aerc-config(5) File Formats Manual aerc-config(5)

aerc-config - configuration file formats for aerc(1)

There are three aerc config files: aerc.conf, binds.conf, and accounts.conf. The last one must be kept secret, as it may include your account credentials. We look for these files in your XDG config home plus "aerc", which defaults to ~/.config/aerc.

Examples of these config files are typically included with your installation of aerc and are usually installed in /usr/share/aerc.

Each file uses the ini format, and consists of sections with keys and values. A line beginning with # is considered a comment and ignored, as are empty lines. New sections begin with [section-name] on a single line, and keys and values are separated with "=".

This file is used for configuring the general appearance and behavior of aerc.

These options are configured in the [general] section of aerc.conf.

default-save-path

Used as a default path for save operations if no other path is specified.

These options are configured in the [ui] section of aerc.conf.

index-format

Describes the format for each row in a mailbox view. This field is compatible with mutt's printf-like syntax.

Default: %D %-17.17n %s

Format specifier Description
%% literal %
%a sender address
%A reply-to address, or sender address if none
%C message number
%d formatted message timestamp
%D formatted message timestamp converted to local timezone
%f sender name and address
%F author name, or recipient name if the message is from you. The address is shown if no name part.
%g message labels (for example notmuch tags)
%i message id
%n sender name, or sender address if none
%r comma-separated list of formatted recipient names and addresses
%R comma-separated list of formatted CC names and addresses
%s subject
%t the (first) address the new email was sent to
%T the account name which received the email
%u sender mailbox name (e.g. "smith" in "smith@example.net")
%v sender first name (e.g. "Alex" in "Alex Smith <smith@example.net>")
%Z flags (O=old, N=new, r=answered, D=deleted, !=flagged, *=marked)

timestamp-format

See time.Time#Format at https://godoc.org/time#Time.Format

Default: 2006-01-02 03:04 PM (ISO 8601 + 12 hour time)

sidebar-width

Width of the sidebar, including the border. Set to zero to disable the sidebar.

Default: 20

empty-message

Message to display when viewing an empty folder.

Default: (no messages)

empty-dirlist

Message to display when no folders exists or are all filtered.

Default: (no folders)

mouse-enabled

Enable mouse events in the ui, e.g. clicking and scrolling with the mousewheel

Default: false

new-message-bell

Ring the bell when a new message is received.

Default: true

pinned-tab-marker

Marker to show before a pinned tab's name.

Default: `

spinner

Animation shown while loading, split by spinner-delimiter (below)

Examples:

•spinner = "-_-,_-_"
•spinner = '. , .'
•spinner = ",|,/,-"

Default: "[..] , [..] , [..] , [..] , [..], [..] , [..] , [..] "

spinner-delimiter

Spinner delimiter to split string into an animation

Default: ","

sort

List of space-separated criteria to sort the messages by, see sort command in aerc(1) for reference. Prefixing a criterion with "-r " reverses that criterion.

Example: "from -r date"

Default: ""

dirlist-format

Describes the format string to use for the directory list

Default: %n %>r

Format specifier Description
%% literal %
%n directory name
%r recent/unseen/total message count
%>X make format specifier 'X' be right justified

next-message-on-delete

Moves to next message when the current message is deleted

Default: true

completion-popovers

Shows potential auto-completions for text inputs in popovers.

Default: true

completion-delay

How long to wait after the last input before auto-completion is triggered.

Default: 250ms

stylesets-dirs

The directories where the stylesets are stored. The config takes a colon-seperated list of dirs.

Default: "/usr/share/aerc/stylesets"

styleset-name

The name of the styleset to be used to style the ui elements. The stylesets are stored in the 'stylesets' directory in the config directory.

Default: default

Have a look at aerc-styleset(7) as to how a styleset looks like.

The UI configuration can be specialized for accounts, specific mail directories and message subjects. The specializations are added using contextual config sections based on the context.

The contextual UI configuration is merged to the base UiConfig in the following order: Base UIConfig > Account Context > Folder Context > Subject Context.

[ui:account=<AccountName>]

Adds account specific configuration with the account name.

[ui:folder=<FolderName>]

Add folder specific configuration with the folder name.

