Vmail: a Vim interface to use Gmail

2013/01/02 00:30  Category: Software  Tags: , , ,

What’s Vmail?

Vmail is a Vim interface to Gmail.

Why Vmail? Because some people are 1000 times more productive and happy in Vim than in any web browser or GUI program.

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  • a Gmail account
  • a relatively recent version of Vim (Vmail is developed against Vim 7.3)
  • Ruby 1.9.0 or higher with SSL support compiled in (Vmail is developed using Ruby 1.9.2)
  • libsqlite3-dev and sqlite3 (try installing with apt-get, brew, yum, emerge, etc.)
  • the lynx text-only-mode web browser is required to view HTML mail parts in Vmail

To install Ruby 1.9.2, I recommend using the RVM Version Manager.

The current version of Vmail assumes a Unix environment.

Your Gmail account should be IMAP-enabled.

If you want to use elinks to display HTML parts, here are instructions.


gem install vmail

Test your installation by typing vmail -h. You should see Vmail’s help.

On some systems you may run into a PATH issue, where the system can’t find the vmail command after installation. Please report this if you encounter this problem, and mention what system you’re using. You might want to try

sudo gem install vmail

to see if that puts vmail on your PATH. (If you’re using rbenv, running rbenv rehash should do the trick.)

Vmail is evolving rapidly. To update to the latest version, simply run the installation command again.

gem install vmail

If you ever want to uninstall Vmail from your system, just execute this command:

gem uninstall vmail

… and all traces of Vmail will removed, except the few files it creates during execution (see below).

Vmail Home Page

More details about how to use Vmail

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