to disable it at compile-time, you should build Pine without "mbox" being listed in the EXTRADRIVERS option. You may need to do this if you have users that are using other MUAs that create an mbox file, along with Pine.

There was a recent thread on this on comp.mail.pine. Please read it here, especially Message #5 from Eduardo Chappa if you are having problems.

How do I stop Pine from moving messages from my INBOX after I read them?

Make sure that the following two options are set as shown:

read-message-folder = <No Value Set>

[ ] auto-move-read-msgs

My login id on my local machine is different from the one on my mail server. How do I read my email?

In your inbox-path definition, add the /user= flag with your remote username so that it looks like this:

inbox-path = {mail.example.com/user=xyzzy}

You may need to add the /pop3 flag as well, if that's the protocol you are using to read your email.

Can I sort my mail differently from the way I sort news?

Yes. As of version 4.40, you can set per folder rules for sorting. See the section on Roles, Rules and Filters for further details.

For earlier versions, it is not possible. However, you can get an unofficial patch by Eduardo Chappa from his web site at http://www.math.washington.edu/~chappa/pine/ that lets you set per folder rules.

What is this DON'T DELETE THIS MESSAGE -- FOLDER INTERNAL DATA message all about ? How do I get rid of it?

That is a pseudo-message placed by Pine in your mailboxes. It serves several functions: It saves state for messages across IMAP sessions. It helps define the format of an empty mailbox. There are no doubt other uses.

Pine ignores this message, and automatically suppresses it from message-indices. Other mailers unfortunately do not. If you want, you can suppress this message altogether by setting the following option:

[X] quell-folder-internal-msg

You should read the online help for this option before you set it, to make sure you understand the implications of it, and what features you will be losing.

How do I delete an attachment from a message?

Open the message and (V)iew attachments. Highlight the attachment you want to delete, and (D)elete it. After that, go back to the message index, and save the message back to your current folder. If it is your Inbox, you may have to type in {mail.server.com}INBOX instead of just INBOX.

Hopefully, IMAP will support a partial delete some time in the future, to make this process easier.

When I post to newsgroups, my messages show up as "To: some.newsgroup" instead of "From: My Name". How do I fix this?

It isn't something that needs to be fixed. Messages that are from you are shown this way to you. Everyone else sees it alright. If you look at your sent-mail mailbox, you'll notice the same behavior. The idea is that it is more interesting to you who the message was sent to, rather than who it is from because it is always you that sent the message.

Read the help on the index-format option if you want to change this behavior. You should also read the Pine technical notes listing on this at http://www.washington.edu/pine/tech-notes/config.html#index-format There is also a link there, to a list of tokens you can use.

I used to use procmail to strip .signatures from my messages. Can Pine do that for me?

As of this writing, no. You can remove them from your local mailboxes if you want, by writing a little script to do the job.

If you don't want to see .signatures in the email that you read, you can set up a display filter. This is possible only on Pine for Unix because PC-Pine does not support pipes yet. You can download this perl script that does this, and set your display-filters option in Pine to include it.

How do I make Pine show me the X-Priority: or any other header for a message?

Under (M)ain (S)etup (C)onfig, go to viewer-hdrs and add X-Priority: to it. Be sure to also add From:, To:, Cc:, Subject: and whatever other headers that you want to appear normally when you view a message. If you don't do that, then only the headers that are listed in this option will be visible when viewing messages.

How do I read rot13 encrypted messages?

Make sure that in your Pine setup you have the following option checked:

[X] enable-unix-pipe-cmd

Then, check if you have tr on your system. If you do, you can pipe your message using the | key to the command

tr a-zA-Z n-za-mN-ZA-M

If you don't have tr but have Perl, then download this perl script and pipe the message to it. Note that this only applies to Unix Pine. PC-Pine does not support the Pipe command yet, so it cannot use this, nor any display or sending filters.