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12. Miscellaneous

12.1. Building vm.elc under NT

Date: June 20, 1998

Many NTers out there have problems building vm.elc under NT. It's really not that hard. The Cygnus GNU-Win32 utilities have everything you need, along with Emacs.

12.2. How do I convert an MH inbox to a VM inbox?

Date: June 20, 1998
Updated: March 31, 1999

MH comes with a program called packf, which converts an MH folder into a MMDF-style folder. VM can read and write MMDF folders, and auto-detects the folder type when you visit them.

Fred Wheeler of RPI offers this alternate solution:

I used the following commands on MH folder to one VM folder:

folder +inbox
packmbox > inbox.mbox

I don't know the differences between packf and packmbox, but I know
this worked.  You might want to mention it in case there are people
out there who have packmbox but not packf.

12.3. How do I convert a RMAIL folder to a VM folder?

Date: June 20, 1998
Updated: February 8, 1999

Use the command `M-x unrmail' on the RMAIL folder. Or, visit the folder in VM and write it out as a 'From_' type folder with `% From_'.

12.4. How do I make VM less flashy?

Date: June 20, 1998
Updated: February 8, 1999

If you're switching from RMAIL to VM, or you just want to 'turn it down' a little, you might like to try the following as a staring .vm file:

; Disallow changes to frame and window configuration
(setq vm-mutable-frames nil)
(setq vm-mutable-windows nil)
(setq vm-raise-frame-at-startup nil) ; you may also like this
(setq vm-frame-per-composition nil)
(setq vm-frame-per-edit nil)

; Turn off the toolbar
(setq vm-use-toolbar nil)

; Startup without summary (like RMAIL)
(setq vm-startup-with-summary nil)
;(setq vm-startup-with-summary 1)  ; start up with summary if there are new
                                   ; or unread messages

; Turn off previewing
(setq vm-preview-lines nil)

; jump to unread messages before new messages
(setq vm-jump-to-new-messages nil)
(setq vm-jump-to-unread-messages t)

12.5. What other VM resources are out there?

Date: March 19, 2002

VM Add Ons ( contains a collection of .vm (init) files, as well as code hacks to make VM even more powerful. Unfortunately, this page is no longer up.

If you know of a VM resource that should be listed here, please contact the FAQ maintainer (

12.6. How do I make VM load/save big files faster?

Date: June 28, 2000
From: Robert Spier

You may have noticed that VM is very slow when loading and saving large folders. (Even when using index files.) If you have lots of memory, you may be able to speed this up by increasing XEmacs' garbage collection threshold using:

(setq gc-cons-threshold 2000000)

This is four times XEmacs' default of 500000.

The downside of this, is that XEmacs will suck up much more memory. But if you have lots of memory, the speedup will be quite large, because less garbage collections need to happen.

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