[ui:folder~<Regex>]

Add folder specific configuration for folders whose names match the regular expression.

[ui:subject~<Regex>]

Add specialized ui configuration for messages that match a given regular expression.

Example:

[ui:account=Work]
sidebar-width=...
[ui:folder=Sent]
index-format=...
[ui:folder~Archive/d+/.*]
index-format=...
[ui:subject~^[PATCH]
index-format=...

These options are configured in the [viewer] section of aerc.conf.

pager

Specifies the pager to use when displaying emails. Note that some filters may add ANSI escape sequences to add color to rendered emails, so you may want to use a pager which supports ANSI.

Default: less -R

alternatives

If an email offers several versions (multipart), you can configure which mimetype to prefer. For example, this can be used to prefer plaintext over HTML emails.

Default: text/plain,text/html

header-layout

Defines the default headers to display when viewing a message. To display multiple headers in the same row, separate them with a pipe, e.g. "From|To". Rows will be hidden if none of their specified headers are present in the message.

Default: From|To,Cc|Bcc,Date,Subject

show-headers

Default setting to determine whether to show full headers or only parsed ones in message viewer.

Default: false

always-show-mime

Whether to always show the mimetype of an email, even when it is just a single part.

Default: false

These options are configured in the [compose] section of aerc.conf.

editor

Specifies the command to run the editor with. It will be shown in an embedded terminal, though it may also launch a graphical window if the environment supports it. Defaults to $EDITOR, or vi(1).

header-layout

Defines the default headers to display when composing a message. To display multiple headers in the same row, separate them with a pipe, e.g. "To|From".

Default: To|From,Subject

address-book-cmd

Specifies the command to be used to tab-complete email addresses. Any occurrence of "%s" in the address-book-cmd will be replaced with what the user has typed so far.

The command must output the completions to standard output, one completion per line. Each line must be tab-delimited, with an email address occurring as the first field. Only the email address field is required. The second field, if present, will be treated as the contact name. Additional fields are ignored.

Example:

khard email --remove-first-line --parsable '%s'

Default: none

Filters allow you to pipe an email body through a shell command to render certain emails differently, e.g. highlighting them with ANSI escape codes. They are configured in the [filters] section of aerc.conf.

The first filter which matches the email's mimetype will be used, so order them from most to least specific.

You can also match on non-mimetypes, by prefixing with the header to match against (non-case-sensitive) and a comma, e.g. subject,text will match a subject which contains "text". Use header,~regex to match against a regex.

aerc ships with some default filters installed in the share directory (usually /usr/share/aerc/filters). Note that these may have additional dependencies that aerc does not have alone.

Triggers specify commands to execute when certain events occur.

They are configured in the [triggers] section of aerc.conf.

new-email

Executed when a new email arrives in the selected folder.

e.g. new-email=exec notify-send "New email from %n" "%s"

Default: ""

Format specifiers from index-format are expanded with respect to the new message.

Templates are used to populate the body of an email. The compose, reply and forward commands can be called with the -T flag with the name of the template name.

aerc ships with some default templates installed in the share directory (usually /usr/share/aerc/templates).

These options are configured in the [templates] section of aerc.conf.

template-dirs

The directory where the templates are stored. The config takes a colon-separated list of dirs.

Default: "/usr/share/aerc/templates"

quoted-reply

The template to be used for quoted replies.

Default: "quoted_reply"

forwards

The template to be used for forward as body.

Default: "forward_as_body"

This file is used for configuring each mail account used for aerc. Each section is the name of an account you want to configure, and the keys & values in that section specify details of that account's configuration. In addition to the options documented here, specific transports for incoming and outgoing emails may have additional configuration parameters, documented on their respective man pages.

Note that many of these configuration options are written for you, such as source and outgoing, when you run the account configuration wizard (:new-account).

archive

Specifies a folder to use as the destination of the :archive command.

Default: Archive

copy-to

Specifies a folder to copy sent mails to, usually "Sent".

Default: none

default

Specifies the default folder to open in the message list when aerc configures this account.

Default: INBOX

folders

Specifies the comma separated list of folders to display in the sidebar. Names prefixed with ~ are interpreted as regular expressions.

