Mutt vs Gmail

I really wanted it to work. I really did.

I experimented for a couple days with using Mutt for email. I love the ability to compose emails with Vim, and I had heard that it was lightning fast. If I am honest with myself, my interest in Mutt was also related to the fact that I aspire to be a Linux geek (which I cannot claim to be right now).

So I configured Mutt to get mail from my Gmail account. That way, I could still get all of the benefits of Mutt at work while still enjoying the ease of access to Gmail everywhere else (I usually use the iPad to check email at home).

I wanted Mutt to work. I really wanted Mutt to work. But it didn’t. The problem was that it was muuuuuuuch slower than Gmail. When sending or archiving messages, Mutt took probably 5 to 10 times longer than Gmail did (Mutt takes maybe 2 seconds, whereas Gmail is near instantaneous. I recognize that 1998 Bret would be ashamed of 2014 Bret for caring about this small of a difference). Since I can mostly use Gmail without a mouse, I have come to the conclusion that Mutt is not worth it for me.

Of course, there is always the possibility that I screwed something up while configuring Mutt; let me know if you think that I did something wrong to cause this.

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7 Responses to “Mutt vs Gmail”

  1. Andy "SuperFly" Rundquist Says:

    I thought this was going to be a post about how we should all play with our dogs instead of checking email at home.

    Seriously, though, I guess I’m not surprised that gmail is faster. They control the API and would much prefer you use their interface.

    • bretbenesh Says:

      Hi Andy,

      I love dogs, and I am obsessive about email. I seriously don’t know what I would do if I had a dog at home—probably check mail while walking the dog.

      That makes sense about the API. I might play around with using Mutt without using Gmail next week; slipperyp and Matt Wiebold both planted the idea that I should also be considering my privacy, and getting my mail directly from CSBSJU’s Outlook server would bypass that issue.

  2. slipperyp Says:

    I haven’t tried this but these are some configs I would /suspect/ and projected results:
    – mutt pulling Gmail POP – GREAT! fAST! Loses real abolility to use Gmail
    – mutt interacting with Gmail IMAP – klunky, probably slow. Bad mutt experience but Gmail still good.
    – ditch mutt and realize the best client for Gmail is Gmail – looks like this is where you landed šŸ™‚

    I was using gnus for about a year (because let’s face it, real geeks use emacs :-P) but now I use Gmail without many reservations because I really want lots of ability to access my mail store from lots of different clients. I’ve read a few things about more secure backends in the post-Snowden world and thought a little about switching but the benefits haven’t seemed compelling enough yet…maybe that’s the motivation you need to really cut the cord from gmail?

    • bretbenesh Says:

      Hi Pat,

      It helps to hear that you have found that the Gmail client is the best for Gmail. I was using IMAP (obviously), so I might have to give up on this.

      That said, you are the second person who planted the Snowden idea in my head, so I am considering ceasing to use Gmail as my primary email at all. I hope to play around next week with getting my email directly from my school’s email server with Mutt.

      “(because letā€™s face it, real geeks use emacs :-P)”

      I fully understand that I am only a wannabe geek šŸ™‚
      Bret

  3. Mutt revisited | Solvable by Radicals Says:

    […] « Mutt vs Gmail […]

  4. Mutt vs Gmail Revisited | Solvable by Radicals Says:

    […] used to use Gmail; I thought about switching to Mutt last summer. I decided to try Mutt for the summer to see what […]

  5. Mutt vs Gmail Revisited | Solvable by Radicals Says:

    […] used to use Gmail; I thought about switching to Mutt last summer. I decided to try Mutt for the summer to see what […]

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