Because of the way my work email is set up, I currently have my Mac (at home, running Mavericks) fetching my email via POP from my work's email server. I've been able to access my email over SSH manually, going into the .mbox folders and looking at emails and attachments manually.

Is there a program I can use to access these emails in a more friendly format? (I'm not a fan of scrolling through pages of .jpeg binary blobs to get to an email.)

An additional challenge is that I'm not always going to be able to access from a mac, so I can't just mount the directory and start working with the .mbox directories that way


What I would do is first make sure you're using IMAP to connect to your email (which should be the case anyhow —— I can't think of any good reasons to use POP), then use a terminal email client such as Alpine or Mutt, both of which are easily installed with Mac Ports or Homebrew, or built yourself.

This way, all your email will be perfectly synchronized, with iPhone, webmail, Mac Mail, Alpine, etc

  • My work email has an insane quota - 150 MB, which generally caps out after a month's worth of emails. So I set Mail to delete emails from the server after a month, and have all of my other devices access the server via IMAP. This is for those times when I have to go back in time. – Roger Filmyer May 19 '14 at 21:21
  • Well you could get a free Gmail account, then set that to POP email from your work email account, and access the Gmail account via Alpine or Mutt using IMAP – Dan May 21 '14 at 18:15
  • Unfortunately, that means I'm back to where I am now, not being able to access ~6 months of email history. – Roger Filmyer Sep 16 '14 at 14:29

how about mounting the home directory via ssh. i beleive this post gives some brief instructions

"Mount" network share as a volume via SSH?

  • Welcome to Ask Different! While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. – grg May 19 '14 at 16:38
  • @grgarside this is a link to this site? is it still required to copy the answer? – Ruskes May 19 '14 at 17:05
  • @Buscar I'm not saying copy the answer, just the essential parts. Regardless of the destination of a link, the essence of the content behind the link should be present in an answer as answers should stand alone and provide links for reference, not as an essential component to the answer. If the destination to this link was changed, this answer would no longer be valid, hence my comment. – grg May 19 '14 at 17:12
  • Changed my answer to be more specific. I'm not always going to be accessing from a mac, so I'll still have to deal with not-quite-human-readable files. – Roger Filmyer May 19 '14 at 17:35

I noticed on superuser an accepted answer that suggests using the command-line mail or mailx to browse mbox files:


I haven't tried this, so not sure if it does what you need, but certainly a place to start.

  • Sorry, just came back to this (I finally got shell access working on that other computer). With apple mail, the .mbox "files" are actually directories, so mail -f ./INBOX.mbox doesn't work. I'll keep looking. – Roger Filmyer Sep 16 '14 at 14:28

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