Configure hidden preferences in Claws Mail with Clawsker

Jack Wallen
Apr 12, 2011
Updated • Jan 16, 2013

I have been using Claws Mail for quite some time (I've covered Claws Mail here on Ghacks quite a bit.) What I like about Claws Mail, over nearly every other email client, is that it's incredibly configurable. If you can think of a configuration option, it's probably there. In fact, some might say Claws Mail is too configurable. Doubt that? For those nay sayers out there, I give you Clawsker.

Clawkster is a GUI tool that allows the user to configure hidden configuration options for Claws Mail. That's right, you can figure regular and hidden options in this already-flexible email client. But what all does Clawsker allow you to configure and how do you install it? I'm glad you asked, because I have the answers to both questions.


The first question I will answer is the installation. Installing Clawsker is a snap as it is found in the standard repositories (If you can install Claws Mail, you can install Clawsker.) Below are the steps to install Clawskter (assuming you already have Claws Mail installed.)

  1. Open a terminal window.
  2. Issue the command sudo apt-get install clawsker.
  3. Type your sudo password and hit Enter.
  4. Accept any dependencies that might be necessary.

After installation is complete, you will not find a menu entry for Clawsker. Instead, the tool must be run from the command line. So to start Clawkster, do the following:

  1. Hit Alt-F2.
  2. Enter "clawsker" (no quotes) in the run dialog.
  3. Hit Enter.

If you try to run Clawsker with Claws Mail running, you will be informed that Claws Mail must be closed first.

The Clawsker window will now open.

What you can configure

Figure 1

The Clawsker tool allows for quite a bit of configuration options. Some of these options are very useful, whereas some might seem a bit too obscure.

When you open Clawsker (see Figure 1) there are five tabs to choose from. These tabs are:

Behavior: Alter some of the behaviors of drag 'n drop, ssl, and messages.

Colours: Alter the colours used for message view and log windows.

GUI: Alter coloured strips (in tree view, folder lists, and message lists), message lists, bolding of unread messages, scroll bars, and more.

Other: Enable detached address book edit, change message cache and time for cache elements and enable network manager.

Windows: Place the location of the Main, Message, Send/Receive, Folder, Addressbook, Accounts, Filtering, Preferences, and other windows.

Some of the more helpful configurations are:


  • Allow writable temporary files.
  • Don't confirm deletions (only use this if you are careful about deletions.)


  • Coloured lines contrast (the higher the number the more contrast between message listings.
  • Display To column instead of From column in Sent folder.
  • Show Cursor in message view.
  • Detachable toolbars.

Final thoughts

I confess that much of the Clawsker configurations are not important options for me. But for many there may be a need to handle some of the more obscure configuration options offered by this handy tool. And it's quite nice to know such a tool exists.

With the addition of Clawsker, Claws Mail is, without a doubt, the most highly configurable email client available.


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