Folder Listing

This is the first screen that comes up after starting Cone. This screen lists all configured mail accounts. After starting, Cone automatically opens the first configured mail account, prompting for a password if necessary. Cone is capable of handling multiple mail accounts, and any additional configured mail accounts are initially closed. To open one of the other mail account, highlight it with the cursor and press ENTER.

When a mail account is opened, Cone lists the default set of folders in the mail account. Folders that contain other subfolders, instead of messages, are prefixed by a +, or a (depending on the display). Certain mail servers may have folders that contain both messages and subfolders. Those so-called hybrid folders are prefixed by a *, or a (depending on the display).

Move the cursor to highlight a folder and press ENTER to display its contents (either an index of messages in the folder; or a list of the folder's subfolders). Use + to display subfolders of a hybrid folder, use ENTER to display the index of messages in a hybrid folder.

Move the cursor to highlight a folder with displayed subfolders and press - to remove its subfolders from display.

Some mail accounts will display the number of messages in each folder, automatically. Sometimes the number of messages in a mail folder cannot be quickly determined, so Cone will not bother to show the folder's size. Message counts are automatically shown for:

Message counts are not automatically shown for:

Sometimes Cone cannot correctly determine whether the IMAP server provides message counts quickly. Use the /slowstatus or the /faststatus flag when creating the new mail account to specify whether Cone should automatically show message counts for displayed folders.

When Cone runs for the very first time, Cone creates a mail account that contains local mail folders. Use the main menu screen to add additional mail accounts. Here's an example of the Folder Listing screen:

Folder Listing Screen

 FOLDERS                              CONE                                  

    Main Account: Courier-IMAP server
      New Mail (5 messages)
      + Lists
        Courier-Users (1 messages)
      + Folders POP3 - Courier Mail Server
      Folder: 40 messages, 39 unread

  LIST completed                                                            
 A Add          ^D Move down     M Main Menu     U Use special   W Write Msg
 D Delete        E Edit Acct     R Rename       ^U Move up

The bottom two lines of the screen lists the available hotkeys, and their corresponding actions. ^ indicates that CTRL should be held down while pressing the following key. On this screen, for example, press and hold CTRL, then press and release D to invoke the Move down action (described below).

Screens with more hotkeys that can fit on the screen will use CTRL-O to cycle through the complete hotkey listing.

As shown in the illustration above, Cone lists the hierarchy of available folders in a natural, tree-like format. The list of folders in each mail account begins with a list called top-level folders; the ENTER and + keys will then display the contents of each folder.

When a new mail account is configured, Cone creates a default list of top-level folders, as follows:

Local mail folders

The default top-level folder list initially contains one entry, the name of the directory where local mail folders are kept, and a second, optional entry that represents the default system mailbox.

Local maildirs

The default top-level folder list initially contains two entries: INBOX - messages; and Folders - folders (Cone implements the Maildir++ folder extension, as implemented by the Courier Mail Server).

POP3 mailboxes

A POP3 mailbox does not contain any folders. When opened, a POP3 mail account displays the number of messages in the POP3 mailbox where the top-level folder list is usually shown. Highlighting it and pressing ENTER will display the index of messages in the POP3 mailbox.

IMAP accounts

The default top-level folder list initially contains INBOX (the default IMAP new mail folder), and any other default mail folder hierarchies, as announced by the IMAP server.

SMAP accounts

The default top-level folder list is initialized by downloading the default folder list from the SMAP server.

NetNews (Usenet) accounts

The default top-level folder list contains four entries, described below.

Reading Usenet Newsgroups

Opening a NetNews (Usenet) account displays four entries:

All Newsgroups

This entry opens a hierarchical listing of all available newsgroups, subscribed and unsubscribed. Highlight a newsgroup with the cursor and press ENTER to subscribe and open the newsgroup for the first time.

Check for new newsgroups

This entry opens a list of all recently created newsgroups.

Refresh newsgroup list

Highlight this entry with the cursor and press ENTER to download and save the server's entire list of available newsgroups. This process may take a long time. On low bandwidth connections it may take 15-20 minutes, depending on the number of newsgroups carried by the server.

Sometimes servers may not correctly report newly-created newsgroups, so using this option will be necessary in order to add the new groups to "All newsgroups". Additionally, this is the only way to remove newsgroups no longer carried by the server from "All newsgroups".

