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This page is ancient, belonging to the last millennium. I'm leaving it here for historical value only.

In these pages, I have recommended text-mode mailers such as mutt. You could get the impression that I am opposed to graphic-mode mailers.

This is not the case. I would prefer to use a graphic oriented mailer. In particular, it's a necessity for displaying multiple character sets. I just haven't found one I like yet. mutt is a reasonable compromise, because it will start graphic mode programs when necessary, but it's not perfect.

In this page, I introduce a free graphic mode mailer, xfmail. It's not for me, but it could be for you.

This text was written some years ago. Since then, other graphical MUAs, notably sylpheed, have been introduced. They're probably better, but I haven't had time to investigate.

xfmail is available in the FreeBSD Ports Collection. Install it from the first CD-ROM. For FreeBSD 4.1, enter:

# pkg_add /cdrom/packages/mail/xfmail-1.4.0.tgz

To run it, you must be running X. Enter:

$ xfmail &
The main screen appears, along with a screen with the picture of the author. Here's the main screen--I'll let you find out what the author (Gennady B. Sorokopud) looks like.

xfmail main screen

Before you can do anything, you get the following window, which you can modify. Generally, though, the defaults are OK.

xfmail setup screen

After you leave that window, you get another:

xfmail receive mail screen

On a UNIX machine, you would normally use the spool maintained by sendmail. The name specified is correct for the user guest which I used for these examples.

Next, you specify how to send mail. Again, the defaults are correct if you have sendmail running on the same machine:

xfmail send mail screen

To read messages, select the line with the mouse. You can read multiple messages at once. Here's an example you might recognize from the page on Format problems. As you can see, it doesn't look any better with a graphic mailer:

xfmail read mail screen


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