I pressed $, in order to sync mailbox, but mutt just quit... In fact mutt dose not quit every time I press $, it only quits sometimes. So how do I figure out the reason why mutt quits? Is this a bug in `mutt'?

The error message is:

Sorting mailbox...  Segmentation fault

Can I use strace with mutt if I want to know what happens? Or are there tools which are better to find out more about the problem?

Right now I replied to a mail, then I press $, then segmentation fault.

  • This is certainly a bug, you should find out if it is in mutt upstream or introduced by a patch from your distribution. Try compiling latest release from mutt.org and see if it has the same issue.
    – Thor
    Sep 4, 2012 at 15:50

1 Answer 1


strace might tell you something but isn't really the best tool for the job. The right tool for this is gdb and a core dump.

You can either run mutt under gdb directly ('gdb mutt' then 'r' at the gdb prompt) or enable core dumps in your shell and run mutt normally and it should generate a core dump file when it crashes which can then be analyed with gdb. You will want to ensure that you have the debugging symbols for mutt installed first though.

More information about using gdb and analyzing core dumps and backtraces can be found various places online but is too complex to explain well here.

  • i install mutt using yum on centos, i think yum packages do not contain debug symbol in it, so should i build mutt from source?
    – hugemeow
    Sep 4, 2012 at 15:18
  • 1
    There might be a mutt-debuginfo (or similar I forget the exact naming convention RH-derivatives use) package that contains the debug symbols that you could install instead of needing to build it yourself. Sep 4, 2012 at 15:23

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