Aerc (mail client)

Page created: 2023-08-11 , updated: 2023-09-01

See also: Installing Aerc (on Slackware)

I’ve just started learning Aerc, but my initial impressions are extremely favorable. So far, this is one of the most polished and well-designed TUI programs I’ve seen. I was reading mail in just minutes after installing!

Three weeks later: I’m still doing anything complicated in Claws-Mail or Thunderbird (especially related to attachments). But I’ve started reading and responding to most email messages with Aerc.

If anything, I’m even more impressed with it as I use it.

Here’s the stuff I’ve learned so far. Like vi/Vim, the keyboard shortcuts are case-sensitive:

I love that keybinding is so each to change. I pretty much always want to do reply-all, quoted for 99% of the emailing I do. So I re-bound that to just r in both the message list and view modes in .config/aerc/binds.conf. So this line shows up in two places and I commented out the other reply types:

r = :reply -aq<Enter>

(I also changed the 'A' binding to :archive year, keep reading.)

Setting up IMAP message archiving

Now I want to get Aerc to archive email in the Archives/<year> format that Thunderbird used.

The first part is to change the default folder name from Archive to Archives. That’s done in accounts.conf:

$ cat ~/.config/aerc/accounts.conf
source   = <redacted>
outgoing = <redacted>
default  = INBOX
from     = <redacted>
copy-to  = Sent
archive  = Archives

The second is to make the year style the default for key binding:

$ cat archive ~/.config/aerc/binds.conf
A = :archive year<Enter>
A = :archive year<Enter>

The other thing I needed was to recompile Aerc from the current master instead of from the latest release. The shows:

* IMAP now uses the delimiter advertised by the server


* :archive now works on servers using a different delimiter

That work was done just three months ago. I love to see the active support from multiple committers as Aerc closes in on sweet perfection!

(I believe my mail provider ( uses a '.' delimiter rather than '/'.)


I’m still just an Aerc noob and sometimes I switch over to claws-mail or Thunderbird to do more complicated things (like deal with file attachments).

I’ll come back here and update this page once I’ve got some more usage under by belt.