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CLAWS MAIL(1) User Manuals CLAWS MAIL(1)


claws-mail - a GTK based fast email and news client


claws-mail [options]...


• Quick response
• Graceful, and sophisticated interface
• Easy configuration, intuitive operation
• Abundant features
• POP3 support
• IMAP4rev1 support
• integrated NetNews client
• unlimited multiple account handling
• thread display
• filtering
• MIME (attachments)
• built-in image view
• X-Face and (colour) Face support
• multiple MH folder support
• mbox importing / exporting
• external editor support
• message queueing
• automatic mail checking
• draft message function
• template function
• line-wrapping
• clickable URI
• XML-based address book
• LDAP, vCard, and JPilot support
• newly arrived and unread message management
• Mew/Wanderlust-like key bind
• printing
• APOP authentication support
• SMTP AUTH support
• SSL support (POP3, SMTP, IMAP4rev1)
• IPv6 support
• drag & drop (partially implemented)
• GnuPG support
• automake + autoconf support
• internationalization of UI messages by gettext
• support of many code sets, including UTF-8 (Unicode)
• support for plugins

This list is not complete.


--compose [address]
--compose-from-file file
--subscribe uri
--attach file1 [file2]...
--insert file1 [file2]...
--search folder type request [recursive]
--status folder[/subfolder]
--status-full folder[/subfolder]
--select [#mh/mailbox/]folder[/msg|/msgid], a file:// uri or an absolute path
--alternate-config-dir directory
--geometry [WxH][+X+Y]


Default directory for mail storage.
Global program directory.
Manual files in HTML, PDF, PostScript and plain text format.
Global themes directory.
Directory for plugins.
Directory for header files.
Default directory for user's configuration files directory.
Addressbook files.
Automatic Faces and X-Faces files for accounts.
SSL certificates received from mail servers.
Tags directory.
User-defined templates directory.
User's themes directory.
Configuration for account(s).
User-defined custom actions.
User-defined address book custom attributes.
Claws Mail logfile.
Main configuration file.
User-specified commands.
Configuration for custom headers for sending mail.
Configuration for custom display of headers in message view.
Editable extra headers to be added to compose window combobox.
All folders' attributes.
Folder hierarchy listing.
Optional GTK settings to be load on startup.
Filtering and Processing function configuration.
Menu shortcut-key configuration.
User-specified searches in message bodies.
User-specified quick-search list.
User-specified searches in message bodies.
User-specified searches in message list.
User saved passwords.
User-specified tag list.
User-defined custom toolbars.
%TEMP%\claws-win32.log (Windows only)
Claws Mail output file when --debug is enabled. If %TEMP% is not set it defaults to windows directory (usually C:\Windows) or C:\ if windows directory is not available.
%APPDATA%\Claws-mail\claws.log (Windows only)
Claws Mail log file.


To run this program the standard way type:


Alternatively you can run it with the following options:

To open a Compose window.
This syntax can be used in web-browsers and CLI to open a pre-populated Compose window. Possible fields after the destination recipient are: subject, from, cc, bcc, in-reply-to, body, insert (insert a file in body part, needs an absolute path), attach (attach a file, needs an absolute path, see also: --attach).
Open composition window with data from the given file. Use - as file name for reading from standard input. Content format: headers first (To: header required) until an empty line is found, then mail body until end of file.
Subscribe to the given URI if possible.
Open composition window with specified files attached.
Open composition window with specified files inserted.
Receive new messages.
Receive new messages from all accounts.
Cancel receiving of messages.
Cancel sending of messages.

Searches mail:
folder ex.: "#mh/Mailbox/inbox" or "Mail"
type: s[ubject],f[rom],t[o],e[xtended],m[ixed] or g: tag
request: search string
recursive: false if arg. starts with 0, n, N, f or F

Send all queued messages.
Show the total number of messages:
[new][unread][unread answers to marked][total]
Show the total number of messages in the specified folder:
[new][unread][unread answers to marked][total]
Show the total number of messages per folder:
[new][unread][unread answers to marked][total]
Show the total number of messages int the specified folder:
[new][unread][unread answers to marked][total]

Show session statistics.

