getting started with Balsa, but with very special constraints

I have just signed up for this list. I used Balsa several years ago,
but stopped because there was a hiatus in Balsa development just as I
experienced a need to replace my computer. A lot has happened since
then and I want to try Balsa again.

I am composing this email using Emacs, and it will be sent from Mutt
to Exim4 on my computer to a smarthost run by my ISP. I fetch my mail
from you ISP's POP server with fetchmail run by cron. All this is on a
Debian Lenny host. And it all already works, but not quite to my
liking. There is an annoying failure to play-well-together between
Mutt and the most recent version of iceweasel/firefox. So ...

I want to make Balsa be a drop-in replacement for Mutt, preferably be
able to run them in parallel, for a while anyway. I know Balsa can
handle many aspects of mail that are not currently being handled by
Mutt in my current setup. But I don't want to abandon Fetchmail, or
Procmail, or Maildir format mail repository, etc.

I don't want to run the GUI configuration of Balsa for fear that it
will set up its own total system, and in the process step on some of
my existing configuration. For instance: Fetchmail also picks up
system error messages from two other Debian machines in my local
network.  I already am using Maildir format and I would hope to have a
single directory tree for my mail repository, not two Maildir
repositories operating in parallel.

Is there some documentation that I can read and then configure the
config files by hand rather that via the GUI screens? That way I will
be able to stop the process if it looks like I am about to do something
destructive. Where can I read about the format of ~/.gnome2/balsa ?
This is the config file, but it shares the same name, balsa, with the
program. Neither info nor man give information about the config file
or what can, in fact, be configured. I've looked in Gnome Configuration
Editor, but find no mention of Balsa. (It is installed. I got to the
first screen of the Intro configuration before I realized that I didn't
want to just run it without first investigating.) 

FYI: I installed Balsa from a Debian package that I got from


Paul E Condon           
pecondon mesanetworks net

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