mutt Command: Tutorial & Examples

A text-based mail client

The mutt command in Linux is a small but very powerful text-based mail client for Unix operating systems. It is highly configurable, and is well suited to the mail power user with advanced features like key bindings, keyboard macros, mail threading, MIME and various features for handling mail.

Importance of the mutt command

Emails are an essential part of the modern-day communication, and mutt provides a swift and efficient way to handle mails directly from your shell. It is especially useful when working on Linux servers where a graphical user interface is not available.

How does it work?

The mutt command works by interacting with mail stored in your mailbox in the shell. It supports POP and IMAP protocols for receiving mails, and SMTP protocol for sending mails.

Typical Problems and Solutions using mutt

Common issues like reading multiple mails, sending mails to multiple recipients and attaching files while sending mails can be easily handled with mutt.

Examples of the mutt command

mutt -s "Test Mail" < /dev/null

This command will send an empty email to with the subject "Test Mail".

echo "Message Body" | mutt -s "Subject" -a "/path/to/" --

This command will send an email to with the specified subject, message body and an attachment.

Common mutt command Parameters

-s : Used to specify the subject of the mail.

-a : Used to attach files to the mail.

-- : Used to specify the end of options and the start of recipients.

Typical Output

Typical output of the mutt command in the console doesn't show much, unless there's an issue with sending the email or if the configuration is set to display a success message. In case of an issue, you might see an error message like:

"Error sending message, child exited 67 (User unknown.)"

This means that the user you're trying to send an email to doesn't exist.


The mutt command is a powerful tool for managing emails directly from the shell on your Linux server. It's configurable and supports advanced features that can streamline your email management tasks.

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