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Introduction (From Wikipedia) :

Alpine is a free software e-mail client developed at the University of Washington.Alpine 1.0 was publicly released on December 20, 2007.Alpine is a rewrite of the Pine Message System that adds support for Unicode and other features. Alpine is meant to be suitable for both inexperienced email users and the most demanding of power users. Alpine is developed at the University of Washington, as was Pine before it. Alpine can be learned by exploration and the use of context-sensitive help. The user interface can be customized.
Alpine shares a lot of common feature of console applications, like a rich set of shortcut keys, using keyboard instead of mouse to do all navigation and operation. In fact all operations in Alpine have corresponding shortcut keys.
Unlike other console applications targeting developers and experienced users, which often require users to edit a configuration file, Alpine allows the user to change most configuration options within the software. This makes alpine one of the most easy to learn console-based email clients.
Alpine supports IMAP, POP, SMTP and LDAP protocol natively. Although it does not support composing HTML email, it can display emails that only have HTML content as text.
Linus Torvalds, the primary force behind the development of Linux, has stated in an interview published by the Lifehacker  weblog on 31 January 2008 that he uses Alpine as his email client.E-mail headers confirm this.

Configuration :

First of you have to download and install Alpine from here . If you are using debian or ubuntu simple type

 sudo apt-get install alpine

and it will be automatically install for you .
Now open your terminal and type

alpine

and you will see a screen like the one below .

Now move your cursor up and down to the option S SETUP or simply press S from your keyboard and you will see a next screen like the one below

Now press L from your keyboard and go to the configuration screen like as shown in the next screen

Now press A and you will be presented with a screen like below

In the Nickname field put anything you want and in Server field put this

imap.gmail.com/ssl/user=username@gmail.com

Replace “username” with your gmail username.

Now press Ctrl+X and you will be asked for your password (dont worry if not), just give your password and hit enter . In the next screen you will see the new list just created by you .

Now press left arrow and you will be back to the main screen . From here again press S and then press C and you will see a screen almost similar to one below

From the start of the screen go slowly down and you will see SMTP server field and Inbox Path field. Now put the following details in both the fields respectively ( press enter to add detail)

smtp.gmail.com/tls/user=username@gmail.com 
{pop.gmail.com/pop3/ssl/user=username@gmail.com}Inbox

and then hit enter and give your password if you are asked for . Thats it now you must be able to read your emails and send emails from your Gmail account .
Remember Password
Now if you want that your password should be saved on your computer (dont worry its totally safe) , then open the terminal and if you are in your home directory then give the following command

touch .pine-passfile

How to read email
To read your email just type alpine in the terminal and from the menu select FOLDER LIST and there you will see the list created by you so select it and now you can read your emails .

If you have any problem , you can ask me for help through comments .