Sign up ×
Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My .muttrc file looks something like this one or see below a glimpse. I am hesitant with the password. How should I store my password to use it with mutt?

set imap_user = ""
set imap_pass = "password"

set smtp_url = "smtp://"
set smtp_pass = "password"
set from = ""
set realname = "Your Real Name"
share|improve this question

migrated from Sep 12 '11 at 22:28

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

In the post you linked, I already wrote "Make sure your ~/.muttrc isn’t world-readable; it contains your password. (Alternatively, you can leave them out and mutt will prompt you for the password each time.)" :-) –  ShreevatsaR Jul 18 '10 at 16:36

2 Answers 2

up vote 28 down vote accepted

This tweak should get rid of your problem. Use gpg as suggested, or

set imap_pass=`getpassword email_id`

where you use pwsafe or passwords to fetch the passwords.

Edit: If mutt is built with IMAP support (--enable-imap), then mutt should prompt you for the password if you do not set it in the config file. From the manual:


Type: string Default: ""

Specifies the password for your IMAP account. If unset, Mutt will prompt you for your password when you invoke the fetch-mail function. Warning: you should only use this option when you are on a fairly secure machine, because the superuser can read your muttrc even if you are the only one who can read the file.

share|improve this answer
+1 have mutt ask you for it. You should only have to enter it once per session. –  David Mackintosh Aug 28 '09 at 14:08
Also, if you run mutt within tmux, your session can last a while. –  Chris W. May 29 '13 at 17:03

Create a passwords file: ~/.mutt/passwords:

set imap_pass="password"
set smtp_pass="password"

Encrypt the passwords file:

$ gpg -r -e ~/.mutt/passwords
$ ls ~/.mutt/passwords*
/home/user/.mutt/passwords   /home/user/.mutt/passwords.gpg
$ shred ~/.mutt/passwords
$ rm ~/.mutt/passwords

Add to your muttrc:

source "gpg -d ~/.mutt/passwords.gpg |"


share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.