Mutt tutorial part 2 - secure login

This is second post of mutt tutorial series. As in the previous post for below information I need to thank Kousik for posts about gpg and using it with mutt. But probably the most important to simplify this method was Fau comment here. So going to the point of secure login for mutt we need gpg. First of all we need to install it by simply:

After that we generate our keys by:

I choose all default answers. So first is key type: 'RSA and RSA'. Second - keysize: 2048. Third - time for key expiration: '0 = key does not expire'. After that you need to identify your key with some data. This data will be used to find your key so IMHO it should be short and simple but meaningful. At the end of this process you will be asked about pass phrase, which will be used to decrypt files encrypted with generated key. When you end with key generation you can encrypt file with passwords. Best way to do this is to write some script that will be sourced by mutt after decryption. For storing passwords I create directory in my $HOME:

Inside this directory I create text file with the script, which look like below:

This script of course mean to set value of variable name my_isp{1,2,3} to some password string. Remember to use my_ prefix because this is the way that user variables should be defined in mutt scripts. After writing this file we need to encrypt it.

Now we should delete txt file. To use our newly created encrypted password script we need to add some lines to $HOME/.muttrc. So vim $HOME/.muttrc. Line that we need before sourcing encrypted scripts is declaration of variables in the script:

After this line we can source and decrypt out file with the passwords:

At the end wee need to replace all out plain text passwords (smtp_pass and imap_pass variables) with variables defined in out encrypted file. This settings will cause that mutt during start will run gpg to ask about password to decrypt password script file. In the next post I will discuss mutt with sidebar and how to open html files from inside mutt.

Piotr Król
Founder and Embedded Systems Consultant at 3mdeb as well as freelance CTO of Vitro Technology and CEO of LPN Plant. Passionate about building firmware that enables advanced hardware features in modern products. Dedicated to customers that treat embedded software security and upgradeability as forethought. Open source firmware evangelist interested in platform security and trusted computing. In favor of fixed price projects with a clear definition of success.