Reset session statistics.

--select file://home/johndoe/Mail/inbox/123
--select /home/johndoe/Mail/inbox/123
On startup, jump to the specified folder/message.
Start Claws Mail in (or switch to, if already running) online mode.
Start Claws Mail in (or switch to, if already running) offline mode.
Exit Claws Mail.
For debug mode (on Windows systems output is written to a file instead of standard error output, see Windows only on FILES section).
Toggle debug mode of the running Claws Mail instance.
Display the help message.
Display version number.
Display version number and compiled-in features.
Display the CONFIG-DIR.
Start Claws Mail with the configuration stored in the [dir] directory.
Set initial X geometry of main window.


If defined disables crash dialog (only if Claws Mail has been built with crash dialog feature enabled).
Default host and display number to use.
When using a tunnel command to open server connections these temporary variables are set to the server name and server port respectively in the environment of the running command.
The information to access the GPG agent if using GPG agent is enabled in GPG plugin preferences (this is usually set by the agent when launched, otherwise it likely means the GPG agent is not running).
Assumes that filenames are in the locale encoding rather than in UTF-8.
Full path of the user's home directory.
Locale to use for non-windows systems (the first one not empty is used).
If defined overrides default J-Pilot charset (CP1252).
If defined regular expressions matching follows POSIX standards.
If defined tries to use the Session Manager (only if Claws Mail has been built with libSM feature enabled).
If defined overrides default shell "sh" used by Spamassassin plugin to launch spamc wrappers.
Use this CA certificates directory instead known system directories.
Use this CA certificates file instead of searching known system files.
Used to initialize default "user_id" preference in newly created accounts.




1999-2022 The Claws Mail team and Hiroyuki Yamamoto

Portions are also Copyright:
(C) 2007-2009 g10 Code GmbH
(C) 1999-2005 Nullsoft, Inc.
(C) 1991-1993, 1996-2000, 2001 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
(C) 2001 Thomas Link, Hiroyuki Yamamoto
(C) 1995-1997 Peter Mattis and Spencer Kimball
(C) 1995-1997 Peter Mattis, Spencer Kimball, Josh MacDonald
(C) 1997-1998 Jay Painter <><>
(C) 1999-2003 Michael Natterer <>
(C) 2000 Evan Martin
(C) 1998 Lars Hamann and Stefan Jeske
(C) 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 GNOME Foundation
(C) 2004-2006 Christian Hammond
(C) 2003-2004 Pawel Salek
(C) 2001, 2002 - DINH Viet Hoa
(C) 1999-2000, Gael Roualland <>
(C) 1998-2002 Sendmail, Inc.
(C) 2007-2008 Juha Kautto (juha at
(C) 1994-2002 World Wide Web Consortium
(C) 1999 Graham Davison
(C) 1999 Eric Busboom
(C) 2000, Eric Busboom,
(C) 2002-2007 Randall Hand <>
(C) 2001 by Werner Koch <>
(C) 2004 Apache Software Foundation
(C) 2008 Mikkel Kamstrup Erlandsen
(C) 2002 Red Hat, Inc.; Copyright 1998, 2001 Tim Janik
(C) 2008-2009 Christian Hammond, David Trowbridge
(C) 2003-2005 Lars Lindner <>
(C) 2004,2005 Nathan J. Conrad <>
(C) 2004 Karl Soderstrom <>
(C) 2000 Helix Code, Inc. (



Holger Berndt <>
Tristan Chabredier <>
Darko Koruga <>
Ricardo Mones Lastra <>
Paul Mangan <>
Salvatore De Paolis <>
Michael Rasmussen <>

Hoà Viêt Dinh, Keith Edmunds, Match Grun, Melvin Hadasht, Oliver Haertel, Christoph Hohmann, Alfons Hoogervorst, Andrej Kacian, Werner Koch, Charles Lehner, Colin Leroy, Thorsten Maerz, Pawel Pekala, Leandro A. F. Pereira, Luke Plant, Martin Schaaf, Carsten Schurig, Fabien Vantard, Sergey Vlasov and Hiroyuki Yamamoto.


X(7), xwininfo(1).

March 17, 2022 The Claws Mail team