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aerc is a lightweight, command-line mail user agent (MUA) written in the Go programming language. Setup includes a simple startup wizard to assist users in connecting their first mail server.


USE flags

USE flags for mail-client/aerc Email client for your terminal

notmuch Enable support for net-mail/notmuch


root #emerge --ask mail-client/aerc

Additional software

text/html MIME type support

To view email with embedded text/html MIME type content, the www-client/w3m and net-proxy/dante packages should be installed (according to man aerc-tutorial), and the text/html filter uncommented in the ~/.config/aerc/aerc.conf configuration file.


Setup wizard

In general, to setup, run aerc and enter the values as appropriate, substituting the following information as necessary. It should take all of about 2 minutes to get connected to a mail server presuming the connection information is readily available.

For example, for a Gentoo developer to connect their email account to the mail server provided by Gentoo's Infrastructure project:

Basic account information:

First page of startup wizard
Field Value
Name Gentoo
Full name Larry the Cow
Email address

Incoming mail (IMAP):

Second page of startup wizard (IMAP)
Field Value
username larry
password <password>
Server address
Connection mode IMAP with STARTTLS

Outgoing mail (SMTP):

Third page of startup wizard (SMTP)
Field Value
username larry
password <password>
Server address
Connection mode SMTP with STARTTLS

Once the program is connected to a mail account, it is helpful to perform some configuration changes to make it more friendly for reading Gentoo related mail.


If conversation threads/threading is desired, then (for at least v0.7.1 and prior) a filter will need to be applied to enable threading:

FILE ~/.config/aerc/aerc.confHelpful aerc customization for Gentoo
# aerc main configuration

# Added to thread discussions in Gentoo

See also

  • Mutt — a text-based, command-line mail user agent (MUA).
  • Neomutt — command-line mail client forked from mutt.
  • Thunderbird — Mozilla's solution to the e-mail client.