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2.3 Installation

mu4e is part of mu — by installing the latter, the former is installed as well. Some Linux distributions provide packaged versions of mu/mu4e; if you can use those, there is no need to compile anything yourself. However, if there are no packages for your distribution, if they are outdated, or if you want to use the latest development versions, you can follow the steps below.

First, you need make sure you have the necessary dependencies; the details depend on your distribution. If you’re using another distribution (or another OS), the below can at least be helpful in identifying the packages to install.

We provide some instructions for Debian, Ubuntu and Fedora; if those do not apply to you, you can follow either Building from a release tarball or Building from git.

2.3.1 Dependencies for Debian/Ubuntu

$ sudo apt-get install libgmime-3.0-dev libxapian-dev emacs

2.3.2 Dependencies for Fedora

$ sudo yum install gmime30-devel xapian-core-devel emacs

2.3.3 Building from a release tarball

Using a release-tarball (as available from GitHub14), installation follows the typical steps:

$ tar xvfz mu-<version>.xz  # use the specific version
$ cd mu-<version>
# On the BSDs: use gmake instead of make
$ ./configure && make
$ sudo make install

Xapian, GMime and their dependencies must be installed.

2.3.4 Building from git

By default, mu uses the Meson15 build-system. For ease-of-use, we also provide a Makefile with some basic options. Of course, you can also just use the corresponding meson/ninja commands directly.

$ git clone git://
$ cd mu
$ ./
$ make
$ make install

After that, make (which is just ninja -C build under the covers) should be enough for rebuilding.

Alternatively, you can also use the (now deprecated) autotools build setup, assuming you have autotools (autoconf, automake, libtool, texinfo) installed:

# get from git (alternatively, use a github tarball)
$ git clone git://

$ cd mu
$ ./ && make
# On the BSDs: use gmake instead of make
$ sudo make install

(Xapian, GMime and their dependencies must be installed).

After this, mu and mu4e should be installed 16 on your system, and be available from the command line and in Emacs.

You may need to restart Emacs, so it can find mu4e in its load-path. If, even after restarting, Emacs cannot find mu4e, you may need to add it to your load-path explicitly; check where mu4e is installed, and add something like the following to your configuration before trying again:

;; the exact path may differ --- check it
(add-to-list 'load-path "/usr/local/share/emacs/site-lisp/mu4e")

2.3.5 mu4e and emacs customization

There is some support for using the Emacs customization system in mu4e, but for now, we recommend setting the values manually. Please refer to Example configs for a couple of examples of this; here we go through things step-by-step.





there’s a hard dependency between versions of mu4e and mu — you cannot combine different versions

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