Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I want to create a new folder from within Mutt. I use Maildir format to store the folders on the machine I am running Mutt on.

(I also view the mail remotely using courier IMAP but this doesnt involve Mutt)

Edited to clarify role of IMAP

share|improve this question
I'm using Dovecot, and it supports activating the imapd directly from shell; for example, dovecot --exec-mail imap, which can be used for Mutt's set tunnel=. Maybe Courier has a similar thing too? It would allow mailbox creation within Mutt. (/usr/lib/courier/imap might be enough.) – grawity Jun 21 '10 at 16:20
up vote 3 down vote accepted

If Mutt cannot create maildirs directly, it is easy to do it yourself. A "Maildir" format mail directory has nothing special except for three subdirectories cur/, new/ and tmp/ inside.

Assuming that your mail is kept under ~/mail/, a folder named "Something" would be created like:

  • For the Maildir++ layout used by Courier and Dovecot:

    mkdir -p ~/mail/.Something/{cur,new,tmp}

    (Note the leading dot – yes, this basically means subfolders are stored as hidden directories...)

    Equivalent to:

    mkdir ~/mail                    (implied by `-p`)
    mkdir ~/mail/.Something         (implied by `-p`)
    mkdir ~/mail/.Something/cur     (from brace expansion)
    mkdir ~/mail/.Something/new     (from brace expansion)
    mkdir ~/mail/.Something/tmp     (from brace expansion)
  • For the "filesystem" layout used by some other IMAP daemons:

    mkdir -p ~/mail/Something/{cur,new,tmp}

If you want a folder hierarchy "Archive" / "2010" / "06":

  • In Courier's layout, the folder would be named Archive.2010.06:

    mkdir -p ~/mail/.Archive.2010.06/{cur,new,tmp}
  • In the "filesystem" layout, it would be Archive/2010/06:

    mkdir -p ~/mail/Archive/2010/06/{cur,new,tmp}

(Terminology: mail clients keep messages in 'folders', and the filesystem stores everything in 'directories'.)

share|improve this answer

c (change-folder), ? (list), Shift+C (create-mailbox)

share|improve this answer
This only works across IMAP (i have reworded my question). I wonder if I ought to be using maildirmake -f – justintime Jun 21 '10 at 8:26
@justin: Posted other answer. – grawity Jun 21 '10 at 9:57

I usually just save some email to new not-yet-existing folder, and mutt creates the folder for me.

For me it's pretty intuitive, as there is no point in having folder without mails in it, so I just create it by saving there first mails that should go there.

share|improve this answer
How do you do that - if you type M it then gives me a list of existing mailboxes. Thanks – justintime Jun 24 '10 at 10:09
"M"? I don't know what "M" does. I just press "s" on index of maildir, and then I can type my requested folder name. – user7385 Jun 24 '10 at 11:48
@justintime s – isomorphismes Mar 27 '14 at 8:27

Your Answer


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

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.