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Documentation / email-clients.txt

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Based on kernel version 4.2. Page generated on 2015-09-09 12:12 EST.

1	Email clients info for Linux
2	======================================================================
4	Git
5	----------------------------------------------------------------------
6	These days most developers use `git send-email` instead of regular
7	email clients.  The man page for this is quite good.  On the receiving
8	end, maintainers use `git am` to apply the patches.
10	If you are new to git then send your first patch to yourself.  Save it
11	as raw text including all the headers.  Run `git am raw_email.txt` and
12	then review the changelog with `git log`.  When that works then send
13	the patch to the appropriate mailing list(s).
15	General Preferences
16	----------------------------------------------------------------------
17	Patches for the Linux kernel are submitted via email, preferably as
18	inline text in the body of the email.  Some maintainers accept
19	attachments, but then the attachments should have content-type
20	"text/plain".  However, attachments are generally frowned upon because
21	it makes quoting portions of the patch more difficult in the patch
22	review process.
24	Email clients that are used for Linux kernel patches should send the
25	patch text untouched.  For example, they should not modify or delete tabs
26	or spaces, even at the beginning or end of lines.
28	Don't send patches with "format=flowed".  This can cause unexpected
29	and unwanted line breaks.
31	Don't let your email client do automatic word wrapping for you.
32	This can also corrupt your patch.
34	Email clients should not modify the character set encoding of the text.
35	Emailed patches should be in ASCII or UTF-8 encoding only.
36	If you configure your email client to send emails with UTF-8 encoding,
37	you avoid some possible charset problems.
39	Email clients should generate and maintain References: or In-Reply-To:
40	headers so that mail threading is not broken.
42	Copy-and-paste (or cut-and-paste) usually does not work for patches
43	because tabs are converted to spaces.  Using xclipboard, xclip, and/or
44	xcutsel may work, but it's best to test this for yourself or just avoid
45	copy-and-paste.
47	Don't use PGP/GPG signatures in mail that contains patches.
48	This breaks many scripts that read and apply the patches.
49	(This should be fixable.)
51	It's a good idea to send a patch to yourself, save the received message,
52	and successfully apply it with 'patch' before sending patches to Linux
53	mailing lists.
56	Some email client (MUA) hints
57	----------------------------------------------------------------------
58	Here are some specific MUA configuration hints for editing and sending
59	patches for the Linux kernel.  These are not meant to be complete
60	software package configuration summaries.
62	Legend:
63	TUI = text-based user interface
64	GUI = graphical user interface
66	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
67	Alpine (TUI)
69	Config options:
70	In the "Sending Preferences" section:
72	- "Do Not Send Flowed Text" must be enabled
73	- "Strip Whitespace Before Sending" must be disabled
75	When composing the message, the cursor should be placed where the patch
76	should appear, and then pressing CTRL-R let you specify the patch file
77	to insert into the message.
79	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
80	Claws Mail (GUI)
82	Works. Some people use this successfully for patches.
84	To insert a patch use Message->Insert File (CTRL+i) or an external editor.
86	If the inserted patch has to be edited in the Claws composition window
87	"Auto wrapping" in Configuration->Preferences->Compose->Wrapping should be
88	disabled.
90	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
91	Evolution (GUI)
93	Some people use this successfully for patches.
95	When composing mail select: Preformat
96	  from Format->Heading->Preformatted (Ctrl-7)
97	  or the toolbar
99	Then use:
100	  Insert->Text File... (Alt-n x)
101	to insert the patch.
103	You can also "diff -Nru old.c new.c | xclip", select Preformat, then
104	paste with the middle button.
106	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
107	Kmail (GUI)
109	Some people use Kmail successfully for patches.
111	The default setting of not composing in HTML is appropriate; do not
112	enable it.
114	When composing an email, under options, uncheck "word wrap". The only
115	disadvantage is any text you type in the email will not be word-wrapped
116	so you will have to manually word wrap text before the patch. The easiest
117	way around this is to compose your email with word wrap enabled, then save
118	it as a draft. Once you pull it up again from your drafts it is now hard
119	word-wrapped and you can uncheck "word wrap" without losing the existing
120	wrapping.
122	At the bottom of your email, put the commonly-used patch delimiter before
123	inserting your patch:  three hyphens (---).
125	Then from the "Message" menu item, select insert file and choose your patch.
126	As an added bonus you can customise the message creation toolbar menu
127	and put the "insert file" icon there.
