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astroid(1) General Commands Manual astroid(1)


astroid - graphical threads-with-tags style, lightweight and fast, e-mail client for Notmuch


astroid [options]


Astroid is a lightweight and fast Mail User Agent that provides a graphical interface to searching, displaying and composing email, organized in threads and tags. It uses the Notmuch backend for blazingly fast searches through tons of e-mail.


-c, --config <config>

Override the default configuration path. Please refer to the CONFIGURATION section for details.


Disable logging.

-h, --help

Show the help message and quit.

--log-level <level>

Override the configured log level. Level options are: trace, debug (default), info, warn, error and fatal.


Output logs to the standard output, regardless of any other logging configuration.

-m, --mailto <dest>

Open the composition window, sending to the <dest> url or address.

-n, --new-config

Generate a new configuration file and quit.


Disable automatic polling.

--refresh <revision>

Update the user view of a running astroid instance with any changes detected in the mail directory since <revision>. You can obtain the current revision with notmuch count --lastmod | cut -f3 (0 will refresh all thread-indexes). --{start,stop}-polling can be used as an alternative, but not with --refresh.


Make a running astroid instance watch for changes in the mail directory and display a polling spinner. One must call --stop-polling at the end of the external polling (e.g. by offlineimap) even if it fails. --refresh can be used as an alternative, but not with --{start,stop}-polling.


Stop the polling initiated by --start-polling and update the user view with any changes detected since --start-polling was executed.

-t, --test-config

Use test configuration file. Only makes sense from the source root.


Disable all the plugins.


The configuration file location defaults to $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/astroid/config. The preferred way to configure a new astroid setup is to use --new-config to generate an initial configuration file, then edit it to match the user's needs. You will find all the details on Astroid's online documentation: If $NOTMUCH_CONFIG is set it takes precedence over the configured value for the notmuch database in the configuration file.

You can customized the thread view by putting your own HTML and SCSS files in $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/astroid/ui/, as explained on

If $XDG_CONFIG_HOME is not set, it defaults to ~/.config.


Astroid is a Mail User Agent: all Astroid provides is a graphical interface to your email (read, view, write, modify, organise). Thus, Astroid enables you to launch actions that rely on the performance of other programs to actually fetch, sync, index, search and send your email. It depends on Notmuch for indexing and searching, but others actions can be handled many different programs:

•Fetching and syncing your mail between your local computer and email service

provider can be handled by any program supporting the Maildir format:
OfflineIMAP mbsync Gmailleer ...

•Sending mail through you email provider can be handler by any sendmail

compatible program:
msmtp ...

•Editing can be handled by almost any editor:

emacs gedit ...

While all these programs (or equivalent programs) need to be setup; once they're configured, you shouldn't need to think about them beyond using astroid. The configuration options may be more or less tedious and complicated, depending on what email service provider you use.


Maintained by Gaute Hope <>, who is assisted by other open source contributors. For more information about astroid development, see <>.


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