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Jaro Mail :: The Electronic Postman

Jaro Mail is an integrated suite of interoperable tools to manage e-mail communication in a private and efficient way, without relying too much on on-line services, in fact encouraging users to store their email locally.

Rather than reinventing the wheel, Jaro Mail reuses existing free and open source tools working since more than 10 years (and likely to exist for longer) and is mainly targeted to Apple/OSX and GNU/Linux desktop usage.


  • Minimalistic  interface with automatic threading
  • Targets intensive usage of mailinglists
  • Does whitelisting and integrates addressbooks
  • Can do search and backup by expressions
  • Automatically generates filtering rules
  • Import and export of VCard contacts
  • Computes and shows statistics on mail traffic
  • Secure password storage (native OS keyring)
  • Provides advanced maildir management tools

This software product was tested thoroughly and was found absolutely clean; therefore, it can be installed with no concern by any computer user.

  • Stores e-mails locally in a reliable format
  • Defers connections for off-line operations
  • Checks SSL/TLS server certificates (imap, smtp)
  • Supports strong encryption messaging (GnuPG)
  • Can send anonymous emails (Mixmaster)
  • Many languages! so exotic! such UTF-8!
  • Is multi platform: GNU/Linux/BSD, Apple/OSX
  • Old school, used by its author for the past 10 years

Console email is the way! but what is this really made of?

To use Jaro Mail on your desktop client, you will require some programs. These programs are ready into the Apple/OSX package, but you will have to install them by yourself if you use GNU/Linux, preferably using your favourite package manager.

Screenshot of a mailinglist folder open on OSX

  • Mutt is the mail user agent (terminal console)
  • Fetchmail for remote email retrieval (imap)
  • MSmtp as mail transport agent (smtp)
  • Notmuch as search engine
  • GnuPG for message encryption
  • Mixmaster to send anonymous emails
  • Z Shell the most awesome shell script interpreter


The aptly named JaroMail is a step in the right direction – precisely how I’ve used email the last 10 yrs” – Julian Oliver

It is recommended that you read the user manual: this is not exactly a typical consumer grade software and you won’t get far unless you know what you are doing. Even for experienced Mutt users there are things to learn in the manual, on how Jaro Mail redesigns the e-mail workflow for instance with whitelisting and remote sieve folders.
User Manual

Seriously, if you are wondering what this software does and you are not satisfied by this silly homepage: the PDF manual is the place to look. It explains it all in detail, click the green button above and read the manual *grin*


Download Zone

Jaro Mail version 2 is made available in a ready to install form for Apple/OSX desktops.

GNU/Linux users can have the newest and faster version 3 built and installed simply using make and make install console commands.


This software is developed in the spare time of one programmer who also uses it since several years. Do not expect it either to disappear nor to add big features. What one can expect is that I’m going to fix annoying bugs affecting me within a short time, since I do eat a lot of this dogfood… the code repository is on

More interesting software

nyan mail cat
If you are concerned about your privacy, or in need to keep your communication confidential, then we recommend you to encrypt your emails using the GNU Pretty Good Privacy tools and ask your peers to do the same. On Apple/OSX JaroMail includes its own version of GnuPG which won’t conflict with other installed versions, however keep in mind that if you need military grade security you are better off using GNU/Linux.
Those looking for a powerful text editor can also have a look at our pre-configured distribution of Emacs called AutOrg which can well integrate with JaroMail.

Uniquely available for GNU/Linux users is our other software Tomb, the crypto undertaker a small program to create encrypted folders promoting techniques that are well secure like key/storage separation, steganography etc.
Tomb the Crypto Undertaker
Tomb also integrates very well with Jaro Mail, for instance one can make the ~/Mail and ~/.gnupg directories reside into a tomb which will mount them in place inside the $HOME via its bind-hooks.

Other interesting e-mail frameworks

Jaro Mail is not the only thing out there that makes you handle e-mails in a geeky and smart way, in fact there are plenty of projects like this out there and the real difficulty is to find one that is usable and most likely to endure years of development and still work with old setups.

Why all this text based stuff?! there is a wonderful world behind every Terminal ;^) for an introduction have a look at the Flossmanuals CLI guide

Below you will find a list of frameworks that can be used as an alternative or complementary to Jaro Mail, since we all use the maildir format to store emails:

  • mu stands for maildir utils: it might be harder to install for the novice hacker and has less user-friendly documentation, but it definitely looks like a solid and fast complimentary software for our setup and it may replace Mairix in the future of Jaro Mail 2.0.
  • cone is a COnsole Newsreader And Emailer bringing some intelligent innovation into the console email world. Alternative to Mutt.

If you know more projects please do not hesitate to contact the hackers.

What about the name

Besides being a mispronunciation of the nickname of its first user (Jaro Mail is spelled exactly like Jaromil while chewing bubblegum, it was hilariously suggested as a name for this software by our friend Max Kazemzadeh) it is also interesting to note that the nickname Jaro is used to familiarly indicate a friend in some dialects spoken on the eastern coast of the Adriatic sea, especially by people living in Bosnia and some southern parts of Dalmatia (coastal part of Croatia).

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