Checking email with gmailieer + notmuch + Emacs
In my continuing investigation of Emacs, I'm experimenting with checking email locally (i.e. on my computer) rather than using a web browser. I've used Gmail's web interface for my email for probably eight years at this point. Several years ago my friend recommended checking out
notmuch for email; I poked around with it at the time but didn't understand what I was doing. Here's what I've figured out in trying to set this up again.
Table of Contents
Where we're going is:
gmi(gmailieer) is going to check gmail, both pulling messages and synchronizing labels/tags
notmuchis going to own the local machine's email indexing/tagging
- The Notmuch Emacs interface is going to own the actual MUA (mail user agent) work such as finding and reading emails
- Emacs's message-mode will be used to send emails
2 Failed attempts
I tried to use
offlineimap for this first. However, (a) I didn't know what I was doing at all and (b) getting Gmail's labels to align to notmuch's labels required lots of nametrans and folderfilter lambda functions.
3 Shell work
Before Emacs is involved, a bunch of applications have to be installed and configured. First,
gmailieer have to be installed.
These instructions are OS X+Macports specific, but hopefully they are easy to understand and adapt to other platforms. These instructions also assume you have python-3.6, virtualenv, and virtualenvwrapper installed and virtualenvwrapper has been sourced in your current shell (i.e. you are actually using virtualenvwrapper).
# Make sure notmuch is installed: sudo port install notmuch cat > ~/.notmuch-config <<EOF [database] path=~/Mail [user] name=John Borwick email@example.com [new] tags=new ignore= [search] exclude_tags=deleted;spam; [maildir] synchronize_flags=true [crypto] gpg_path=gpg EOF # Create & then use virtualenv. (mkvirtualenv does this) mkvirtualenv --python=python3.6 gmailieer mkdir -p ~/build cd ~/build # install notmuch libraries. ideally this would be from the same # notmuch source as the above, but this works: git clone https://git.notmuchmail.org/git/notmuch cd notmuch/bindings/python python setup.py install # install gmailieer: cd ~/build git clone https://github.com/gauteh/gmailieer.git cd gmailieer python setup.py install # create notmuch database: mkdir ~/Mail cd ~/Mail notmuch new # ... ideally get a Google developer API certificate and call # gmi auth -c your-client-secrets.json gmi init # This changes gmi to pull the "promotions", "updates", etc tags: gmi set --ignore-tags-remote "" # This is the step that takes forever: gmi pull # make notmuch call gmi when 'notmuch new' is called: mkdir -p .notmuch/hooks cat > .notmuch/hooks/pre-new <<EOF #!/bin/sh source ~/.virtualenvs/gmailieer/bin/activate cd ~/Mail gmi sync EOF chmod +x .notmuch/hooks/pre-new
If all goes well,
gmi pull will show a progress bar and when done, your gmail email will be on your computer with the same labels (notmuch "tags") that you have in gmail.
4 Emacs setup
The other big step is configuring Emacs. Here's what I've done, all in my
; If I'm going to send email then I would like address completion. Therefore I'm going to ; use Big Brother database, for contacts: (when (not (require 'bbdb nil t)) (package-refresh-contents) (package-install 'bbdb)) ; Notmuch for Emacs: (when (not (require 'notmuch nil t)) (package-refresh-contents) (package-install 'notmuch)) ; want org-plus-contrib to get org-notmuch: (add-to-list 'package-archives '("org" . "http://orgmode.org/elpa/") t) (when (not (require 'org-plus-contrib nil t)) (package-refresh-contents) (package-install 'org-plus-contrib)) (require 'bbdb) (require 'org-notmuch) ; configure outgoing SMTP (so you can send messages): (setq smtpmail-smtp-server "smtp.gmail.com" smtpmail-smtp-service 587)
I wouldn't be surprised if there are other things missing from the above, but I think that's most of the config. Once everything is set up, you should be able to run
notmuch new, which due to the
pre-new script in Shell work, above, will call
gmi sync to receive new mail and send any label changes.
5 Next steps
I've begun to build my notmuch-specific tags:
cd ~/Mail cat > .notmuch/hooks/post-new <<EOF #!/bin/sh notmuch tag +to_me -- to:firstname.lastname@example.org and -tag:to_me notmuch tag +to_me -- to:email@example.com and -tag:to_me EOF chmod +x ~/.notmuch/hooks/post-new # Run this script for the first time: .notmuch/hooks/post-new # Synchronize these new labels with gmail: gmi sync
post-new script can be used to add other tags. Also, the above configuration gives every message a notmuch
new tag (that isn't synchronized to Google); you can add that tag to your logic if you only want to parse emails that have recently come in. You can also add other labels (such as this
to_me label) to your local labels to ignore; please check the gmailieer documentation on how to do this.