All I want to do is pass mailto: links to urxvt -e mutt -F ~/path/to/muttrc with the rest of the mailto: URL appended. I've tried every script I can find online that purports to do this, from simple:

exec "urxvt -e mutt -F /path/to/muttrc \"$@\""

to complex, and the most they do is open a terminal window for a split second before it automatically vanishes again (and there is no evidence of a running mutt process). Any suggestions?

1 Answer 1


Remove the quotes, or the shell will try to execute the full string as a command (which obviously does not exist).

exec urxvt -e mutt -F /path/to/muttrc "$@"

Not tested, but the presence of quotes is the explanation for the vanishing of the terminal.

  • Thanks Stephane. It works. I admit to confusion about when to quote $@ and when not to.
    – Wolf
    Commented Sep 10, 2011 at 10:40
  • 1
    "$@" will result in as many words as the number of arguments. With $@, all the arguments will be collapsed and word-split again (usually that's not what you want). Commented Sep 10, 2011 at 10:49
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    I have tried this with firefox and I can't seem to get it to work. I used the EXACT string above (modifying the arg to -F and removing -F and the arg entirely) and for me the console still vanishes.. Commented Mar 30, 2013 at 4:15
  • I think the problem is, that some terminal emulators don't pass on additional arguments. E.g. if you use the terminator term, it provides an -x option, which passes conveniently additional arguments to the executing command.
    – romanofski
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 2:31
  • @romanofski: You're right, with termite for example, it's exec termite -e "mutt \"$@\"". Commented Feb 12, 2020 at 13:14

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