Changing alpine’s default mail folder

Another little note to myself that I’ve been hoarding for a while is how to switch the default mail folder in alpine. The problems that I seem to have in configuring alpine usually are matters of translation — I want to call it “the default mail folder,” but owing to the fact that alpine is a lot more than just an e-mail client, it’s actually something altogether different.

The solution to the first problem is that it’s called “Folder Collections” in alpine-ese. The second problem is that the setting for that folder is usually hidden, which means you have to show hidden configurations first, then look for it.

Changing it can be a bit tricky, although that trickyness might come from the fact that I use four different rules to access Web-based e-mail accounts, and I might have complicated things more than was necessary. I can tell you that to change it from the default “Mail” in my home directory to “~/.mail” (which is what I wanted), I changed that variable to show

Folder Collections  = ".mail/[]"

I believe that might depend on you starting alpine in your home directory. And take note: Those brackets at the end are important. For a while I was beating my head against the LCD (how many times has that happened?) and the source of my aggravation was those brackets.

But mess around with that and see what works for you. In my case I just didn’t want that “Mail” folder to stick out quite so much in my home directory, so a small dot at the beginning was the answer.

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3 Responses to “Changing alpine’s default mail folder”


  1. 1 Beau 2010/01/02 at 3:51 PM

    So are you using Gmail with alpine or another provider? I have been looking for guides for setting up gmail in alpine but to no avail.

  2. 3 spupy 2010/02/06 at 12:26 AM

    Where is this option that I need to change? In the preferences menu of alpine I can’t find it.

    Thanks for the tips!


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