Hack and / - Mutt Tweaks for System Administrators
Once I had colorized all my e-mail, it was great—I would browse through output and more critical e-mail would jump to my attention. As the number of messages started to grow though, I noticed I would spend a lot of time reading the less-important messages before I found the important ones. My solution was to use the limit feature in mutt. When you are in the index view in mutt (where mutt shows you only the From and the Subject lines), you can tell mutt to limit (the l key by default) the headers you currently can see based on a pattern.
For instance, if I wanted to see only all the headers that said Bob, I could type l and then Bob <Enter>. Then, to see all the headers again, I could type l and then all <Enter> to show all messages. You also can have mutt search within the body of messages, so I created a mutt macro that I bound to the F3 key, so that when I see the full list of headers and press F3, it limits the view only to new messages that contained error or fail in them. I could read those messages first and then change the limit back to all and tab through the rest. Here is the extra line in my .muttrc to create the macro:
macro index <F3> "l~N ~b \"([\^nN][\^oO].error|[Ff][Aa][Ii][Ll])\"<enter>"
I constantly am surprised with how far you can extend mutt. It is definitely one of those programs that gives your time back in gained productivity as you learn more about its configuration options. If you use your e-mail to remember things, or dig through a large stack of server e-mail every day (or even if you don't), mutt is an invaluable e-mail companion that always has new tricks.
Kyle Rankin is a Senior Systems Administrator in the San Francisco Bay Area and the author of a number of books, including Knoppix Hacks and Ubuntu Hacks for O'Reilly Media. He is currently the president of the North Bay Linux Users' Group.
Kyle Rankin is a VP of engineering operations at Final, Inc., the author of a number of books including DevOps Troubleshooting and The Official Ubuntu Server Book, and is a columnist for Linux Journal. Follow him @kylerankin.
Practical books for the most technical people on the planet. Newly available books include:
- Agile Product Development by Ted Schmidt
- Improve Business Processes with an Enterprise Job Scheduler by Mike Diehl
- Finding Your Way: Mapping Your Network to Improve Manageability by Bill Childers
- DIY Commerce Site by Reven Lerner
Plus many more.
- Happy GPL Birthday VLC!
- Download "Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI"
- Handheld Emulation: Achievement Unlocked!
- Unikernels, Docker, and Why You Should Care
- Giving Silos Their Due
- Controversy at the Linux Foundation
- Don't Burn Your Android Yet
- Non-Linux FOSS: Snk
- Firefox OS
- diff -u: What's New in Kernel Development