SASL Authentication Failed using Mutt and Dreamhost

Last night, I decided to set up Mutt on my Trisquel machine at home as one of the many steps towards getting my environment set up to contribute to the Linux Kernel. Sadly, of all of the steps involved in setting up that environment, getting Mutt configured with my personal email account (which I host via Dreamhost) took me the longest. :/ (Note: If you use and enjoy Gmail, getting that set up took 0.5 seconds. But Dreamhost was a bit of a pain.)

The error I kept getting was “SASL Authentication Failed“, despite the fact that my credentials were all correct.

So, in case you find yourself in a similar situation, here is my ~/.muttrc file which finally plays nicely with my Dreamhost-hosted personal email account:


set imap_user = “”
set imap_pass = “yourPassword”
set smtp_url = “smtp://”
set from = “”
set realname = “Michelle Leonhart”
set editor = “vim”
set mail_check = 60
set imap_keepalive = 10

Make sure to change the values above to the correct values for your account and domain. Note that the underlined part (the “”) is different than what is quoted on the official Dreamhost wiki page on Mutt, and is particular to my account. You will have to find the correct server to use for your account according to these instructions on Dreamhost’s wiki.