alpine  2.24
About: Alpine is a fast, easy to use, highly customizable screen-oriented email client (the "pine" successor). See also the original Alpine home page.
  Fossies Dox: alpine-2.24.tar.xz  ("unofficial" and yet experimental doxygen-generated source code documentation)  

alpine Documentation

Some Fossies usage hints in advance:

  1. To see the Doxygen generated documentation please click on one of the items in the steelblue colored "quick index" bar above or use the side panel at the left which displays a hierarchical tree-like index structure and is adjustable in width.
  2. If you want to search for something by keyword rather than browse for it you can use the client side search facility (using Javascript and DHTML) that provides live searching, i.e. the search results are presented and adapted as you type in the Search input field at the top right.
  3. Doxygen doesn't incorporate all member files but just a definable subset (basically the main project source code files that are written in a supported language). So to search and browse all member files you may visit the Fossies alpine-2.24.tar.xz contents page and use the Fossies standard member browsing features (also with source code highlighting and additionally with optional code folding).

            Alpine/Pico/Pilot/Web Alpine/Imapd Distribution

/* ====================================================================

  • Copyright 2013-2020 Eduardo Chappa
  • Copyright 2006-2009 University of Washington
  • Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
  • you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
  • You may obtain a copy of the License at
  • ==================================================================== */

For the latest info about Alpine, see


This Alpine distribution includes:

alpine - The Alpine source directory configure - Script to set system-specific configuration, defaults contrib - Contributed ports and additions doc - Documentation directory. The main documentation is tech-notes.txt imap - Source tree containing C-Client IMAP implementation m4 - macros used in the configure process packages - Scripts for building packages for various Linux distributions pico - The Pico and Pilot source directory pith - Core functions common to Alpine/Web Alpine po - localization data web - Source and scripts for web-based version of Alpine

Most of the documentation is in doc/tech-notes.txt. It is not user level documentation, but there are things in it some users might find useful. The directory doc/tech-notes contains source for doc/tech-notes.txt in HTML format which can be viewed via a Web pbrowser by opening doc/tech-notes/index.html.

User level documentation for Alpine is contained in the programs themselves in the form of context-sensitive help.


If you are reading this, you have presumably succeeded in extracting the distribution from the compressed tar archive file, via the following command, or equivalent:

    tar -Jxf alpine.tar.xz

Some of the instructions that follow assume that your current working directory is the alpine-X.XX directory created by the un-tar process above.


The Alpine build process is based on GNU autotools. On most Unix systems, generating a suitable Alpine binary from the source distribution should be as simple as typing the commands:


For a list of configuration options and default Alpine settings type:

   ./configure --help

Note, the included UW IMAP Toolkit used for mailbox access does not make use of GNU autotools. However, in most cases Alpine's configure script should set the appropriate make target and options. The targeted OS can be set from Alpine's configure command line, but in rare cases more significant manual intervention may be required. If problems are encountered, see imap/README for more details.

The PC-Alpine build is based on the Microsoft C compiler and libraries. The Alpine Team bases builds on Visual Studio 8 from the command line using the static build.bat batch and makefiles to generate suitable binaries.

The Web Alpine application requires a few extra, manual steps to get all the components built and installed. See web/README for an explanation of the various components and web/INSTALL for a basic installation recipe.


The executables produced are:

alpine The Alpine mailer. Once compiled this should work just fine on your system with no other files than this binary, and no modifications to your system. Optionally you may create two configuration files, /usr/local/lib/pine.conf and /usr/local/lib/ See the documentation for details.

pico The standalone editor similar to the Alpine message composer. This is a very simple straight forward text editor.

pilot The standalone file system navigator.

alpined The Web Alpine serveret that is the primary component of Web Alpine

imapd The IMAP daemon. If you want to run alpine in client/server mode, this is the daemon to run on the server. Installing this requires system privileges and modifications to /etc/services. See doc/tech-notes for more details.

mtest The test IMAP client, an absolutely minimal mail client, useful for debugging.

rpload Utility for uploading a local pinerc or address book to an IMAP server.

rpdump Utility for downloading a pinerc or address book to the local machine.

mailutil Utility for performing various operations on mailboxes, be they local or remote.

In general "make install" should place alpine, pico and pilot, and their corresponding man pages, in the proper directory for your system. As the remaining binaries are intended for specific uses or are a component of a larger package, their installation is typically done by hand.

-- alpine.tar.xz README