[neomutt-users] How to best configure NeoMutt with multiple Proton email addresses?

technical_fora at proton.me technical_fora at proton.me
Wed Aug 30 08:47:30 CEST 2023

On 30.08.2023 01:22, technical_fora at proton.me wrote:
>I have recently become a paid user of Proton Mail, which allows me to
>create multiple additional email addresses (up to 14) beyond my account's
>primary one.  I decided to use six, so far, say:  personal at proton.me,
>gmail at proton.me, commercial at proton.me, technical at proton.me,
>medical at proton.me and work at proton.me.  These are not my actual email
>addresses, but you'll be able to guess one of them. ~(:>))  The names
>I've given are meant to communicate their desired functional use.  Note
>that the gmail one receives forwarded emails from my Gmail account that
>I am gradually weaning myself from.
>In this scenario, personal at proton.me is the primary address associated
>with my login to my Proton account.  In the Proton Mail web interface
>*all* of these email addresses get their mail lumped together into the
>same inbox.
>I am new to NeoMutt, but have used Mutt -- some -- for a few months a
>couple of years ago.  I have successfully compiled NeoMutt from source
>(the most recent stable release) on an old laptop (circa 2012) running a minimal
>install of Bodhi Linux.  I have successfully installed Proton Bridge and
>have NeoMutt and it talking to each other.  I am composing this email
>from this NeoMutt installation.  I have no real issues (yet), but I am
>unsure how best to accomplish my end goals, which is really the point of
>this email, on how to best manage these multiple emails under a single
>Proton Mail account.  More specifically, I hope to find intelligent ways
>to do the following:
>1) SIDEBAR:  I would like it to show, at a minimum, the following:
>		?Subfolders?
>		?Subfolders?
>		?Subfolders?
>		?Subfolders?
>		?Subfolders?
>		?Subfolders?
>	Others??  Like Sent, Trash, Spam, Drafts, etc.??
>It is unclear to me how to handle the "Others??", as all of these seem
>to be treated by Proton Mail as global for *all* my email addresses
>together.  It is also unclear to me how and if there should be
>subfolders as indicated, which is why I've enclosed the word in question
>marks.  For instance, in my initial setup of Proton Mail (before
>NeoMutt), I migrated a lot of stuff from Gmail to Proton Mail.  So, some
>current "subfolders" have both Gmail and Proton Mail content.
>2) Desired functionality:
>    a) When I have one of the sidebar options selected I only want the
>    index to show a list of emails relevant to that selection, i.e., if
>    TECHNICAL is selected, the index should only list emails sent to
>    technical at proton.me.
>    b) When I reply to an email in the selected list, I want it to show
>    my correct email, i.e., technical at proton.me in the current example.
>    c) When I compose a new email in the selected list view, I want it to
>    default to technical at proton.me in this example, and, likewise, the
>    correct ones for the other possible options.
>    d) I want when either replying to or composing new email, to have a
>    custom signature relevant to the sidebar selection.
>    e) Am I overlooking anything that would be functionally desirable?
>3) Once I have puzzled out all of the above on this laptop, my intent is
>to replicate this setup on my Arch Linux desktop at home (I'm currently
>on an extended-away-from-home trip.).  On the Arch Linux desktop I intend
>to locally store copies of my emails for posterity and easy searching.
>    a) Based on my earlier adventures with Mutt I'm thinking mbsync and,
>    perhaps, msmtp are the way to go, using notmuch for the searching?
>    b) Based on my current online research, assuming I'm correct about
>    (a), getting mbsync and msmtp to work well with Proton Bridge may be
>    somewhat challenging.  Any suggestions?
>This concludes my main goals.  It seems to conceptually boil down to how
>to separate a single feed of six different email addresses into
>individually usable ones in NeoMutt.  I have read endlessly online (or
>so it seems), and so far my best guess is to use NeoMutt's alternative
>addresses functionality with appropriate hooks, neither of which I know
>much about -- yet.  The presentation of the sidebar seems mostly like
>configuring its display to what I want, and associating whatever hooks
>turn out to be appropriate.  That sums up my current thoughts at this

It was suggested offline by two different responders for me to try Mutt
Wizard.  So, I quit my functioning NeoMutt, renamed my root directories
for my existing NeoMutt cache and config files.  Doing this broke the
existing pairing between Proton Bridge and NeoMutt, so I had to redo the
Bridge stuff to get it running in the background again.  I thought I
carefully installed all of the dependencies and most of the optional
ones for Mutt Wizard, and this was the result:

bob at Dev:~$ mw -a personal at proton.me	# I used my real one here.
Give your email server's IMAP address (excluding the port number):
Give your email server's SMTP address (excluding the port number):
Enter password for i_persevere_forever at proton.me:
Retype password for i_persevere_forever at proton.me:
Log-on not successful.

Since I was not asked for the unusual port numbers that Proton Bridge
requires, I thought that might be it, so I used all of the optional
parameters that were relevant to "mw -a" and gave it everything,
including the Bridge password.  This got a little farther in that it
interacted with gpg and pass, but in the end it failed with the same
unhelpful error message:  "Log-on not successful."  BTW, Proton Bridge
*was* running in the background.

I did some searching online for "mutt wizard proton bridge" and looked
at a few issues, but saw nothing helpful.  I grant that it is entirely
possible that I misunderstood something about how the wizard is to be
used, but if so, I am unaware what I did incorrectly.

Anyway, I'll go back to the docs and try to get things done manually.
The two offline responses I got suggest to me that I am overthinking
this, and that I just need to set up mailboxes for each email address
despite them all sharing the same account, Sent folder, Drafts folder,
etc., on the Proton IMAP server(s).

I do find it strange that once I changed the Bridge password for my
original configs, NeoMutt promptly came back to life, so I am puzzled as
to why the wizard did not handle this well as I was only doing the
primary email.

Oh well, I now have msmtp, abook, mbsync and a few other things
installed now that I did not before.  So that's progress?!

Wishing you only the best,
boB i_persevere

Wherever life takes us, there are always moments of wonder.
	-- Jimmy Carter

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