linux/Documentation/email-clients.txt
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Prefs
   1Email clients info for Linux
   2======================================================================
   3
   4General Preferences
   5----------------------------------------------------------------------
   6Patches for the Linux kernel are submitted via email, preferably as
   7inline text in the body of the email.  Some maintainers accept
   8attachments, but then the attachments should have content-type
   9"text/plain".  However, attachments are generally frowned upon because
  10it makes quoting portions of the patch more difficult in the patch
  11review process.
  12
  13Email clients that are used for Linux kernel patches should send the
  14patch text untouched.  For example, they should not modify or delete tabs
  15or spaces, even at the beginning or end of lines.
  16
  17Don't send patches with "format=flowed".  This can cause unexpected
  18and unwanted line breaks.
  19
  20Don't let your email client do automatic word wrapping for you.
  21This can also corrupt your patch.
  22
  23Email clients should not modify the character set encoding of the text.
  24Emailed patches should be in ASCII or UTF-8 encoding only.
  25If you configure your email client to send emails with UTF-8 encoding,
  26you avoid some possible charset problems.
  27
  28Email clients should generate and maintain References: or In-Reply-To:
  29headers so that mail threading is not broken.
  30
  31Copy-and-paste (or cut-and-paste) usually does not work for patches
  32because tabs are converted to spaces.  Using xclipboard, xclip, and/or
  33xcutsel may work, but it's best to test this for yourself or just avoid
  34copy-and-paste.
  35
  36Don't use PGP/GPG signatures in mail that contains patches.
  37This breaks many scripts that read and apply the patches.
  38(This should be fixable.)
  39
  40It's a good idea to send a patch to yourself, save the received message,
  41and successfully apply it with 'patch' before sending patches to Linux
  42mailing lists.
  43
  44
  45Some email client (MUA) hints
  46----------------------------------------------------------------------
  47Here are some specific MUA configuration hints for editing and sending
  48patches for the Linux kernel.  These are not meant to be complete
  49software package configuration summaries.
  50
  51Legend:
  52TUI = text-based user interface
  53GUI = graphical user interface
  54
  55~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  56Alpine (TUI)
  57
  58Config options:
  59In the "Sending Preferences" section:
  60
  61- "Do Not Send Flowed Text" must be enabled
  62- "Strip Whitespace Before Sending" must be disabled
  63
  64When composing the message, the cursor should be placed where the patch
  65should appear, and then pressing CTRL-R let you specify the patch file
  66to insert into the message.
  67
  68~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  69Evolution (GUI)
  70
  71Some people use this successfully for patches.
  72
  73When composing mail select: Preformat
  74  from Format->Heading->Preformatted (Ctrl-7)
  75  or the toolbar
  76
  77Then use:
  78  Insert->Text File... (Alt-n x)
  79to insert the patch.
  80
  81You can also "diff -Nru old.c new.c | xclip", select Preformat, then
  82paste with the middle button.
  83
  84~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  85Kmail (GUI)
  86
  87Some people use Kmail successfully for patches.
  88
  89The default setting of not composing in HTML is appropriate; do not
  90enable it.
  91
  92When composing an email, under options, uncheck "word wrap". The only
  93disadvantage is any text you type in the email will not be word-wrapped
  94so you will have to manually word wrap text before the patch. The easiest
  95way around this is to compose your email with word wrap enabled, then save
  96it as a draft. Once you pull it up again from your drafts it is now hard
  97word-wrapped and you can uncheck "word wrap" without losing the existing
  98wrapping.
  99
 100At the bottom of your email, put the commonly-used patch delimiter before
 101inserting your patch:  three hyphens (---).
 102
 103Then from the "Message" menu item, select insert file and choose your patch.
 104As an added bonus you can customise the message creation toolbar menu
 105and put the "insert file" icon there.
 106
 107Make the the composer window wide enough so that no lines wrap. As of
 108KMail 1.13.5 (KDE 4.5.4), KMail will apply word wrapping when sending
 109the email if the lines wrap in the composer window. Having word wrapping
 110disabled in the Options menu isn't enough. Thus, if your patch has very
 111long lines, you must make the composer window very wide before sending
 112the email. See: https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=174034
 113
 114You can safely GPG sign attachments, but inlined text is preferred for
 115patches so do not GPG sign them.  Signing patches that have been inserted
 116as inlined text will make them tricky to extract from their 7-bit encoding.
