Configure Alpine Mail Client on Ubuntu

Introduction of Alpine Mail Client from Wikipedia

Alpine Mail Client is a free software e-mail client developed at the University of Washington.Alpine 1.0 was publicly released on December 20, 2007 and it is readily available in the Ubuntu repositories.Alpine is a rewrite of the Pine Message System that adds support for Unicode and other features. Alpine is meant to be suitable for both inexperienced email users and the most demanding of power users. Alpine is developed at the University of Washington, as was Pine before it. Alpine can be learned by exploration and the use of context-sensitive help. The user interface can be customized.

Alpine supports IMAP, POP, SMTP and LDAP protocol natively. Although Alpine does not support composing HTML email, it can display emails that only have HTML content as text.
Linus Torvalds, the primary force behind the development of Linux, has stated in an interview published by the Lifehacker  weblog on 31 January 2008 that he uses Alpine as his email client.E-mail headers confirm this.

Configuration :

First of you have to download and install Alpine from here . If you are using debian or ubuntu simple type

 sudo apt-get install alpine

and it will be automatically install for you .
Now open your terminal and type


and you will see a screen like the one below .

Now move your cursor up and down to the option S SETUP or simply press S from your keyboard and you will see a next screen like the one below

Now press L from your keyboard and go to the configuration screen like as shown in the next screen

Now press A and you will be presented with a screen like below

In the Nickname field put anything you want and in Server field put this

Replace “username” with your gmail username.

Now press Ctrl+X and you will be asked for your password (dont worry if not), just give your password and hit enter . In the next screen you will see the new list just created by you .

Now press left arrow and you will be back to the main screen . From here again press S and then press C and you will see a screen almost similar to one below

From the start of the screen go slowly down and you will see SMTP server field and Inbox Path field. Now put the following details in both the fields respectively ( press enter to add detail) 

and then hit enter and give your password if you are asked for . Thats it now you must be able to read your emails and send emails from your Gmail account .
Remember Password
Now if you want that your password should be saved on your computer (don’t worry it’s totally safe) , then open the terminal and if you are in your home directory then give the following command

touch .pine-passfile

How to read email
To read your email just type alpine in the terminal and from the menu select FOLDER LIST and there you will see the list created by you so select it and now you can read your emails .

If you have any problem , you can ask me for help through comments .

21 thoughts on “Configure Alpine Mail Client on Ubuntu

  • December 12, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Hi…thanks for the guide…really helpful…
    Is it possible to configure alpine to deal with hotmail accounts? to send and read messages….

    • December 18, 2010 at 8:08 am

      with hotmail accounts you can only read messages via hotmail. AFAIK

  • December 17, 2010 at 3:09 am

    thanks for this! I wanted to be different from everyone else. this works awesome if you want a text email client. it reminds me of old school. thanks again.

  • February 14, 2011 at 8:00 am

    how do I set-up my hot mail account with alpine

  • March 29, 2011 at 11:48 pm


    When I try to do this

    touch .pine-passfile

    I am prompted with

    cannot touch ‘.pine-passfile’: Permission denied

    Any idea would be useful!

  • December 8, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    thank you is very clear

  • Pingback: alpine and gmail | alanhorizon

  • October 15, 2013 at 12:51 am

    when checking inbox there’s nothing there, and when trying to exit alpine, it just keeps waiting on the server, but won’t exit. Ubuntu 10.04. Thanks

  • December 4, 2013 at 8:45 am

    [Error sending: Can’t connect to,25: Network is unreachable]
    I have used an install / config as per your example
    I cannot send emails using alpine. My OS = Xubuntu 12.04
    I have tried 3 times installing / removing this alpine ?? With no success.
    above is the error message I am getting — which is bogus
    because my Thunderbird email client connects just fine !
    messy …

    • May 24, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      Have you maneged to fix this problem ?Because I’m trying to configure alpine now and I have this error too.

  • Pingback: Configure Alpine to Send/Receive emails from Gmail . | M

  • October 16, 2014 at 3:42 am

    change gmail forgot pas Read Moresword recovery help over the phone, and speaking to our technical support agent for any type of gmail down help.

  • May 21, 2015 at 5:59 am


    Thank you for the post.
    I could configure my gmail to use alpine (without the INBOX PATH option) and all went well. But when I add other accounts, I have difficulty choosing which I account to use to send an email. For example if I have ACC1 and ACC2 configured. I can read emails from each account… but when I hit reply for an email in ACC2, I find that it says it is sent from ACC1 and I cannot change it.

    How to configure alpine to ask which account to use?

    Thank you again,


  • February 7, 2016 at 2:31 am

    Doesn’t work. I get old messages from 2011 with the pop in there. I put in imap instead of pop in that config line and it locks up and won’t work. I guess with El Capitan OS X, they have blocked up something somehow. You try to make something simpler and it just gives you more headaches.

  • Pingback: Configure Alpine to Send/Receive emails from Gmail . | Tech Simplified

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