Pegasus Mail on Linux
(or an intro to WINE)

Sun Feb 2 17:12:29 MYT 2003

So the main thing still keeping me using windows was the fact that there's a great piece of software, that does e-mail really well - its Pegasus Mail. David Harris has written a great piece of freeware that I've loved using since the 2.x releases. Its a pity he refuses to make it opensource material, and he truly guards his source code.

For an e-mail client, it surely got things right. It handles e-mail, filtering, Unix's mbox format, and so many other interesting things. To actually get back Pegasus's functionality on Linux (or Unixland) would require me to use several software packages:

  • pine - a Mail User Agent - this is what allows you to read, and compose e-mails (alternatives include elm, and mutt)
  • sendmail - a Mail Transfer Agent - this is what delivers e-mail's to the Internet (alternatives include Postfix, and QMail)
  • fetchmail - mail retrival (and forwarding) utility - fetches mail from remote POP3 or IMAP hosts, and forwards the messages to the local system
  • procmail - mail processor - a fancy and useful sorting utility, which basically controls filtering of messages

Pegasus puts all of the above into one package. At this stage, you're probably telling me of the likes of KMail, or Ximian Evolution or some other GUI-based e-mail client. I'll tell you honestly, I like pine - its a pity it stands alone and does nothing more by itself. Pegasus Mail is very pine-like. Evolution with all the other bloat, is just not my style - I want a client that does something well, and only does that well. Mozilla's Mail however impressive, still irks me.

So, I decided to look at a package called WINE. The last time I tried WINE out was ages ago, when Linux was not even very friendly - I thought it was slow and clunky. Now though, it seems to have improved greatly (it is after all a 1.x release).

After browsing thru the relevant documentation, I copied my entire 600MB Pegasus Mail folder (before PMail, I was using the pine+fetchmail+procmail+sendmail combo on Linux and have archives of my mail elsewhere) from my main laptop to my testbed environment via FTP. Then I installed the WINE RPM that came with RedHat 8.0, which is located on CD 3 and decided to launch the rather magical command:

         wine -- ~/pmail/winpm-32.exe -Z 128

And after much font mangling, and a while to process the files, I saw the Username prompt of Pegasus Mail. I logged in as user "byte" and I saw all my e-mail there! Permissions, etc... all correct.

         wine -- ~/pmail/winpm-32.exe -a -i byte -Z 128

That's how I run it under Windows. It automatically log's me in as user byte, and this was so much more convenient. You may be wondering what the -Z 128 option means - it actually handles the fact that Pegasus shall start up, without looking for winsock.dll - in Linux, there's no winsock, as networking (POP3/SMTP) doesn't require it.

I'll admit to some of the fonts not looking as pretty as they do while I'm in Windows. But the core functionality of PMail exists, and its all thanks to WINE (which is the WINdows Emulator). So, do you want to switch to Linux now? I surely want to make my transition (again, for the 2nd time!).

Fix Me's

  1. Figure out how to mount a vfat partition and let other users read/write to it
  2. Fix fonts with WINE - add some of the Microsoft one's so its more astatically appealing

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Colin Charles <>, © 1996-2004