Keeping Copies of Sent Mail

Alpine or Pine users
Mutt users
Elm users

Most mail programs under UNIX allow you to keep copies of the mail that you send on either a continuing or one-shot basis. This help file has information on pine, mutt, and elm, the three most common shell mail readers.
For Alpine or Pine users:
In order to save a copy of mail that you are sending, you can type control-R while filling in the header lines of your letter. This will make two extra headers appear between the To: and Subject: headers. The one called Fcc: is the one you want. Fcc stands for File-carbon-copy. If you put a name of a file there, Alpine will put a copy of your outgoing mail in a mail folder with that name. (For example, you could use "sent-mail", which would put a copy of the mail you were sending into the "sent-mail" folder.)

Alternatively, if you'd like to always save a copy of sent mail, you can set up Alpine's configuration file to do this. Please remember that your sent mail will hang around forever, getting larger and larger, until you delete it. Alpine will offer to do this once in a while, but if you decline, please remember to do it by hand. Disk space is neither infinite nor free.

To set up Alpine's configuration file, select SETUP from Alpine's Main Menu, and then select C(onfigure). One of the items in the list at the top is default-fcc (the file to which copies of outgoing mail will be saved). Move the cursor to this item; then select A(dd) and insert the name of the file to which you want to save your file copies. Once you've done this, you're finished. Type E (to Exit the configuration menu) and you're back at the main menu.

For Mutt users:
To save a single piece of mail you're sending, the best option is to put your own email address in the CC: field at the top of your message.

To save copies of all your outgoing mail, you will need to make adjustments in your .muttrc. (This file can be found in your home directory.) In that file you will need to have:
set record="=outbox"
(which, in this case, will save copies of all outgoing mail to a folder called outbox; you can, of course, make that name whatever you want.)

There is a separate setting to change if you want to save copies of outgoing attachments as well. That setting is:
set fcc_attach

For ELM users:
To save a single piece of mail that you're sending, use the p)Save copy in option, which is in the menu you get after you've written your message but before you've sent it.

If you want to save a copy of all outbound mail by default, you must amend your .elm/elmrc file. Look for these lines:
# save a copy of all outbound messages?
### copy = OFF
Change the second to read
copy = ON
(Don't forget to remove the # signs.)
Then set the filename that you want by looking for these lines:
# where to save copies of outgoing mail to, default file is "=sent"
### sentmail = =sent
and change the second to remove the # signs and put the filename of your choice in place of "sent." You can change the name of this file in the options menu (command o from the main screen), by changing the filename that appears in the O)utbound mail saved line.

Last Modified:Tuesday, 11-Aug-2020 10:22:44 EDT
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