Love Vim? Use Gmail? Then check out Vmail, a Ruby-based Gmail client for Vim written by Daniel Choi. Vmail gives you a full command line interface for Gmail from within Vim, including reading, composing, starring, deleting, archiving and marking spam.

Of course, Emacs users have been able to check e-mail from within Emacs for years. "A common criticism that text editor (vim) fans throw in the face of operating system fans (emacs) is that a text editor should simply edit text," writes Steve Klabnik at The Changelog. "I'm slightly torn, but it's still pretty freaking cool." Don't worry Vim purists: it's just a plugin, not a change to the Vim core.


Screenshot via The Changelog

Vmail requires:

  • a Gmail account
  • a relatively recent version of Vim (vmail is developed against Vim 7.3)
  • Ruby with SSL support compiled in (vmail is developed using Ruby 1.9.2)
  • RubyGems (if Ruby version is older than 1.9)
  • the lynx text-only-mode web browser is required to view HTML mail parts in vmail

The current version of Vmail requires a Unix-like environment, but Choi says he hopes to support Windows in the future.