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Table of Contents

Gnus layer

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1. Description

This layer integrates a general purpose email/newsgroup client into Spacemacs.

1.1. Features:

  • Support for reading RSS feeds, newsgroups and mails directly within Emacs via Gnus.
  • Support for beautiful HTML mails generated from any org buffer.
  • Support for credential management via GnuPG.

2. Install

To use this configuration layer, add it to your ~/.spacemacs. You will need to add gnus to the existing dotspacemacs-configuration-layers list in this file.

3. Basic Concepts

Gnus is a news reading application. The Gnus terminology can be confusing for new users so the basics are listed here:

  • A Newsgroup but can also be a RSS Feed or a mail directory
  • Newsgroups can be assigned to topics which will be used to structure the Group Buffer if Topic Mode is enabled(default).

4. Adding news sources

Adding news sources can be done in your .spacemacs file by adding the following:

;; Get email, and store in nnml
(setq gnus-secondary-select-methods
    (nntp "gmane"
           (nntp-address ""))
    (nntp "")
    (nntp "")
    (nntp "")

For adding RSS Feeds please see the key bindings section.

5. Configuring gmail

To configure Gnus with gmail support you can add the following to your .spacemacs file.

;; Get email, and store in nnml
(setq gnus-secondary-select-methods
  (nnimap "gmail"
           (nnimap-server-port 993)
           (nnimap-stream ssl))

;; Send email via Gmail:
(setq message-send-mail-function 'smtpmail-send-it
  smtpmail-default-smtp-server "")

;; Archive outgoing email in Sent folder on
(setq gnus-message-archive-method '(nnimap "")
    gnus-message-archive-group "[Gmail]/Sent Mail")

;; Set return email address based on incoming email address
(setq gnus-posting-styles
    '(((header "to" "")
       (address ""))
  ((header "to" "")
     (address ""))))

;; Store email in ~/gmail directory
(setq nnml-directory "~/gmail")
(setq message-directory "~/gmail")

Authentication for your gmail account is best stored in an authinfo or authinfo.pgp file. It must be of the form:

machine login password SUPER_SECRET_PASS
machine login port 993 password SUPER_SECRET_PASS

If you use two-step verification the password has to be an application specific password.

6. Org MIME in Org layer

It is possible to send beautiful HTML emails using org mode.

Pressing SPC m e m in a message buffer will convert the current message from org mode to html. An org mode buffer can be sent via html email by pressing SPC m e m in any org mode buffer.

7. Setup variables

The Gnus layer defines the following variables like this:

gnus-summary-line-format "%U%R%z %(%&user-date;  %-15,15f  %B (%c) %s%)\n"
gnus-user-date-format-alist '((t . "%Y-%m-%d %H:%M"))
gnus-group-line-format "%M%S%p%P%5y:%B %G\n";;"%B%(%g%)"
gnus-summary-thread-gathering-function 'gnus-gather-threads-by-references
gnus-thread-sort-functions '(gnus-thread-sort-by-most-recent-date)
gnus-ignored-newsgroups "^to\\.\\|^[0-9. ]+\\( \\|$\\)\\|^[\”]\”[#’()]"
gnus-sum-thread-tree-false-root ""
gnus-sum-thread-tree-indent " "
gnus-sum-thread-tree-leaf-with-other "├► "
gnus-sum-thread-tree-root ""
gnus-sum-thread-tree-single-leaf "╰► "
gnus-sum-thread-tree-vertical "│"
gnus-article-browse-delete-temp t
gnus-treat-strip-trailing-blank-lines 'last
gnus-keep-backlog 'nil
gnus-summary-display-arrow nil ; Don't show that annoying arrow:
gnus-mime-display-multipart-related-as-mixed t ; Show more MIME-stuff:
gnus-auto-select-first nil ; Don't get the first article automatically:
smiley-style 'medium
gnus-keep-backlog '0

They can be configured as layer variables or from the dotspacemacs/user-config section of .spacemacs.

8. Key bindings

Gnus has very modal default keybindings. Please see the manual for a complete list.

Basic and Spacemacs specific key bindings can be found in the following table.

Key binding Gnus mode - Description
SPC a e g Starts Gnus
m New Message
O R, G R (emacs) Group Buffer - Add RSS feed
g r Group Buffer - Check for new mail
^ Open Server Buffer. Browse Newsgroups.
T n Group Buffer - new Topic
T m Group Buffer - Move Group to Topic
K Article Buffer - Previous article
J Article Buffer - Next article
RET Summary Buffer(RSS) - Open article Link in browser
TAB Summary Buffer(RSS) - Open article and switch to it

Author: root

Created: 2021-09-29 Wed 20:45