alot [-r] [-c CONFIGFILE] [-n NOTMUCHCONFIGFILE] [-C {1,16,256}] [-p DB_PATH]
     [-d {debug,info,warning,error}] [-l LOGFILE] [-v] [-h] [command]


-r, --read-only
 open db in read only mode
-c, --config=FILENAME
 config file (default: ~/.config/alot/config)
-n, --notmuch-config=FILENAME
 notmuch config (default: $NOTMUCH_CONFIG or ~/.notmuch-config)
-C, --colour-mode=COLOUR
 terminal colour mode (default: 256). Must be 1, 16 or 256
-p, --mailindex-path=PATH
 path to notmuch index
-d, --debug-level=LEVEL
 debug log (default: info). Must be one of debug,info,warning or error
-l, --logfile=FILENAME
 logfile (default: /dev/null)
-v, --version Display version string and exit
-h, --help Display help and exit
UNIX Signals
Refreshes the current buffer. Useful for telling alot to refresh the view from a mail downloader e.g. Offlineimap.


start in a search buffer using the querystring provided as parameter. See also the SEARCH SYNTAX section of notmuch(1) and the output of alot search –help.
compose a new message See the output of alot compose –help for more info on parameters.
start the interactive python shell inside alot See the output of alot pyshell –help for more info on parameters.


Alot is a terminal-based mail user agent for the notmuch mail system. It features a modular and command prompt driven interface to provide a full MUA experience as an alternative to the Emacs mode shipped with notmuch.


The arrow keys, page-up/down, j, k and Space can be used to move the focus. Escape cancels prompts and Enter selects. Hit : at any time and type in commands to the prompt.

The interface shows one buffer at a time, you can use Tab and Shift-Tab to switch between them, close the current buffer with d and list them all with ;.

The buffer type or mode (displayed at the bottom left) determines which prompt commands are available. Usage information on any command can be listed by typing help YOURCOMMAND to the prompt; The key bindings for the current mode are listed upon pressing ?.

See Also