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Documentation / email-clients.txt

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Based on kernel version 3.16. Page generated on 2014-08-06 21:39 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	Evolution (GUI)
82	Some people use this successfully for patches.
84	When composing mail select: Preformat
85	  from Format->Heading->Preformatted (Ctrl-7)
86	  or the toolbar
88	Then use:
89	  Insert->Text File... (Alt-n x)
90	to insert the patch.
92	You can also "diff -Nru old.c new.c | xclip", select Preformat, then
93	paste with the middle button.
95	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
96	Kmail (GUI)
98	Some people use Kmail successfully for patches.
100	The default setting of not composing in HTML is appropriate; do not
101	enable it.
103	When composing an email, under options, uncheck "word wrap". The only
104	disadvantage is any text you type in the email will not be word-wrapped
105	so you will have to manually word wrap text before the patch. The easiest
106	way around this is to compose your email with word wrap enabled, then save
107	it as a draft. Once you pull it up again from your drafts it is now hard
108	word-wrapped and you can uncheck "word wrap" without losing the existing
109	wrapping.
111	At the bottom of your email, put the commonly-used patch delimiter before
112	inserting your patch:  three hyphens (---).
114	Then from the "Message" menu item, select insert file and choose your patch.
115	As an added bonus you can customise the message creation toolbar menu
116	and put the "insert file" icon there.
118	Make the composer window wide enough so that no lines wrap. As of
119	KMail 1.13.5 (KDE 4.5.4), KMail will apply word wrapping when sending
120	the email if the lines wrap in the composer window. Having word wrapping
121	disabled in the Options menu isn't enough. Thus, if your patch has very
122	long lines, you must make the composer window very wide before sending
123	the email. See: https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=174034
125	You can safely GPG sign attachments, but inlined text is preferred for
126	patches so do not GPG sign them.  Signing patches that have been inserted
127	as inlined text will make them tricky to extract from their 7-bit encoding.
129	If you absolutely must send patches as attachments instead of inlining
130	them as text, right click on the attachment and select properties, and
131	highlight "Suggest automatic display" to make the attachment inlined to
132	make it more viewable.
134	When saving patches that are sent as inlined text, select the email that
135	contains 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
137	properly composed.  There is no option currently to save the email when you
138	are actually viewing it in its own window -- there has been a request filed
139	at kmail's bugzilla and hopefully this will be addressed.  Emails are saved
140	as read-write for user only so you will have to chmod them to make them
141	group and world readable if you copy them elsewhere.
143	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
144	Lotus Notes (GUI)
146	Run away from it.
148	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
149	Mutt (TUI)
151	Plenty of Linux developers use mutt, so it must work pretty well.
153	Mutt doesn't come with an editor, so whatever editor you use should be
154	used in a way that there are no automatic linebreaks.  Most editors have
155	an "insert file" option that inserts the contents of a file unaltered.
157	To use 'vim' with mutt:
158	  set editor="vi"
160	  If using xclip, type the command
161	  :set paste
162	  before middle button or shift-insert or use
163	  :r filename
165	if you want to include the patch inline.
166	(a)ttach works fine without "set paste".
168	Config options:
169	It should work with default settings.
170	However, it's a good idea to set the "send_charset" to:
171	  set send_charset="us-ascii:utf-8"
173	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
174	Pine (TUI)
176	Pine has had some whitespace truncation issues in the past, but these
177	should all be fixed now.
179	Use alpine (pine's successor) if you can.
181	Config options:
182	- quell-flowed-text is needed for recent versions
183	- the "no-strip-whitespace-before-send" option is needed
186	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
187	Sylpheed (GUI)
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.
197	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
198	Thunderbird (GUI)
200	Thunderbird is an Outlook clone that likes to mangle text, but there are ways
201	to coerce it into behaving.
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.
211	To beat some sense out of the internal editor, do this:
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.
217	- Set "mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed" to "false"
219	- Set "mailnews.wraplength" from "72" to "0"
221	- "View" > "Message Body As" > "Plain Text"
223	- "View" > "Character Encoding" > "Unicode (UTF-8)"
225	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
226	TkRat (GUI)
228	Works.  Use "Insert file..." or external editor.
230	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
231	Gmail (Web GUI)
233	Does not work for sending patches.
235	Gmail web client converts tabs to spaces automatically.
237	At the same time it wraps lines every 78 chars with CRLF style line breaks
238	although tab2space problem can be solved with external editor.
240	Another problem is that Gmail will base64-encode any message that has a
241	non-ASCII character. That includes things like European names.
243	                                ###
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