linux/Documentation/email-clients.txt
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   1Email clients info for Linux
   2======================================================================
   3
   4Git
   5----------------------------------------------------------------------
   6These days most developers use `git send-email` instead of regular
   7email clients.  The man page for this is quite good.  On the receiving
   8end, maintainers use `git am` to apply the patches.
   9
  10If you are new to git then send your first patch to yourself.  Save it
  11as raw text including all the headers.  Run `git am raw_email.txt` and
  12then review the changelog with `git log`.  When that works then send
  13the patch to the appropriate mailing list(s).
  14
  15General Preferences
  16----------------------------------------------------------------------
  17Patches for the Linux kernel are submitted via email, preferably as
  18inline text in the body of the email.  Some maintainers accept
  19attachments, but then the attachments should have content-type
  20"text/plain".  However, attachments are generally frowned upon because
  21it makes quoting portions of the patch more difficult in the patch
  22review process.
  23
  24Email clients that are used for Linux kernel patches should send the
  25patch text untouched.  For example, they should not modify or delete tabs
  26or spaces, even at the beginning or end of lines.
  27
  28Don't send patches with "format=flowed".  This can cause unexpected
  29and unwanted line breaks.
  30
  31Don't let your email client do automatic word wrapping for you.
  32This can also corrupt your patch.
  33
  34Email clients should not modify the character set encoding of the text.
  35Emailed patches should be in ASCII or UTF-8 encoding only.
  36If you configure your email client to send emails with UTF-8 encoding,
  37you avoid some possible charset problems.
  38
  39Email clients should generate and maintain References: or In-Reply-To:
  40headers so that mail threading is not broken.
  41
  42Copy-and-paste (or cut-and-paste) usually does not work for patches
  43because tabs are converted to spaces.  Using xclipboard, xclip, and/or
  44xcutsel may work, but it's best to test this for yourself or just avoid
  45copy-and-paste.
  46
  47Don't use PGP/GPG signatures in mail that contains patches.
  48This breaks many scripts that read and apply the patches.
  49(This should be fixable.)
  50
  51It's a good idea to send a patch to yourself, save the received message,
  52and successfully apply it with 'patch' before sending patches to Linux
  53mailing lists.
  54
  55
  56Some email client (MUA) hints
  57----------------------------------------------------------------------
  58Here are some specific MUA configuration hints for editing and sending
  59patches for the Linux kernel.  These are not meant to be complete
  60software package configuration summaries.
  61
  62Legend:
  63TUI = text-based user interface
  64GUI = graphical user interface
  65
  66~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  67Alpine (TUI)
  68
  69Config options:
  70In the "Sending Preferences" section:
  71
  72- "Do Not Send Flowed Text" must be enabled
  73- "Strip Whitespace Before Sending" must be disabled
  74
  75When composing the message, the cursor should be placed where the patch
  76should appear, and then pressing CTRL-R let you specify the patch file
  77to insert into the message.
  78
  79~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  80Evolution (GUI)
  81
  82Some people use this successfully for patches.
  83
  84When composing mail select: Preformat
  85  from Format->Heading->Preformatted (Ctrl-7)
  86  or the toolbar
  87
  88Then use:
  89  Insert->Text File... (Alt-n x)
  90to insert the patch.
  91
  92You can also "diff -Nru old.c new.c | xclip", select Preformat, then
  93paste with the middle button.
  94
  95~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  96Kmail (GUI)
  97
  98Some people use Kmail successfully for patches.
  99
 100The default setting of not composing in HTML is appropriate; do not
 101enable it.
 102
 103When composing an email, under options, uncheck "word wrap". The only
 104disadvantage is any text you type in the email will not be word-wrapped
 105so you will have to manually word wrap text before the patch. The easiest
 106way around this is to compose your email with word wrap enabled, then save
 107it as a draft. Once you pull it up again from your drafts it is now hard
 108word-wrapped and you can uncheck "word wrap" without losing the existing
 109wrapping.
 110
 111At the bottom of your email, put the commonly-used patch delimiter before
 112inserting your patch:  three hyphens (---).
 113
 114Then from the "Message" menu item, select insert file and choose your patch.
 115As an added bonus you can customise the message creation toolbar menu
 116and put the "insert file" icon there.