Subscribed newsgroups

This entry contains a list of subscribed newsgroups. To subscribe to a newsgroup, find it under "All newsgroups" and open it. This action automatically subscribes the newsgroup. To unsubscribe a newsgroup, highlight it here, then press D (Delete).

Another way to subscribe to a newsgroup is described in the following section.

Adding top-level folders

There are two ways to manually insert additional folders into the top-level list. The easiest way is to highlight an existing folder, then press U, then T. This folder is now included in the top-level folder list. It is important to note that the actual mail folder is not renamed, or otherwise moved in the mail account, it is only shown as part of the default top-level folder hierarchy. The top-level entry for this folder can be thought of as a shortcut to the folder. If the original folder is located deep in the mail account's folder hierarchy, it is no longer necessary to dive deep into the hierarchy each time the mail account is opened, in order to reach the folder; it's going to be right there, in the top-level folder hierarchy.

Top-level folders do no appear in their original location in the mail account's folder hierarchy. When the folder is first added to the top-level folder list it momentarily appears twice: in its actual location, on the screen, and at the topmost level. After its original hierarchy folder level is closed, it will no longer appear. As noted above, the folder is still there, it just appears as a shortcut at the topmost level. When the shortcut is removed (see the next section), the folder reappears in its place.

The second way to create top-level folder shortcuts is to highlight the name of the mail account with the cursor, then press A (Add). Cone shows the following prompt: Add folder/directory in account. Enter the complete folder name, as used by the mail account's server. This method for adding top-level folders requires some knowledge of the folder's location on the mail server. However it can be used to add folders that are outside of the currently-configured folder hierarchies (which is sometimes the case with IMAP servers), as follows:

IMAP folders

The folder name is used as is. This means that folders whose names contain characters that are not in the application's character set, or do not follow the IMAP modified UTF-7 folder name encoding, cannot be entered.

SMAP folders

Specify the complete folder path name. Use the forward slash character, / to separate names of individual folders in the SMAP folder hierarchy. Unicode/ISO-10646 characters that cannot be represented in the application's character set may be specified as %n;, where n is a decimal Unicode value. Use \/ to specify a forward slash character in the folder name, \\ to specify a backslash character, and \% to specify the % character.

Usenet (NetNews) newsgroups

Usenet accounts already have a dedicated link to subscribed newsgroups. For Usenet accounts, this process is used to subscribe to a new newsgroup which does not appear under "All newsgroups".

It is not possible for NetNews (Usenet) readers to maintain a correct, accurate list of available newsgroups. Usenet readers must download a list of available newsgroups, which can be quite large and require a significant time to download. It's not feasible to do this every time. As such, Usenet readers keep a saved copy of the download newsgroup list. Upon request, the newsgroup list may be downloaded again, and the locally saved list is brought up to date. This is what "Refresh newsgroup list" does.

"Check for new newsgroups" is a partial solution that's supported by most Usenet news servers, and can usually do the trick and download recently added newsgroups. There's no way to remove newsgroups no longer carried by the server, except by using "Refresh newsgroup list", but at least "Check for new newsgroups" will do the trick and include new groups under "All newsgroups", so that they can be subscribed to.

However, sometimes "Refresh newsgroup list" might not work with some oddball news server, or the news server can accidentally lose its wits and "forget" which new newsgroups were added, recently. In any case, use the process for creating a top-level folder in order to manually subscribe to a newsgroup. Type in the newsgroup's name, carefully checking for the correct spelling. After creating a link, open it and the newsgroup will now be subscribed to, and it will now appear under "Subscribed newsgroups".

Local mbox-type mail folders and maildirs

Specify the complete folder path name, relative to main folder directory. For example, if this mail account is configured as a local mbox mail account in $HOME/Mail, use foo/bar to specify $HOME/Mail/foo/bar. Use the forward slash character, / to separate names of individual folders in the local mail folder hierarchy. The actual folder names use the modified UTF-7 character set, and the entered folder name is automatically converted from the application's character set to modified UTF-7. This is needed for compatibility reasons (making it possible to access local mail folders both directly, and using IMAP or SMAP).

Unicode/ISO-10646 characters that cannot be represented in the application's character set may be specified as %n;, where n is a decimal Unicode value. Use \\ to specify a backslash character, and \% to specify the % character.

Removing top-level folders

Highlight a top-level folder with the cursor, and press D to remove it. The folder is not actually deleted from the mail account, it is only removed from its top-level placement, and it will now appear in its real location in the mail account's folder hierarchy.

