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1. Sylpheed-Claws FAQ - General information

1.1 Q01 Are there FAQ's in other languages?

A. Yes. Here are links to several translations:

You can download this FAQ from

1.2 Q02 What is Sylpheed-Claws?

A. Sylpheed-Claws is an e-mail client (& news reader) based on GTK+, running on the X Window System, and aiming for

1.3 Q03 Where can I get Sylpheed-Claws?

A. You can download it from There are links to download the tarball sources, and also links to sites where you can download RPM's (for Redhat and Mandrake), DEB packages for Debian, and installations for Solaris and FreeBSD.

1.4 Q04 Who writes Sylpheed-Claws?

A. Hiroyuki Yamamoto ( and the Sylpheed-Claws team (see AUTHORS file).

1.5 Q05 What does the name Sylpheed-Claws mean?

A. Sylpheed means 'light weight', like air. This comes from the name of the wind spirits, the Sylphs. Claws because it originally was a bleeding-edge version of Sylpheed.

1.6 Q06 How does Sylpheed-Claws store mails?

A. Mails are stored in the MH mailfile format as used by MH and EMH. Maildir and mbox format are not (yet) supported, although it is possible to import an mbox file into a Sylpheed-Claws mailbox.

1.7 Q07 Why does the auto collection of mail not work?

A. Autocollection works since version 0.5.1. If you need it or want it, you should upgrade.

1.8 Q08 Does Sylpheed have mail filtering?

A. Yes. You can find it in Configuration -> filtering tab.

Please note that filtering is not yet implemented for IMAP accounts.

1.9 Q09 Can Sylpheed-Claws handle IMAP mail?

A. Yes. As of version 0.4.99 IMAP is supported.

1.10 Q10 Can Sylpheed-Claws handle local unix mailboxes?

A. Yes.

1.11 Q11 Can Sylpheed-Claws handle IPv6?

A. Yes, IPv6 is fully supported in Sylpheed-Claws.

1.12 Q12 Does Sylpheed-Claws support encryption like GPG?

A. Yes. GPG is implemented and works fine. For activating it in Sylpheed-Claws, see Q14 in the Installation section.

1.13 Q13 How does Sylpheed-Claws check for MIME types?

A. Sylpheed uses the Mutt type of mime checking.

1.14 Q14 Does Sylpheed-Claws allow me to write HTML styled messages?

A. No. Lots of discussions have gone around over this topic, and the outcome was that HTML mail is not wanted. If you really need to send HTML, you can of course attach a webpage to an e-mail. Several patches have been made to facilitate better HTML handling in Sylpheed. You can find these patches at the Sylpheed Patch Page (see further down in the document).

1.15 Q15 Does Sylpheed-Claws have name completion in the address fields?

A. Yes. When you search for a name that starts with "don", type "don" (without the quotes) and press the TAB key. This will show you the correct name (when only one "don" exists in your addressbook. Otherwise a dropdown list appears, which allows you to select the name you want. E.g. Donald Duck, Don Johnson. But also e-mail addresses starting with "don" will appear in the list (like "").

1.16 Q16 Fine, but when I hit the TAB key I get an error message.

A. When you want to use name completion, make sure that there are names in your address book. If there are no names, even Sylpheed has a hard time completing something.

1.17 Q17 Why is Sylpheed-Claws so fast?

A. That's what it is designed for!

1.18 Q18 Where can I get the current patches for Sylpheed-Claws?

A. The Sylpheed Patch homepage: (Also see section on Installation on how to install a patch)

1.19 Q19 How can I send in patches, report bugs, talk about Sylpheed-Claws with others?

A. To talk to others, you should join the Sylpheed-Claws mailing list at If you have made a patch that you want the world to know of, please send it to  the patch tracker.

1.20 Q20 When I send mail, the Content-Type header says the mail is in US-ASCII, even when I specified ISO-8859-1?

A. If ISO-8859-1 characters (>= 0x80) are not used in the message body, Sylpheed-Claws will automatically set the charset value in the Content-Type header as US-ASCII.

1.21 Q21 Why does it look like word wrap is not working?

A. You probably disabled it.

1.22 Q22 Where can I find the latest FAQ on Sylpheed-Claws?

A. It is installed with the latest version of Sylpheed-Claws.

1.23 Q23 Can I import a mbox into Sylpheed-Claws's MH mailfolders?

A. Yes, just create/select the folder you want your mails in, and select "Import mbox file" in the File menu.

1.24 Q24 Can I use procmail to sort my mails with the MH mail handling?

A. Yes. Just make sure that you add /. to the end of a rule so procmail knows you are filtering into an MH mail folder. Example:


* ^Subject:.*sylpheed


Check man procmail for details.

1.25 Q25 When I upgrade Sylpheed-Claws, are there things I should be aware of?

A. Yes! Everything is written in the release notes.

1.26 Q26 How can I quickly update the views in Sylpheed-Claws?

A. Just press Alt-U or select "update" from the summary menu.

1.27 Q27 Why can't I use gvim as external editor?

A. If one wishes to use gvim as an external editor it's necessary to start it with the no-fork option -f, i.e. in the configuration dialog box you need to enter "gvim -f %s". If not the editor forks and open up a separate file and when one quits the editor the changes are lost and don't show up in the composer window.

(Thanks, Ed Collins!)

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