129	Make the composer window wide enough so that no lines wrap. As of
130	KMail 1.13.5 (KDE 4.5.4), KMail will apply word wrapping when sending
131	the email if the lines wrap in the composer window. Having word wrapping
132	disabled in the Options menu isn't enough. Thus, if your patch has very
133	long lines, you must make the composer window very wide before sending
134	the email. See: https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=174034
136	You can safely GPG sign attachments, but inlined text is preferred for
137	patches so do not GPG sign them.  Signing patches that have been inserted
138	as inlined text will make them tricky to extract from their 7-bit encoding.
140	If you absolutely must send patches as attachments instead of inlining
141	them as text, right click on the attachment and select properties, and
142	highlight "Suggest automatic display" to make the attachment inlined to
143	make it more viewable.
145	When saving patches that are sent as inlined text, select the email that
146	contains the patch from the message list pane, right click and select
147	"save as".  You can use the whole email unmodified as a patch if it was
148	properly composed.  There is no option currently to save the email when you
149	are actually viewing it in its own window -- there has been a request filed
150	at kmail's bugzilla and hopefully this will be addressed.  Emails are saved
151	as read-write for user only so you will have to chmod them to make them
152	group and world readable if you copy them elsewhere.
154	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
155	Lotus Notes (GUI)
157	Run away from it.
159	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
160	Mutt (TUI)
162	Plenty of Linux developers use mutt, so it must work pretty well.
164	Mutt doesn't come with an editor, so whatever editor you use should be
165	used in a way that there are no automatic linebreaks.  Most editors have
166	an "insert file" option that inserts the contents of a file unaltered.
168	To use 'vim' with mutt:
169	  set editor="vi"
171	  If using xclip, type the command
172	  :set paste
173	  before middle button or shift-insert or use
174	  :r filename
176	if you want to include the patch inline.
177	(a)ttach works fine without "set paste".
179	Config options:
180	It should work with default settings.
181	However, it's a good idea to set the "send_charset" to:
182	  set send_charset="us-ascii:utf-8"
184	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
185	Pine (TUI)
187	Pine has had some whitespace truncation issues in the past, but these
188	should all be fixed now.
190	Use alpine (pine's successor) if you can.
192	Config options:
193	- quell-flowed-text is needed for recent versions
194	- the "no-strip-whitespace-before-send" option is needed
197	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
198	Sylpheed (GUI)
200	- Works well for inlining text (or using attachments).
201	- Allows use of an external editor.
202	- Is slow on large folders.
203	- Won't do TLS SMTP auth over a non-SSL connection.
204	- Has a helpful ruler bar in the compose window.
205	- Adding addresses to address book doesn't understand the display name
206	  properly.
208	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
209	Thunderbird (GUI)
211	Thunderbird is an Outlook clone that likes to mangle text, but there are ways
212	to coerce it into behaving.
214	- Allow use of an external editor:
215	  The easiest thing to do with Thunderbird and patches is to use an
216	  "external editor" extension and then just use your favorite $EDITOR
217	  for reading/merging patches into the body text.  To do this, download
218	  and install the extension, then add a button for it using
219	  View->Toolbars->Customize... and finally just click on it when in the
220	  Compose dialog.
222	  Please note that "external editor" requires that your editor must not
223	  fork, or in other words, the editor must not return before closing. 
224	  You may have to pass additional flags or change the settings of your
225	  editor. Most notably if you are using gvim then you must pass the -f
226	  option to gvim by putting "/usr/bin/gvim -f" (if the binary is in
227	  /usr/bin) to the text editor field in "external editor" settings. If you
228	  are using some other editor then please read its manual to find out how
229	  to do this.
231	To beat some sense out of the internal editor, do this:
233	- Edit your Thunderbird config settings so that it won't use format=flowed.
234	  Go to "edit->preferences->advanced->config editor" to bring up the
235	  thunderbird's registry editor.
237	- Set "mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed" to "false"
239	- Set "mailnews.wraplength" from "72" to "0"
241	- "View" > "Message Body As" > "Plain Text"
243	- "View" > "Character Encoding" > "Unicode (UTF-8)"
245	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
246	TkRat (GUI)
248	Works.  Use "Insert file..." or external editor.
250	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
251	Gmail (Web GUI)
253	Does not work for sending patches.
255	Gmail web client converts tabs to spaces automatically.
257	At the same time it wraps lines every 78 chars with CRLF style line breaks
258	although tab2space problem can be solved with external editor.
260	Another problem is that Gmail will base64-encode any message that has a
261	non-ASCII character. That includes things like European names.
263	                                ###
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