Removing memorized headers

Cone memorizes custom mail headers in sent messages. When replying to a message in a folder, or creating a new message when the folder's contents are shown, the memorized content are used to set up the initial default values of custom headers. Different mail folders may have different defaults memorized. Additionally, each mail account has a global set of memorized default headers, which are used when replying or writing a message for the first time in a new folder.


At encryption key used for signing messages is handled just like a custom header, and a different encryption key may be set as a default for each folder.

Highlight a folder and press CTRL-R to remove all memorized header defaults for the highlighted folder. The initial header values for this folder will now default to the global account defaults.

Renaming folders

Highlight an existing mail folder and press R to rename it. This option does not work when a top-level folder is highlighted. A top-level folder is, essentially, a shortcut to an existing folder. Remove the top-level folder shortcut, find the original folder in its regular position in the folder hierarchy, then rename it.

Creating new folders

To create a new folder, highlight its parent folder directory, then press A (Add). Cone responds with the following prompt: Create new folder in parent. Enter the name of a new folder, and press ENTER.

Press CTRL-D before ENTER in order to create a folder directory, instead of a regular folder. A folder directory contains other subfolders, instead of messages. Some IMAP and SMAP mail servers can create so-called hybrid folders -- folders that contain both messages and other subfolders. Repeat this process twice to create a hybrid folder. Enter the same name both times; first to create a folder, then a folder directory with the same name.

Local mbox-type mail accounts cannot have hybrid folders. Hybrid folders are available with local maildir accounts.

Do not create a folder directory without creating at least one subfolder immediately afterwards. When a parent directory is shown, some mail accounts may not display a folder directory that does not have at least one subfolder. For best results: after creating a new folder directory, make sure that its name is highlighted, then use this command to create its first subfolder.

Deleting folders

Highlight the name of a folder with a cursor then press D (Delete) to remove it. The folder, and its contents, will be deleted. Use the same process to remove a folder directory. When trying to remove a hybrid folder, Cone will prompt to choose to remove either the subfolders, or the messages in the hybrid folder.

Some mail accounts may require that all messages in a folder be manually removed first, and will not remove a folder until it's completely empty.

Some mail accounts may require that all subfolders in a folder directory be manually removed first, and will not remove a folder directory until it's completely empty.

Note: highlighting a top-level folder and pressing D removes only the top-level shortcut, and does not remove the actual folder.

Editing folder permissions

Highlight a folder, then press P to view or edit folder permissions. Folder permissions determine whether other IMAP mail accounts may view, or change the contents of the folder. This option is only available for folders on IMAP mail servers that implement access control lists (access control lists are an optional IMAP protocol feature that is implemented by many IMAP servers). Attempting to use this option on a folder that's not an IMAP folder, or if the IMAP server does not implement access control lists, will result in an error.

Pressing P shows a submenu with two options:

View permissions

Press V to display your permissions are on the given folder.

Edit permissions

Press E to display all permissions for the given folder; this option may also be used to modify or adjust them.

This option is available only if View permissions shows that you have the Administrator permission for the folder. Otherwise selecting this option results in an error.

The Edit permissions screen is designed to be self-explanatory. Folder permissions, or access control list as its called, consists of a list of identifier/rights pairs. identifier designates the entity with the associated rights.

Not all servers support every one of the following access control list identifiers. See the server's documentation to check which access control list identifiers are implemented by the server:

anonymous, or anyone

This identifier refers to universal access rights given to everyone, including anonymous users (if supported by server).


Same as anyone, except for anonymous users. If the server does not implement anonymous access, then anonymous, anyone, and authuser are equivalent.


The owner of the mailbox that contains the folder.


Any member of a group that's defined as an administrator group, in an implementation-defined way.


A single system user, identified by username.


Any system user that's part of a group identified by groupname. Groups are created and managed by IMAP server-specific tools. See the server's documentation for information on creating and managing groups (if the groups are even implemented by the server in the first place).


An access control list identifier may be prefixed by a -, which refers to a negative right. Negative rights explicitly revoke the associated access rights from the identifier instead of granting the right.

Negative rights are not implemented by all servers. See the server's documentation to check if the server implements negative access rights.

Highlight an identifier with the cursor and press Enter to modify the identifier's rights. To delete an identifier, and its associated rights, highlight it with the cursor and press D. Press A to add an identifier. Use the next submenu to select the new identifier (owner, user, etc...), then specify the new identifier's rights.


