This is a Work in Progress

Building NeoMutt

How to build NeoMutt from the source code

Install dependencies

See Downloads.

Obtain the source

The NeoMutt project is hosted on GitHub, so there are two main options to get the sources – either as Git repository or GitHub archive file. A repository, not only for GitHub users, provides some benefits over a single release or snapshot archive, e.g. will empower you to work with the source code and contribute to the project more easily.


Cloning the main branch but also see our list of branches.

git clone

Same as above but pointing to an other branch, e.g. sample/summary, for checkout.

git clone -b sample/summary


Latest release

Select a source package (Tar or ZIP archive) and the checksum file for download. Important, verify the tarball/ZIP archive file to ensure its integrity, see Signing Code / Releases for an example.

Specific branch

Note, archive file verification isn’t possible here because this is not a NeoMutt release archive and thus no checksum file is available. Consider to use Git instead (as mentioned above) to clone the repository and checkout the specific branch afterwards.


List supported options to adapt or fine tune NeoMutt’s build.

./configure.autosetup --help

Configure options

This is not a comprehensive list of configure options. Check configure.autosetup --help for full help. The options marked “Path” have either take a path, or have an extra option for specifying the library path.

e.g. ./configure --notmuch --with-notmuch=/usr/local/lib/notmuch

Configure option Path Notes
--with-ui=CHOICE   Select ‘ncurses’ or ‘slang’
--with-ncurses=path   Location of ncurses
--with-slang=path   Location of S-Lang
--gpgme Path GPG Made Easy
--gnutls Path Gnu TLS (SSL)
--gss Path Generic Security Services
--sasl Path Simple Authentication and Security Layer
--ssl Path OpenSSL
--fmemopen   Optional Feature (Dangerous)
--lua Path Optional Feature
--notmuch Path Optional Feature
--mixmaster   Optional Feature
--bdb Path Header cache backend
--gdbm Path Header cache backend
--kyotocabinet Path Header cache backend
--lmdb Path Header cache backend
--qdbm Path Header cache backend
--tokyocabinet Path Header cache backend
--disable-fcntl   fcntl(2) file locking
--flock   flock(2) file locking
--locales-fix   Workaround for broken locales
--disable-nls Path National Language Support (translations)
--disable-pgp Path Pretty Good Privacy
--disable-smime Path Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions
--disable-idn Path Internationalised domain names
--with-domain=DOMAIN   Default email domain
--with-mailpath Path Location of spooled mail
--homespool Path Spooled mail is in user’s home dir
--prefix Path Target directory for build (default: /usr)
--disable-doc   Don’t build the docs
--full-doc   Document disabled features
--quiet   Only show the summary


Targets: neomutt, doc, …

The build can be adjusted by setting any of six environment variables:

  • CC - set the compiler
  • CFLAGS - replace all the compiler flags
  • EXTRA_CFLAGS - append flags to the default compiler flags
  • LD - set the linker
  • LDFLAGS - replace all the linker flags
  • EXTRA_LDFLAGS - append flags to the default linker flags

e.g. make EXTRA_CFLAGS=-g



make install


make uninstall

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