man abookrc (Formats) - configuration file for abook address book program


$HOME/.abook/abookrc - configuration file for abook address book program


This manual page documents briefly the abookrc file.

abookrc is the (optional) configuration file for use with the abook(1) address book program.

abookrc is stored in a user's $HOME/.abook directory. It follows a format of set option=value. The following information lists each of these options and the values they may take.

If a variable is not set in abookrc , a sensible default, as listed with the description below, will be used.

Comments in abookrc are on lines beginning with '#'.


Defines whether the addressbook is automatically saved on exit. Default is true.
Defines whether all email addresses for a contact are shown in the main list view. Default is true
Defines the screen column on the main list where the email address is to begin. Default is 25.
Defines the field to display in the extra (third) column on the main list. Default is "phone" (Home Phone).

field can be any of the following:

-1 disabled

phone Home Phone

workphone Work Phone

fax Fax

mobile Mobile Phone

nick Nickname/Alias

url URL

notes Notes
This is an optional setting that allows you to specify an alternative field to be displayed in the extra (third) column if there is no data for the field specified in extra_column for a particular item. The strings for the fields are the same as above. Please note that the data shown where the alternative field has been used will NOT be marked differently in any way from the rest of the extra column. There is no default.
Defines the screen column on the main list where the extra field is to begin. Default is 65.
Defines the command to start mutt. Default is "mutt".
Defines whether to return all email addresses matching the search criteria to a mutt query. Default is true.
Defines the command to used when printing the addressbook. Default is "lpr".
Defines the command used to start the web browser to view a contact's URL. Default is "lynx".
Defines the style of address formatting to be used when exporting as text / printing the database (European, UK, or USA). Default is European ("eu").
This option allows you to force Abook use only ASCII characters. This option is useful if your terminal doesn't support non-ASCII characters. Default is false.
Defines whether to avoid adding addresses already in data. Default is false.
Defines the field to be used by the "sort by field" command. Default is "nick" (Nickname/Alias).
Defines if the cursor is visible in main display. Default is false.


# sample abook configuration file

# Automatically save database on exit set autosave=true

# Show all email addresses in list set show_all_emails=true

# Screen column for email field to start set emailpos=25

# Field to be used in the extra column set extra_column=phone # frequently used values: # -1 disabled # phone Home Phone # workphone Work Phone # fax Fax # mobile Mobile Phone # nick Nickname/Alias # url URL

# set extra_alternative=-1

# Screen column for the extra field to start set extrapos=65

# Command used to start mutt set mutt_command=mutt

# Return all email addresses to a mutt query set mutt_return_all_emails=true

# Command used to print set print_command=lpr

# Command used to start the web browser set www_command=lynx

# address style [eu|us|uk] set address_style=eu

# use ASCII characters only set use_ascii_only=false

# Prevent double entry set add_email_prevent_duplicates=false

# field to be used with "sort by field" command set sort_field=nick

# show cursor in main display set show_cursor=false




This manual page was written by Alan Ford <>.

abook was written by Jaakko Heinonen <>