From Claws Mail FAQ
Revision as of 11:34, 4 July 2006 by (talk) (typos)
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What are plugins?

Plugins are modules loaded (or unloaded) by Sylpheed-Claws at runtime. They provide a way to extend Sylpheed-Claws with new capabilities you really need without having all of them wasting memory.

Where are plugins located?

Plugins are located in your $PREFIX/lib/sylpheed-claws/plugins. Typical locations are /usr/lib/sylpheed-claws/plugins if you installed a packaged plugin and /usr/local/lib/sylpheed-claws/plugins if you're installing from source. (plugins have a suffix of '.so')

Note that in older versions of Sylpheed-Claws (=< 0.9.11) the directory name was sylpheed and not sylpheed-claws (i.e. $PREFIX/lib/sylpheed/plugins).

I have loaded plugin X but how can I configure it?

Plugin configuaration options can be found under '/Configuration/Preferences/Plugins/' and/or '/Configuration/[Account Preferences]/Plugins'.

Some plugins have a separate interface plugin which provides the configuration pane for the X plugin. If you have loaded plugin typical name for the configuration plugin will be, but this is not mandatory, read plugin's documentation in case of doubt.

What plugins are currently available?

The following plugins are included in the Sylpheed-Claws release tarballs

Clam AntiVirus
Enables the scanning of message attachments in mail received from a POP, IMAP or LOCAL account using Clam AntiVirus. It can optionally delete the mail or save it to a designated folder. Preferences can be found in '/Configuration/Preferences/Plugins/Clam AntiVirus'.
Clam AntiVirus is available from
Dillo HTML Viewer
Enables the viewing of html messages using the Dillo web browser, version 0.7.0 or newer. It uses Dillo's --local option by default for safe browsing. Preferences can be found in '/Configuration/Preferences/Plugins/Dillo Browser'.
Dillo is available from
Handles core PGP functions and is required by the PGP/Inline and PGP/MIME plugins.
Handles inline PGP signed and/or encrypted mails. You can decrypt mails, verify signatures or sign and encrypt your own mails.
Handles PGP/MIME signed and/or encrypted mails. You can decrypt mails, verify signatures or sign and encrypt your own mails.
Enables the scanning of incoming mail received from a POP, IMAP or LOCAL account using SpamAssassin. It can optionally delete mail identified as spam or save it to a designated folder. Preferences can be found in '/Configuration/ Preferences/Plugins/SpamAssassin'.
SpamAssassin is available from
Places an icon in the notification area that indicates whether you have any new mail. A tooltip also shows the current new, unread and total number of messages

The following plugins are included in the External Plugins release tarballs

acpi notifier
Enables mail notification via LEDs on some laptops.
Saves the caches every 60 seconds (or user-defined period).
Handles signature verification and decryption of encrypted messages in S/MIME, OpenPGP, and ascii-armored PGP formats.
Inserts headers containing some download information: UIDL, Sylpheed-Claws' account name, POP server, user ID and retrieval time.
Provides direct support for Maildir++ mailboxes. With this plugin you can share your Maildir++ mailbox with other mailers or IMAP servers.
Handles mailboxes in mbox format.
Intended to extend the filtering possibilities of Sylpheed-Claws. It provides a Perl interface to Sylpheed-Claws' filtering mechanism, allowing the use of full Perl power in email filters.
Allows you to read your favorite newsfeeds in Sylpheed-Claws. RSS 1.0, 2.0 and Atom feeds are currently supported.
Assists in keeping the addressbook of a Windows CE device (Pocket PC/iPAQ, Smartphone etc) in sync with Sylpheed-Claws' addressbook, with respect to email addresses.
Enables vCalendar message handling like that produced by Evolution or Outlook.

How do I configure SpamAssassin and the SpamAssassin plugin?

There are many configurations possible, this answer applies when the spamassassin daemon spamd is running on your local computer.

If you have the dependencies installed, the SpamAssassin plugin will be built automatically when building Sylpheed-Claws. When you start Sylpheed-Claws the plugin is NOT loaded or enabled. Load the plugins: Configuration|Plugins|Load Plugins, browse to your plugin directory location as described above. Load You then need to configure it in: Configuration|Preferences|Plugins|Spamassassin. There are six items to set correctly.

