Projects / Pine


PineŽ is a tool for reading, sending, and managing electronic messages. Pine was designed by the Office of Computing & Communications at the University of Washington specifically with novice computer users in mind, but it can be tailored to accommodate the needs of "power users" as well. Pine is not being developed further, in favour of Alpine.


Recent releases

  •  05 Jan 2006 18:32

    Release Notes: This release fixes a buffer overflow vulnerability in 4.63 and earlier. Several features have been added.

    •  17 May 2004 18:36

      Release Notes: This release adds UTF-8 support and improves support for flowed text. Support for home and end keys in the message view and message index has been added.

      •  11 Sep 2003 21:23

        No changes have been submitted for this release.

        •  02 Jun 2003 20:30

          Release Notes: Bugfixes for broken "mbox" functionality, for a crash when Taking to a Rule, for a crash when sorting on some IMAP servers, and for a problem when forwarding address book entries and Taking them, which caused remote address book corruption.

          •  17 Apr 2003 14:35

            Release Notes: Improved POP3 performance and an experimental "Mail Drop" setup that can make POP3 access behave more like some POP3 users expect it to behave.

            Recent comments

            17 Nov 2007 14:23 hillhopper

            Re: Like an email client

            > After some searching for free text only

            > clients that also featured linking to

            > URLs, I found two worth using until I

            > get Pine up and running. Phoenix, and

            > Vivian.


            > Vivian at



            > and Phoenix at


            This is also of value; SMTPdiag,exe at:







            17 Nov 2007 14:12 hillhopper

            Like an email client
            After some searching for free text only clients that also featured linking to URLs, I found two worth using until I get Pine up and running. Phoenix, and Vivian.

            Vivian at

            and Phoenix at


            06 Dec 2002 13:13 Ullerup

            Re: Quite Happy User

            > I wrote "..._if_ you give Mutt a try you
            > will never go back..." I simply stated a truth.

            That's not a truth. That's an assumption. You're assuming that someone will like mutt enough to not go back to pine. I can speak from experience that not going back isn't always the case.

            I tried mutt for two months but went back to pine. In my opinion, pine wins out over mutt in that it has a more refined user interface. The best example that I can think if is how pine handles displaying of the message index on the screen for different sized terminals. Pine will resize the columns such as sender name, message size, and message subject so that they take up the same percentage of width depending on the width of the terminal. With mutt, I had to set the width in characters for each one of these columns and it was fixed. Since I access my email server from many different computers all with differing terminal sizes, this forced me to enter numbers into the mutt config for a lowest common denominator (80x25). Although I normally use a terminal size of 132x55 on my home computer, all of my information was in the first 80 characters of each line. Had I set the config for my 132x55 screen, I wouldn't even be able to see the subject lines if I found myself on a 80x25 character console.

            Another issue was that when I went to a folder list, or any list for that matter, it would just print out one item per line. When you have a lot of folders, that makes for a very long list. Pine is smart enough to list all the items out in multiple columns that fit on my screen, much like the ls command does.

            It's little things like that which make the difference for me. Pine is much more polished and a lot of thought went into the interface. Mutt leaves me with the impression that it's just a quick hack. Although I've never had either program crash on me or cause me any problems, mutt's hackish presentation and nature left me with an uneasy feeling.

            Honestly, I don't see any advantage of using mutt over pine save for the fact that mutt allows for easy rebinding of key commands and has maildir support. Mutt has nice threading, but pine has had similar threading via a patch ( for some time now. The main distribution has threading support in it now as well.

            I've found that most of the people who have such a fervent liking for mutt have never used pine. They're usually elm refugees that haven't bothered to use another mail program and assume that all others from before mutt's time must be as simplistic as elm. However, I realize that different people like different tools. For you it may be mutt. For me, pine serves my needs better than any other option I have found.

            04 Sep 2002 15:05 eldenf

            Mac OS X 10.2?
            Pine 4.44 seems to be broken under Mac OS X 10.2. Won't compile using Apple dev tools. (gcc 3.1)

            28 Apr 2002 02:17 hurtta

            Re: DOS newlines in attachments

            > Pine has a very annoying feature-bug. Text files
            > attached in Pine are converted to the DOS line
            > endings. Pine converts the test back to UNIX
            > style, but other mail clients don't.
            > Why on earth should patches to UNIX
            > programs (that no DOS user will ever need) be
            > transferred as encoded files with DOS line endings?

            I do not use Pine (I'm author of other mail client), but
            that conversion is requirement of MIME. MIME says that
            canonical encoing of text is CRLF endings of lines, so
            base64 text data must have converted to CRLF ending
            before encoding it if it is send as Text/* type. So what is that
            "other mail clients" what you are refering ? (Assuming that
            PINE labels attachment with type Text/...)

            Basically almost all Internet standards use CRLF as line
            ending for text data... :-)


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