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1. What is Sylpheed-Claws?

1.1 Introduction to Sylpheed-Claws.

Sylpheed-Claws is a fast e-mail and news client. It will run on just about any Linux or Unix compliant system.

The power of Sylpheed-Claws is that it is

1.2 Interface

The appearance and interface are similar to some popular e-mail clients for Windows, such as Outlook Express, Becky!, and Datula. The interface is also designed to emulate the mailers on Emacsen, and almost all commands are accessible with the keyboard.

The messages are managed by MH format, and you'll be able to use it together with another mailer based on MH format (like Mew). You can also utilize fetchmail or/and procmail, external programs for receiving (like inc or imget), and other storage backends using plugins.

1.3 Main features

Currently implemented features are:

This list is not complete, but this will at least show you the most common features in Sylpheed-Claws.

1.4 Plugins

All plugins, except SpamAssassin, are built automatically if the required libraries are present.

Plugins are installed in $PREFIX/lib/sylpheed-claws/plugins/ and have a suffix of '.so'
To load a plugin go to '/Configuration/Plugins' and click the 'Load Plugin' button.
Select the plugin that you want and click 'OK'

More plugins can be found here:

1.5 Methods for managing messages

There are several ways to manage messages. The best known is not at all.

Too many people receive lots of e-mails and just let them end up in the INBOX folder. Which after a while becomes unmanageable. Try to locate that one mail about an important event you got 5 days ago, in a mailbox that has over 5000 messages in it. Even when sorted on date, it might take you a tremendous time to locate it.

For this there are mailfolders and mailboxes.

When you read on in this manual, you will learn about creating mailboxes and also folders that can contain more mailboxes. What are these good for?

Overview. Simple as that. In different mailboxes you can store different kinds of mails. Suppose you are a member of a kiting club. And you get at least 30 e-mails per day from that club. The smart thing to do now is to create a separate mailbox for these mails. So when an e-mail comes in from the kiting club, you can move it to the kiting club mailbox. That way you know that you have all your kiting e-mails in one place.

Tedious, you say? To move 30 mails a day to that box, when they come in at random moments? You bet that is a tedious job. You can be certain that you will miss that very important one about transport to the kiting ground where you will have the contest of biggest and most beautiful kite!

Well, also for this there is a solution. Those are called filters.

Filters can automate the process of moving e-mails to new locations. Further on in this manual you will also learn about setting up filters, so you do not have to move these kiting e-mails to the kiting club mailbox.

Okay, so what is the difference between a mailbox and a mailfolder?

This is actually the exact same thing as you do on your harddisk. You create directories in which you can put files and more directories.

In the case of Sylpheed, you can create a mailbox in which you can put more mailboxes that somehow belong together. For example, you could create a mailbox (folder) that contains the mailboxes for all the mailing lists you belong to.

A word of clarification is perhaps in need here. In Sylpheed, a maillbox is nothing more than a directory. And in a directory you can create a new directory. But also files. And Sylpheed-Claws stores each e-mail in a separate file on disk. An example of how a mailbox tree could look is

As you can see, there is no real limit to the way you can set up your mailboxes. As long as you have diskspace available, you can create mailboxes and mailboxes within mailboxes.

Of course, you should observe some common sense when you start creating mailboxes. To keep all mail in one place is not a good idea, but to create a maze of mailboxes is not a good idea either!

1.6 Features for the future

This is a special chapter. As with all open source programs, many features can be requested by you, the user of Sylpheed-Claws. The best way to join in on the talks is to join one of the mailing lists on Sylpheed. For this, you can turn to the Information section of this manual and read up on how to join a mailing list.

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