Default: all folders

folders-exclude

Specifies the comma separated list of folders to exclude from the sidebar. Names prefixed with ~ are interpreted as regular expressions. Note that this overrides anything from folders.

Default: no folders

folders-sort

Specifies a comma separated list of folders to be shown at the top of the list in the provided order. Remaining folders will be sorted alphabetically.

Default: none

from

The default value to use for the From header in new emails. This should be an RFC 5322-compatible string, such as "Your Name <you@example.org>".

Default: none

aliases

All aliases of the current account. These will be used to fill in the From: field. Make sure that your email server accepts this value, or for example use aerc-sendmail(5) in combination with msmtp and --read-envelope-from.

Default: none

outgoing

Specifies the transport for sending outgoing emails on this account. It should be a connection string, and the specific meaning of each component varies depending on the protocol in use. See each protocol's man page for more details:

outgoing-cred-cmd

Specifies an optional command that is run to get the outgoing account's password. See each protocol's man page for more details.

Default: none

postpone

Specifies the folder to save postponed messages to.

Default: Drafts

source

Specifies the source for reading incoming emails on this account. This key is required for all accounts. It should be a connection string, and the specific meaning of each component varies depending on the protocol in use. See each protocol's man page for more details:

Default: none

source-cred-cmd

Specifies an optional command that is run to get the source account's password. See each protocol's man page for more details.

signature-file

Specifies the file to read in order to obtain the signature to be added to emails sent from this account.

signature-cmd

Specifies the command to execute in sh in order to obtain the signature to be added to emails sent from this account. If the command fails then signature-file is used instead.

This file is used for configuring keybindings used in the aerc interactive client. You may configure different keybindings for different contexts by writing them into different [sections] of the ini file. The available contexts are:

[messages]

keybindings for the message list

[view]

keybindings for the message viewer

[compose]

keybindings for the message composer

[compose::editor]

keybindings for the composer, when the editor is focused

[compose::review]

keybindings for the composer, when reviewing the email before it's sent

[terminal]

keybindings for terminal tabs

You may also configure global keybindings by placing them at the beginning of the file, before specifying any context-specific sections. For each key=value option specified, the key is the keystrokes pressed (in order) to invoke this keybinding, and value specifies keystrokes that aerc will simulate when the keybinding is invoked. Generally this is used to execute commands, for example:

rq = :reply -q<Enter>

Pressing r, then q, will simulate typing in ":reply -q<Enter>", and execute :reply -q accordingly. It is also possible to invoke keybindings recursively in a similar fashion. Additionally, the following special options are available in each binding context:

$noinherit

If set to "true", global keybindings will not be effective in this context.

Default: false

$ex

This can be set to a keystroke which will bring up the command input in this context.

Default: <semicolon>

In addition to letters, special keys may be specified in <angle brackets>. The following special keys are supported:

Name Description
space " "
semicolon ;
tab
enter
up
down
right
left
pgup
pgdn
home
end
insert
delete
exit
cancel
print
pause
backtab
c-space Ctrl+Space
c-a Ctrl+a
c-b Ctrl+b
c-c Ctrl+c
c-d Ctrl+d
c-e Ctrl+e
c-f Ctrl+f
c-g Ctrl+g
c-h Ctrl+h
c-i Ctrl+i
c-j Ctrl+j
c-k Ctrl+k
c-l Ctrl+l
c-m Ctrl+m
c-n Ctrl+n
c-o Ctrl+o
c-p Ctrl+p
c-q Ctrl+q
c-r Ctrl+r
c-s Ctrl+s
c-t Ctrl+t
c-u Ctrl+u
c-v Ctrl+v
c-w Ctrl+w
c-x Ctrl+x
c-y Ctrl+y
c-z Ctrl+z
c-] Ctrl+]
c-[ Ctrl+[
c-^ Ctrl+^
c-_ Ctrl+_

aerc(1) aerc-imap(5) aerc-smtp(5) aerc-maildir(5) aerc-sendmail(5) aerc-notmuch(5) aerc-styleset(7)

Maintained by Drew DeVault <sir@cmpwn.com>, who is assisted by other open source contributors. For more information about aerc development, see https://git.sr.ht/~sircmpwn/aerc.
2021-04-04