 117
 118If you absolutely must send patches as attachments instead of inlining
 119them as text, right click on the attachment and select properties, and
 120highlight "Suggest automatic display" to make the attachment inlined to
 121make it more viewable.
 122
 123When saving patches that are sent as inlined text, select the email that
 124contains the patch from the message list pane, right click and select
 125"save as".  You can use the whole email unmodified as a patch if it was
 126properly composed.  There is no option currently to save the email when you
 127are actually viewing it in its own window -- there has been a request filed
 128at kmail's bugzilla and hopefully this will be addressed.  Emails are saved
 129as read-write for user only so you will have to chmod them to make them
 130group and world readable if you copy them elsewhere.
 131
 132~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 133Lotus Notes (GUI)
 134
 135Run away from it.
 136
 137~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 138Mutt (TUI)
 139
 140Plenty of Linux developers use mutt, so it must work pretty well.
 141
 142Mutt doesn't come with an editor, so whatever editor you use should be
 143used in a way that there are no automatic linebreaks.  Most editors have
 144an "insert file" option that inserts the contents of a file unaltered.
 145
 146To use 'vim' with mutt:
 147  set editor="vi"
 148
 149  If using xclip, type the command
 150  :set paste
 151  before middle button or shift-insert or use
 152  :r filename
 153
 154if you want to include the patch inline.
 155(a)ttach works fine without "set paste".
 156
 157Config options:
 158It should work with default settings.
 159However, it's a good idea to set the "send_charset" to:
 160  set send_charset="us-ascii:utf-8"
 161
 162~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 163Pine (TUI)
 164
 165Pine has had some whitespace truncation issues in the past, but these
 166should all be fixed now.
 167
 168Use alpine (pine's successor) if you can.
 169
 170Config options:
 171- quell-flowed-text is needed for recent versions
 172- the "no-strip-whitespace-before-send" option is needed
 173
 174
 175~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 176Sylpheed (GUI)
 177
 178- Works well for inlining text (or using attachments).
 179- Allows use of an external editor.
 180- Is slow on large folders.
 181- Won't do TLS SMTP auth over a non-SSL connection.
 182- Has a helpful ruler bar in the compose window.
 183- Adding addresses to address book doesn't understand the display name
 184  properly.
 185
 186~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 187Thunderbird (GUI)
 188
 189Thunderbird is an Outlook clone that likes to mangle text, but there are ways
 190to coerce it into behaving.
 191
 192- Allows use of an external editor:
 193  The easiest thing to do with Thunderbird and patches is to use an
 194  "external editor" extension and then just use your favorite $EDITOR
 195  for reading/merging patches into the body text.  To do this, download
 196  and install the extension, then add a button for it using
 197  View->Toolbars->Customize... and finally just click on it when in the
 198  Compose dialog.
 199
 200To beat some sense out of the internal editor, do this:
 201
 202- Edit your Thunderbird config settings so that it won't use format=flowed.
 203  Go to "edit->preferences->advanced->config editor" to bring up the
 204  thunderbird's registry editor, and set "mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed" to
 205  "false".
 206
 207- Disable HTML Format: Set "mail.identity.id1.compose_html" to "false".
 208
 209- Enable "preformat" mode: Set "editor.quotesPreformatted" to "true".
 210
 211- Enable UTF8: Set "prefs.converted-to-utf8" to "true".
 212
 213- Install the "toggle wordwrap" extension.  Download the file from:
 214    https://addons.mozilla.org/thunderbird/addon/2351/
 215  Then go to "tools->add ons", select "install" at the bottom of the screen,
 216  and browse to where you saved the .xul file.  This adds an "Enable
 217  Wordwrap" entry under the Options menu of the message composer.
 218
 219~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 220TkRat (GUI)
 221
 222Works.  Use "Insert file..." or external editor.
 223
 224~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 225Gmail (Web GUI)
 226
 227Does not work for sending patches.
 228
 229Gmail web client converts tabs to spaces automatically.
 230
 231At the same time it wraps lines every 78 chars with CRLF style line breaks
 232although tab2space problem can be solved with external editor.
 233
 234Another problem is that Gmail will base64-encode any message that has a
 235non-ASCII character. That includes things like European names.
 236
 237                                ###
 238
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