  1. Transport: For our configuration set this to Localhost. If ever you want to turn spam checking off, set this to Disabled.
  2. Spamd: This should be set to the IP port number that spamd is listening on, it's normally 783.
  3. Save Spam: If cleared, this tickbox tells Sylpheed-Claws to delete mails that spamassassin thinks are spam.
  4. Save Folder: If Save Spam is set, this is the folder that Sylpheed-Claws will send spam to.
  5. Maximum Size: Spam is usually small, so it's a waste of resources to spam check very large emails, this sets the size threshold in KBytes.
  6. Timeout: This is the time that sylpheed will wait while spamd checks each message. The default of 30 seconds is OK for most machines, but slow ones may need this increased.

Now you need to test the installation. Send yourself some spam. When you receive it, it should be placed into the spam folder that you configured. To check that spamd is being called, put a tail on your sys.log (mine is in /var/log/sys.log, so tail -f /var/log/sys.log works) and see if spamd runs and what it says. If it is not running for every mail message received then check carefully both the SpamAssassin and Sylpheed-Claws settings. If it is running, but not detecting spam, then you may need to train the bayesian filter - see SpamAssassin's documentation for that.

Does the SpamAssassin plugin change the email headers?

No, it only uses the return value from SpamAssassin, (SPAM/NOT SPAM). To use header changing ability of SpamAssassin you can either configure an Action (Report as SPAM: spamassassin -r < %f), or a Filtering rule (test "!(spamc -c < %f)"), or setup fetchmail and procmail to filter emails into your Sylpheed-Claws mailbox instead of using the plugin.

How do I configure gpg-agent and the PGP plugin?

Attempts to use your gpg key to sign/encrypt messages will fail with a 'Signature failed' message without even asking you for your password if:

  1. Your OS automatically starts the gpg-agent daemon AND
  2. you only have the CURSES based pinentry program installed AND
  3. you started sylpheed from a menu or icon

(Note: my Fedora Core 4 workstation install was configured this way). The solution is to make sure that you have the pinentry-gtk or pinentry-qt programs installed. Sylpheed-Claws will then present the pinentry dialog box to get your GPG passphrase.

You can tell if this is working by the dialog box presented to you for your passphrase. The pinentry dialog is a little uglier than the Sylpheed-Claws version, and the window title is 'pinentry'.

One advantage of using the gpg-agent over Sylpheed-Claws password dialog is that the password caching then works with other applications using the gpg-agent (eg the command line when you specify --use-agent).

Note 2: If it still refuses to work you might want to try the following steps:

  • Make sure your ~/.gnupg/gpg.conf contains the line


  • Create a file ~/.gnupg/gpg-agent.conf with the following contents:

pinentry-program /usr/bin/pinentry-qt
default-cache-ttl 1800

  • Add the following line to some startup script. (In case of KDE you could use ~/.kde/env/ - The filename does not matter, the contents of ~/.kde/env/ is sourced by startkde)
eval "$(gpg-agent --daemon)"

I love maildir format. Is there a useful replacement in Sylpheed-Claws, better than the maildir plugin ?

The maildir plugin works well in Sylpheed-Claws. Nevertheless, if you plan to use tons of emails (i.e. X GB of mails), then the maildir plugin is not enough efficient to be usable (tested with 2Go of mails, folders with 30000 mails are long to display).

The good solution is to use the native format of Sylpheed-Claws: the MH format. You have two ways of doing this:

  • Use a local account in MH format: you use the filters of Sylpheed-Claws to drop the mails directly on your disk in MH format. Then searching, indexing is very very fast.
  • Use an IMAP account: if doing this way, your emails remains on the IMAP server BUT, when displayed, your mails are downloaded and stored in MH format on your disk too. They are dropped in ~/.sylpheed-claws/imapcache/ and are synchronized with the server (see Synchronize folder in File menu).

In the two cases, Sylpheed-Claws uses the MH format and you can browse your emails with an alternative mail client able to read MH.