 117
 118Make the composer window wide enough so that no lines wrap. As of
 119KMail 1.13.5 (KDE 4.5.4), KMail will apply word wrapping when sending
 120the email if the lines wrap in the composer window. Having word wrapping
 121disabled in the Options menu isn't enough. Thus, if your patch has very
 122long lines, you must make the composer window very wide before sending
 123the email. See: https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=174034
 124
 125You can safely GPG sign attachments, but inlined text is preferred for
 126patches so do not GPG sign them.  Signing patches that have been inserted
 127as inlined text will make them tricky to extract from their 7-bit encoding.
 128
 129If you absolutely must send patches as attachments instead of inlining
 130them as text, right click on the attachment and select properties, and
 131highlight "Suggest automatic display" to make the attachment inlined to
 132make it more viewable.
 133
 134When saving patches that are sent as inlined text, select the email that
 135contains the patch from the message list pane, right click and select
 136"save as".  You can use the whole email unmodified as a patch if it was
 137properly composed.  There is no option currently to save the email when you
 138are actually viewing it in its own window -- there has been a request filed
 139at kmail's bugzilla and hopefully this will be addressed.  Emails are saved
 140as read-write for user only so you will have to chmod them to make them
 141group and world readable if you copy them elsewhere.
 142
 143~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 144Lotus Notes (GUI)
 145
 146Run away from it.
 147
 148~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 149Mutt (TUI)
 150
 151Plenty of Linux developers use mutt, so it must work pretty well.
 152
 153Mutt doesn't come with an editor, so whatever editor you use should be
 154used in a way that there are no automatic linebreaks.  Most editors have
 155an "insert file" option that inserts the contents of a file unaltered.
 156
 157To use 'vim' with mutt:
 158  set editor="vi"
 159
 160  If using xclip, type the command
 161  :set paste
 162  before middle button or shift-insert or use
 163  :r filename
 164
 165if you want to include the patch inline.
 166(a)ttach works fine without "set paste".
 167
 168Config options:
 169It should work with default settings.
 170However, it's a good idea to set the "send_charset" to:
 171  set send_charset="us-ascii:utf-8"
 172
 173~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 174Pine (TUI)
 175
 176Pine has had some whitespace truncation issues in the past, but these
 177should all be fixed now.
 178
 179Use alpine (pine's successor) if you can.
 180
 181Config options:
 182- quell-flowed-text is needed for recent versions
 183- the "no-strip-whitespace-before-send" option is needed
 184
 185
 186~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 187Sylpheed (GUI)
 188
 189- Works well for inlining text (or using attachments).
 190- Allows use of an external editor.
 191- Is slow on large folders.
 192- Won't do TLS SMTP auth over a non-SSL connection.
 193- Has a helpful ruler bar in the compose window.
 194- Adding addresses to address book doesn't understand the display name
 195  properly.
 196
 197~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 198Thunderbird (GUI)
 199
 200Thunderbird is an Outlook clone that likes to mangle text, but there are ways
 201to coerce it into behaving.
 202
 203- Allows use of an external editor:
 204  The easiest thing to do with Thunderbird and patches is to use an
 205  "external editor" extension and then just use your favorite $EDITOR
 206  for reading/merging patches into the body text.  To do this, download
 207  and install the extension, then add a button for it using
 208  View->Toolbars->Customize... and finally just click on it when in the
 209  Compose dialog.
 210
 211To beat some sense out of the internal editor, do this:
 212
 213- Edit your Thunderbird config settings so that it won't use format=flowed.
 214  Go to "edit->preferences->advanced->config editor" to bring up the
 215  thunderbird's registry editor.
 216
 217- Set "mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed" to "false"
 218
 219- Set "mailnews.wraplength" from "72" to "0"
 220
 221- "View" > "Message Body As" > "Plain Text"
 222
 223- "View" > "Character Encoding" > "Unicode (UTF-8)"
 224
 225~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 226TkRat (GUI)
 227
 228Works.  Use "Insert file..." or external editor.
 229
 230~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 231Gmail (Web GUI)
 232
 233Does not work for sending patches.
 234
 235Gmail web client converts tabs to spaces automatically.
 236
 237At the same time it wraps lines every 78 chars with CRLF style line breaks
 238although tab2space problem can be solved with external editor.
 239
 240Another problem is that Gmail will base64-encode any message that has a
 241non-ASCII character. That includes things like European names.
 242
 243                                ###
 244
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