Pine options

For inter-operation with the Microsoft Exchange Server

The Pine options and features listed below describe changes I collected when upgrading from 3.96 to 4.05. In addition I recommend reading the help texts in Pine and Infinite Ink’s Pine Feature List Suggestions.

General options

This fixes displaying a ‘+’ next to messages that were expressly addressed to you (i.e. your personal address is on the To: or Cc: header). Previously one needed to specify alternate addresses, which is not feasible at the system level.

NOTE: This is also the default domain for unqualified addresses. However, with the directory lookup this should not cause problems.

url-viewers=_TEST(“test -n ‘${DISPLAY}’”)_ /usr/local/bin/netscape, /usr/local/bin/lynx

Protocols (in URL’s) that Pine does not handle will be passed on to the specified programs. This setting will try to use Netscape under X and Lynx otherwise.


This setting was there before — I’m only mentioning it because it sets a precedence of calling X-based programs and thus justifies calling Netscape (maybe?).


Disable use of rsh for IMAP access. Trying this makes really no sense (unless IMAP was only used to access plain UNIX mailboxes using the UW IMAP server).

incoming-folders=Exchange {}INBOX

Add the Exchange INBOX (incoming mail). If you are using incoming folders already, then you won’t see this. If you not using incoming folders currently, then this probably affects your use of the TAB key (if you don’t use TAB then you won’t notice this in practise).

It makes it easier for Exchange users to work with Pine without having to know how to configure it…

folder-collections=UNIX mail/[], Exchange {}[]

The first element is the usual place for folders when using Pine on UNIX. The second element is the Exchange server.

People using Exchange primarily for their message store will want to swap the elements or remove the UNIX folders completely. I removed them in my personal setup, so Pine won’t try to create that directory. "/base=/impl=1/rhs=1/ref=1/type=/srch=/time=/size=/cust=/nick=GAL"

This the directory lookup I mentioned earlier. It uses the Exchange server Global Address List (GAL) to resolve unqualified addresses. In my opinion this is a major improvement.

Features in feature-list


These make 8-bit characters work better.


File browser now has an option to type in a path without having to browse every directory to get there.


Attachments, URL’s and “web-hostnames” become hotspots that you can traverse with the up and down arrow keys. If you were used to scrolling in a message with the arrow keys and this starts to annoy you, please consider setting enable-msg-view-forced-arrows in your personal settings.

You can still move between hotspots with CTRL-F and CTRL-B.


This enables the [R]eplace option in [W]hereis.


Separate your signature with “-- ” from the body of the message. This is an Internet standard. I think this also makes Pine exclude signatures when quoting the body for replying.


When completing (e.g. for folders) you can get listings of partial matches (e.g. if “ops-” TAB would list folders beginning with “ops-”).


The message index now has an option to print it.


Don’t lookup full names from the UNIX password file. This can cause incorrect name and address associations, so it is best turned off when using an LDAP directory.

NOTE: You’ll want to turn off compose-rejects-unqualified-addrs if you had it turned on in your personal settings, because it makes Pine to always present you with a list of LDAP query results, even if there is only one match.

Handling multiple LDAP matches

In the address book you can do LDAP queries and save the query into your address book. It should now be configured to save only the search criteria (not the result), i.e. you could have an alias like this:

kim: "Suominen, Kimmo"

to be able to use “kim” as my address (without this alias you will always be asked whether you meant “Kim, Jane” or “Suominen, Kimmo” — I know this might feel annoying at first, but I think it is very useful as the company grows; further you can “fix” it by adding an alias; you can also use more strings as addresses now, and see if it resolves to what you meant — e.g. using “kimmo” will now show canonical address, whereas before you just needed to trust on the mail system to have an alias like that).

Further reading

In general I find the following resources useful: