PINE is an Acronym for Program for InterNet News & Email.

The name Pine was the obvious choice, being a tree like Elm, being prominent in the Pacific North West and with many possible acronyms. The first acronym choice was Pine Is Nearly Elm as that was the case. It has never stood for Pine Is Not Elm as we were happy to have Elm as a starting point. For more naming history, visit What "Pine" really stands for.

It's a console based mail client written at The University of Washington but licensed under non-Free terms, so that many LinuxDistributions (such as Debian) do not contain it. Features include

  • Support for Roles - This allows you to easily assume different Roles (ie. From Addresses / Signatures) when composing mail.
  • Excellent IMAP/IMAPS Support
  • It's very quick and can be used over any SSH connection, unlike other graphical MailClients.
  • Very simple menu and key configurations unlike other console mail clients such as Mutt which take a lot more learning. (Of course this can also be construed as a weakness.)
  • It's not MozillaMail

A major disadvantage is that it will not check for new email in multiple INBOXes automatically: you need to press Tab.

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