Pre-October-2003 Deflexion & Reflexion from the All About Pine Page

[green pine icon]   Currently    Pine for Mac OS X has been one of the Top Ten  downloads at The GNU Mac OS X Public Archive for over a year.  If you are interested in Mac-Pine, see the Pine for Mac OS X section below.


[green pine icon]   2003 September 25   Heinz Tschabitscher, of, reviewed Pine 4.58 - pinus secura and gave it a [4 out of 5 stars] rating.


[green pine icon]   2003 September 19 and September 3   Added sections named Snagging Viruses and Using SpamAssassin to the Procmail Quick Start: An Introduction to Mail Filtering With a Focus on Procmail.


[green pine icon]   2003 September 15   Added four [New!] speed tips to the Speeding Up Pine section of Power Pine so there are now a total of 34 speed tips! The new tips are #4, #16, #24, and #25.


[green pine icon]   2003 September 10   Pine 4.58 released. This version fixes two exploitable overflows that are in version 4.56 and earlier. To see what else is new and to download it, go to


[green pine icon]   2003 August 27  According to the Pine First-Use Statistics, almost 27 million unique email addresses have agreed to be counted the first time they used Pine. This number was
  • 26 million on 2003 March 31
  • 24 million on 2002 March 27
  • 23 million on 2001 November 28
  • 22 million on 2001 July 24.
This means there are at least 1 million new Pine users every six months! Considering that this does not represent all Pine users and that the number of Linux users is only about 10 million — and people think Linux is on the way to world domination — maybe Pine is what's really on the way to world domination (not that I want any software or ideology to dominate the world).


[green pine icon]   2003 July 16   Updated Reverse Spam Filtering: Winning Without Fighting so it now includes my SpamAssassin 2.60 user_prefs file with an explanation of each setting that I use.


[POPFile Octopus]   2003 July 15    As announced here, POPFile v0.18.3 and v0.19.1 are available. POPFile is a free multi-platform Bayesian mail-classification tool that recently became open source software. Currently it can be used as a POP proxy or invoked via a Procmail recipe. Using it via IMAP is planned. The documentation includes a lot of HOWTOs including HOWTO: POPFile with Pine by stainedglass (Joshua Yockey). It is receiving a lot of attention, including

The CVS version includes an SMTP proxy that does SMTP mail classification and an NNTP proxy that does NNTP Usenet news post classification. The SMTP proxy makes it easy to use POPFile for server-side mail classification.


[green pine icon]   2003 May 20   In this Redhat Bugzilla bug, Mike A. Harris mentioned that “Pine was deprecated in Red Hat Linux 9, and is now removed from rawhide. It will not be in the next [Red Hat] OS release . . .”


[green pine icon]   2003 April 16   Pine 4.55, Pico 4.5, and UW IMAP Toolkit 2002c released. Starting with these versions, Pine and the IMAP Toolkit include support for “mail drop” mailboxes and the #move namespace. These new features make it very easy to automatically move all messages from one POP, IMAP, NNTP, or local mailbox to another IMAP or local mailbox. To see what else is new in Pine 4.55, go to


[green pine icon]  

2002 December 13   Pine 4.51 and Pico 4.4 released. Pine 4.51 includes

To see what else is new, go to


[green pine icon]   2002 November 20   Pine 4.50 and Pico 4.3 released. Pine 4.50 has some great new additions, such as
  • an extra prompt when attempting to launch an attachment (this partially satisfies one of my Pine Security-Enhancement Wishes listed below). This prompt can be turned off with the new quell-attachment-extra-prompt feature, but I do not recommend turning this off, even for power Pine users.
  • the ability to create a rule that includes a condition that the From or Reply-To address is (or is not) in a particular address book. This type of rule can be used to create a reverse spam filter.
  • the option to show thread structures and specify the threading-display-style and threading-index-style. Note that Pine has been able to sort by thread (using $H) since version 4.30, but it could not present a visual display of the non-linear tree structure of threads until now.
  • the option to collapse and expand threads in the Message Index (this is one of my Pine Miscellaneous Wishes).
  • the option to specify an SMTP server in a role (this is another one of my Pine Wishes).
  • including the References header in all news and email replies. This header — and the Message-ID, In-Reply-To, & Subject headers — are used by various mail and news clients to construct thread structures.
  • mailutil, a utility that replaces and extends the UW IMAP utilities chkmail, imapcopy, imapmove, imapxfer, mbxcopy, mbxcreat, and mbxcvt. Note that the MS-Windows version of mailutil is not bundled in the PC-Pine zip file and it, along with the MS-Windows versions of rputils & pmapi, are separate downloads.