Not all servers support every kind of an access control list identifier. Additionally, some IMAP servers are limited in the combination of access rights that may be given to an identifier. For example, IMAP servers that implement version 1 of the access control list protocol can only assign the Delete/undelete messages, Expunge deleted messages, and Delete folder together as a group. Either all three access rights must be given to an identifier, or none of them. An attempt to add only one or two of these access rights will be rejected by the server.

Other IMAP servers may have other restrictions on which combination of access rights are valid, or not. Depending on the server, the error message which rejects an invalid access rights combination may or may not be informative. Check the IMAP server's documentation for more information.

Installing filters

Highlighting a folder and pressing F opens a screen where the folder's filters may be entered or modified. This is an advanced topic. See Mail Filters for more information.

Removing mail accounts

Highlight the mail account's name with the cursor, and press D to remove it. This action logs out and removes the mail account. New mail accounts are added from the main menu.

Rearranging accounts and top-level folders

The order in which mail accounts, and their top-level folders, are listed may be adjusted by highlighting a mail account, or a top-level folder, and then using CTRL-U or CTRL-D.

CTRL-U moves the highlighted mail account, or folder, one position upwards, CTRL-D moves it one position downwards.

CTRL-U and CTRL-D only work when a mail account, or a top-level folder, is highlighted. Other folders are always shown in alphabetical order.

Defining special folders

Cone needs to assign folders for certain tasks. Highlighting a folder, and pressing U (Use special) brings up the following prompt, which designates the highlighted folder as follows:

A - address book

Cone can save its simple E-mail address book on a remote server, in addition to its local address book. POP3 mail folders cannot be used as remote address books, only IMAP or SMAP folders can do that. To create a new address book on a remote server, create a new IMAP or SMAP folder, highlight it with a cursor, and use this option.

This option adds a new remote address book. Cone can handle more than one address book, and E-mail addresses are looked up in each configured address book, sequentially, until the address is found.

Cone can also search LDAP server-based address books. LDAP address books are added by choosing the Address Book option from the Main Menu.

D - draft

The draft folder is where new, unfinished messages, that have not been sent yet, are saved. Only one draft folder may be defined; selecting a new draft folder automatically unselects the previous draft folder.

S - sent mail

This special folder contains saved copies of sent messages. Each time a message is sent, a copy is automatically placed into this folder, by default.

This option adds a new sent mail folder. Cone can handle more than one sent mail folder. When writing a new message, a sent mail folder may be selected where a copy of this message will be saved, after it is sent.

R - remote configuration

Enables remote configuration and uses this folder to save the configuration data. See Remote Configuration for more information.

T - top level folder

This option was already discussed previously.

IMPORTANT: a POP3 folder cannot be used as a special folder. Only IMAP, SMAP, or a local mail folder may be used as a special folder.

IMPORTANT: do not delete a mail folder, or a mail account, that contains a special folder. Remove an existing address book using the Address Book selection from Cone's main menu. Remove an existing draft folder first by selecting a draft folder on a different mail account. Remove an existing sent-mail folder by choosing the Setup selection from Cone's main menu. Then, the folder or the account containing a special folder can be deleted.

IMPORTANT: Do not open an address book folder, or a remote configuration folder manually, unless the remote IMAP/SMAP server allows concurrent access to the same folder. Cone opens and closes these folders automatically, when needed. If the remote IMAP/SMAP server does not allow the same folder opened more than once, opening the folder manually will result in unpredictable errors.

Reconfiguring an account

Use the cursor to highlight the name of a mail account, and press E to edit the mail account's configuration. This is primarily useful with remote mail accounts. There isn't much to do with local mail accounts. Just remove an existing local mail account, then add a new account that points to a different mail folder directory.

More details about the process of configuring a mail account can be found in the section that describes the process of adding a new mail account.

Other commands

Pressing M closes this screen, and opens the Main Menu screen.


Pressing W opens the Write Message screen. This is the screen where a new message can be typed, and sent. Cone checks for any unfinished messages in the Draft folder, before opening this screen. If the Draft folder contains any messages, Cone offers an option to resume writing an unfinished message, instead of starting a new message. Cone automatically saves a backup copy of the current message being edited, at regular intervals, so that a backup copy can be recovered in the event that Cone is interrupted, or terminated, in a middle of editing a new message. If a backup copy exists, Cone announces the existence of an interrupted message, and prompts to resume writing the interrupted message. An interrupted message must be opened and either: sent, explicitly cancelled, or saved in the Draft folder; before another message can be written.