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2. Sylpheed FAQ - Installation and Configuration

2.1 Q01 What does it take to compile Sylpheed?

A. Any POSIX compliant UNIX or similar OS eg. Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris GTK+ 1.2.6 or later A recent ANSI C compiler (gcc should also work) Note: it is reported that Sun C will not compile Sylpheed. Optionally:

Otherwise ./configure will fail.

2.2 Q02 How do I set up Sylpheed?

A. When you run Sylpheed for the first time, it will ask you where you want to store your mailboxes. The default is <homedir>/Mail. You can change this to anything you like as long as it is a valid directory name.

Please note: When Sylpheed is executed for the first time, it automatically creates the configuration files under $HOME/.sylpheed/, and asks you the location of mailbox. The default is $HOME/Mail. If some files which are non-MH format already exist on the directory, you will have to specify another location.

2.3 Q03 Why did the creation of the mailbox fail?

A. Sylpheed reports such an error if it can't create the default mailboxes (inbox, outbox, etc ...). This can be because <homedir>/Mail already contains files with the same names. This occurs when switching from Kmail to Sylpheed, in this case backup and remove the existing Mail directory or use another name for the Sylpheed mail directory.

2.4 Q04 How do I set up an account?

A. After loading Sylpheed for the first time, you can add an e-mail account by clicking the "Configuration" menu. Select the option "Create new account" and fill in the appropriate fields.

2.5 Q05 How many accounts can I set up in Sylpheed?

A. The number is unlimited. The limit is reached when your computer stops responding.

2.6 Q06 Why does Sylpheed not delete my mails when I press "delete"? I set a filter, and Sylpheed does not filter. I moved a mail to a different mailbox and it did not move.

A. You have to click the "execute" button. The other solution: in the configuration settings (common preferences -> interface tab) you have to check the "execute commands immediately" box.

2.7 Q07 Can I set up special addresses/ports for my mailserver / newsserver?

A. Yes, you can. In the configuration per account you can specify the exact port addresses you want to use.

2.8 Q08 Does Sylpheed have options for threading messages?

A. Yes. You can switch it on and off in the Summary Menu, just select "Thread View" or press Ctrl+T.

2.9 Q09 Can I create multiple levels of subfolders to store mail?

A. Absolutely. This is no problem.

2.10 Q10 Why isn't Sylpheed sending my mail out?

A. You need to create at least one account in order to send. (This is a wonderful gotcha on LAN installs with only a local mailbox feed).

2.11 Q11 How do I apply a patch after downloading it?

A. Copy patch to sylpheed directory Apply the patch:

% patch -p0 < some.patch

Or, if it's gzipped:

% gzip -dc some.patch.gz | patch -p0

Run ./, remove the generated /config.cache file (unless you want to install in prefix /usr/local). Run ./configure with the appropriate options and then make. (Text as found on the Sylpheed patches page.)

2.12 Q12 How do I compile in support for compface pictures?

A. You have to have a package called libcompface installed, so this is available for compiling into Sylpheed.

2.13 Q13 How do I make my own compface image?

A. The faces package contains a program called xbm2ikon script, which converts a 48x48 xbm to the format suitable for compface. Thanks to Jeff Dairiki, you can have a complete online course in this. Visit this page for the details.

2.14 Q14 How can I tell my browser/newsclient/other program to use Sylpheed as e-mail program?

A. In the settings part of the program, write sylpheed --compose

2.15 Q15 How do I enable GPG support in Sylpheed?

A. When compiling Sylpheed, make sure you add --enable-gpgme in the ./configure command. When that completes successfully, there is a "privacy" section in the Common preferences.

2.16 Q16 Mutt does not recognize Sylpheed's MH structure

A. For this to work you need to use the "touch" command in every MH folder. "touch" the file .xmhcache and Mutt should do just fine.

2.17 Q17 Viewing a GIF file within Sylpheed causes a segmentation fault.

A. In case this happens, you can easily fix that by adding the following to /etc/mime.types:

image/gif gif

2.18 Q18 How can I make Sylpheed notify me when new mail arrives?

A. For this you can do several things:

* Look at the Sylpheed patch page at for a new mail patch.

* Download Gkrellm or a similar program that is able to notify you of new incoming mail. Gkrellm is available at the Gkrellm page

2.19 Q19 Can I use a spell checker with Sylpheed?

A. Yes. You can use ispell for this. In Common Preferences, in the spot where you can define an alternative editor (as long as you do not use that, of course), you enter "xterm -e ispell %s". Do not enter the quotes. With this set up, you can have spell checked when writing an e-mail by hitting the "Editor" button in the compose window.

Note that you can enter the xterm type of your choice, so wterm, eterm and aterm should also work, as long as they are installed on your system.

2.20 Q20 How can I make Sylpheed send my compface image in the mails?

A. In the Configuration menu, Preferences for current account, Send tab, check Add user-defined header and press Edit button. A dialog appears, add a header named "X-Face" and fill the value field with your face data. Note that if you paste the data from a terminal into the field some spurious newlines can be added, and these can mangle your face, be careful.

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