To see what else is new in Pine 4.50 and to download it, go to


[green pine icon]   2002 August 19   Habeas, Inc. formally launched its company. They provide a technique to identify messages that are not spam and they are committed “to always keeping the individual and ISP licenses royalty-free.”  Pine is listed on their Configuration page in the section “Configuring Your Mail Client.”


[green pine icon]  

2002 July 30   OpenSSL Security Advisory: Vulnerabilities in OpenSSL versions before 0.9.6e. If you use Pine to access IMAP or NNTP servers over SSL, get the latest SSL libraries from OpenSSL and rebuild Pine and (especially) rebuild your IMAP & POP servers with them (or ask your system administrator to do this). This SSL vulnerability is currently being exploited by the Apache/mod_ssl Worm.


[green pine icon]  

2002 July 25   Security Advisory — SecureCRT 2.x, 3.x, 4.0 beta -- if you use SecureCRT as your ssh client, read this advisory.


[green pine icon]  

2002 July 18   In Checking E-Mail On Linux at, Charles Wolrich says

“Of the three e-mail clients we tried, we still like Pine, the old, all-text standby.”
Note that the original* published version of the article contained the following inaccuracies:
  • “One of the most Linux-specific clients”
  • “created in the early 1990s by students at the University of Washington”
  • “Nothing in it is clickable”
  • “no way to view attachments in Pine”
  • “HTML will not be displayed in e-mails”
  • “you can't click on links”
  • “absolutely no way to get a virus using Pine”

If Mr. Wolrich knew more about Pine (except the last bullet), maybe he'd like it even more!  

If you want to be notified about Pine articles at Forbes, sign up for their Email Alerts and check the Pine box. This is also a good way to get the word out, at least to Forbes, that there are lots of people interested in Pine.

* The article has been updated to remove some of the inaccuracies, but some still remain.


[green pine icon]  

2002 July 12   Mark Crispin announced release candidate 1 of the University of Washington's IMAP toolkit, version 2002 (imap-2002). For details, see the comp.mail.imap message ANNOUNCING: UW IMAP toolkit 2002 release candidate 1.


[green pine icon]  

2002 July 9    In this message, Eduardo Chappa announces a new release of Cygwin Pine 4.44 with LDAP support. Cygwin is a Unix environment for MS Windows, and Cygwin Pine is an alternative to PC-Pine. The advantages of Cygwin Pine over PC-Pine are that it

If you use Cygwin Pine, you may also be interested in Eduardo's Cygwin ports of pico, pilot, mtest, imapd, ipop2d, ipop3d, rpload, & rpdump; and the imap utilities chkmail, dmail, icat, ifrom, imapxfer, mbxcopy, mbxcreat, mbxcvt, mlock, and tmail. Also check out the other Unix-on-Windows tools that I list below.


[green pine icon]  

2002 April 16   Fookes Software, makers of the award-winning NoteTab editor, released Mailbag Assistant 3.0. This version and later support traditional Unix mail spool (mbox) format mailboxes (called “Generic mail files” in MBA) so you can use it to manage and search your Pine message archives. MBA is nominated for a 2002 Shareware Industry Award -- you can vote here.


[green pine icon]  

2002 March 31   Lots of [New!] and [Updated!] sections in Infinite Ink's Changing Your From Header in Pine, Power Pine, Compartmentalizing & Sharing Your Pine Configuration, and Procmail Quick Start pages. Especially interesting (to me at least) are the sections about

[green pine icon]  

2002 March 5   Added Let Pine Users Choose Their Default Local Mailbox Format to my Pine wish list. This has been coming up in mailing lists and newsgroups lately and I realized that this is now my #2 Pine wish. I discuss the issue and give lots of related links in my wish list below.


[green pine icon]  

2002 February 16   First draft of Reverse Spam Filtering: Winning Without Fighting by Nancy McGough published — this describes the strategy that I use to deal with spam.


[green pine icon]  

2002 January 9  Pine 4.44 released. This fixes a vulnerability that was reported in this message sent to Bugtraq. The vulnerability is described and discussed in the SecurityFocus Vulnerabilities database in Bugtraq id 3815: Pine Environment Variable URL Shell Interpreting Vulnerability. To see what else is new in Pine 4.44 and to download it, go to


[5 cows]
  Currently  At TUCOWS, Pine and Pico each rate 5 cows (the highest) and they are both moving in and out of the Top Picks list. The TUCOWS Pine review says “Pine is quite possibly the best and most robust mail and news reader available for Linux” and the Pico review says “I have used this editor for five years now to create every Tucows site. It is simple, clean and very functional. Give it a try; you will love it.”




[green pine icon]  

2002 January 4  In Public Money, Private Code at, Jeffrey Benner says that “the drive to license academic research for profit is stifling the spread of software that could be of universal benefit.” This article, along with the letters to the editor responding to it, give insight into the difficulties some universities are having keeping their code free and open.

