Is there a "read only mode" in mu4e? I recently had the case to use mu4e to read emails from a system using thunderbird with maildir. I noticed that for example a file called somemessage.eml was renamed by mu4e to somemessage.eml:2,S. Then I noticed that thunderbird couldn't read this message anymore.

After renaming it back, thunderbird was able to read it again.

So, is there a way to prevent mu4e to interfer with thunderbird in this case, for example by setting it into a read only mode?

1 Answer 1


I figured out a solution by doing it just on os level. Using bindfs you could create a "read only" view to the maildir. For example if your maildir is ~/maildir create an empty directory ~/maildir_ro and then do

bindfs --perms=a-w .maildir .maildir_ro

Then change ~/maildir to ~/maildir_ro in your init file for mu4e as well.

  • That's an interesting work-around! It might be worth letting the mu developer know about the issue; they might be able to add an option to mu to accommodate your use case github.com/djcb/mu
    – Tyler
    Mar 1, 2021 at 15:15

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