The IMAP protocol supports a feature called 'partial fetch', which allows a client to download only a part of a MIME message. This is very useful on slow connections

I am using the mutt MUA. I would like to tell mutt to only download the first part, or only download the text/plain parts, or some other similar rule

  • Does mutt support IMAP partial fetch?
  • If it doesn't, is there any other way to download only a small part of a big message using mutt [ and maybe other programs ]

According to http://dev.mutt.org/trac/ticket/3465 mutt does not yet support partial fetch. I'm not aware of a workaround in this case, and any possible workaround would likely be problematic (attachments would be difficult to download, etc) to implement such a solution.

  • 2
    I don't see how would this feature make it difficult to download attachments. – grawity Jun 16 '12 at 11:44
  • @grawity It would work well if natively supported in Mutt - I was referring to possible workarounds making it difficult to open attachments. Edited the answer to clarify that. – Stephanie Jun 17 '12 at 6:16

I just came across this question while looking for the same facility in Mutt. I have found that on my slow connection I often end up killing mutt to stop it from re-downloading big messages that I accidentally navigate into. However I just found that there is an option to cache messages as well as headers

set message_cachedir="~/.mutt_msgcache"

In this way I only have to wait for the message to download once. This makes it much more usable. I guess if I had read the help I would have been aware of it sooner...

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