Kudos to the University of Washington and the Pine Team for distributing the Unix Pine source code and making all versions of Pine available gratis (free of charge). To encourage the UW, I suggest that you do some or all of the things that I suggest in How You Can Show Your Appreciation for Pine at the bottom of this page.


[green pine icon]  

2001 December 3  Added Your X-Message-Flag Header to the Promoting Pine section of this page. This describes how to send Outlook users a subversive message, such as suggesting that they switch to Pine!


[green pine icon]  

2001 November 28, 21, & 16  Pine 4.43, 4.42, & 4.41 released respectively. 4.43 fixes bugs in 4.42 and introduces the  -passfile  command-line argument (for PC-Pine only).  4.42 fixes bugs in 4.41 and introduces a new bug.  4.41 fixes bugs in 4.40, introduces some bugs, and includes an improved user interface for rule creation (based on a suggestion posted to comp.mail.pine and pine-info by moi!). To see a list of what's new, go to,  and  4.42-to-4.43.html.


[LJ 2001 Readers' Choice icon]  

2001 November  Linux Journal announces the 2001 Readers' Choice Awards and the first, second, and third favourite email clients are Netscape, KMail, and Pine. According to LJ: “Although there are winners in this category, none claim dominance. Barely 70 votes separated Netscape, in first place, from third-place Pine.”


[green pine icon]  

2001 September 14  Pine 4.40 and Pico 4.1 released. Pine 4.40 supports TLS (transport layer security), unhides the previously hidden expose-hidden-config feature, adds more filtering capabilities, introduces per-folder rules, and includes the stand-alone remote-pinerc utilities rpload and rpdump, which you can use to load and fetch files to and from remote pinerc or address book folders. To see a list of what's new, go to


[tuxie icon]  

2001 September  Pine receives the Linux Magazine 2001 Editors' Choice Award for best text email client.


[green pine icon]  

2001 July 3  There are interesting discussions going on at LinuxToday and Slashdot about Pine & Pico and the license that the University of Washington uses to distribute them. For links to these discussions and information about this topic, see Free Software, Open-Source Software, and Pine below.


[green pine icon]  

2001 April 14: Added Mulberry versus Pine section and another Pine testimonial.


[green pine icon]  

2001 April 2: Added Mutt versus Pine section and link to Satya's review of Pine at


[green pine icon]  

2001 Feb 1, Jan 17;  2000 Dec 5, Oct 26:   Pine 4.33, 4.32;  4.31, and 4.30 released respectively. To see a list of what's new, go to,   4.31-to-4.32.html,  and  4.32-to-4.33.html.


[green pine icon]  

2000 November 16:  First draft of Compartmentalizing and Sharing Your Pine Configuration by Nancy McGough published — this includes Pine settings that you can copy and plug in to your Pine, and instructions for how to set Pine up so it is easy to plug & play with different configuration files.


[green pine icon]  

2000 June 22: Pine 4.30 released for alpha testing. It fixes a number of bugs and contains some great new features including:


[green pine icon]  

Since you can easily launch a MIME attachment from within Pine, Pine users can be infected by viruses like the ILOVEYOU virus. To protect yourself, read my recently updated PC-Pine Security section. This contains a lot of information that is relevant to Unix Pine users so I recommend that all Pine users read this!

I have also started a list of Pine Security-Enhancement Wishes. Please send me any suggestions you have for improving Pine security.


[slashdot beanie]  

3 February 2000: Pine won the 2000 Slashdot Beanie Award in the category Best Designed Interface in a Non-GUI Application. Read about the award ceremony at Slashdot and watch it at TheSync. Congratulations to the Pine Team who won $2000!


[LJ 1999 Readers Choice icon]  

2000 January: The Linux Journal 1999 Readers' Choice Award for "best mailer" goes to Pine! (I found this out by reading an actual physical copy of the January 2000 issue of Linux Journal. If anyone knows a web page that lists these Readers' Choice Awards, please let me know so I can include a link here.)


[Dave Central Best of Linux icon]  

1999 October 20: Pine is Best of Linux Winner at DaveCentral.


[green pine icon]  

Pine is the leader in the Slashdot poll on Which email client do you use? and in the MisterPoll Best Email Client poll. And Pine is the only mail client with an A+ rating at VoteZone's Email Zone. If you want to help spread the Pine word, submit your vote or rating to these sites. To do more, check out the Pine Promotion section below.


[green pine icon]  

1999 November 17: Pine 4.21 released. To see a list of what's new, go to Pine 4.20 was released on October 12, 1999. It has some great new features including scoring, filtering, color, improved roles functionality, and SSL support in PC-Pine. To see a list of new features, go to