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Documentation / email-clients.txt

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Based on kernel version 3.15.4. Page generated on 2014-07-07 09:02 EST.

1	Email clients info for Linux
2	======================================================================
4	General Preferences
5	----------------------------------------------------------------------
6	Patches for the Linux kernel are submitted via email, preferably as
7	inline text in the body of the email.  Some maintainers accept
8	attachments, but then the attachments should have content-type
9	"text/plain".  However, attachments are generally frowned upon because
10	it makes quoting portions of the patch more difficult in the patch
11	review process.
13	Email clients that are used for Linux kernel patches should send the
14	patch text untouched.  For example, they should not modify or delete tabs
15	or spaces, even at the beginning or end of lines.
17	Don't send patches with "format=flowed".  This can cause unexpected
18	and unwanted line breaks.
20	Don't let your email client do automatic word wrapping for you.
21	This can also corrupt your patch.
23	Email clients should not modify the character set encoding of the text.
24	Emailed patches should be in ASCII or UTF-8 encoding only.
25	If you configure your email client to send emails with UTF-8 encoding,
26	you avoid some possible charset problems.
28	Email clients should generate and maintain References: or In-Reply-To:
29	headers so that mail threading is not broken.
31	Copy-and-paste (or cut-and-paste) usually does not work for patches
32	because tabs are converted to spaces.  Using xclipboard, xclip, and/or
33	xcutsel may work, but it's best to test this for yourself or just avoid
34	copy-and-paste.
36	Don't use PGP/GPG signatures in mail that contains patches.
37	This breaks many scripts that read and apply the patches.
38	(This should be fixable.)
40	It's a good idea to send a patch to yourself, save the received message,
41	and successfully apply it with 'patch' before sending patches to Linux
42	mailing lists.
45	Some email client (MUA) hints
46	----------------------------------------------------------------------
47	Here are some specific MUA configuration hints for editing and sending
48	patches for the Linux kernel.  These are not meant to be complete
49	software package configuration summaries.
51	Legend:
52	TUI = text-based user interface
53	GUI = graphical user interface
55	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
56	Alpine (TUI)
58	Config options:
59	In the "Sending Preferences" section:
61	- "Do Not Send Flowed Text" must be enabled
62	- "Strip Whitespace Before Sending" must be disabled
64	When composing the message, the cursor should be placed where the patch
65	should appear, and then pressing CTRL-R let you specify the patch file
66	to insert into the message.
68	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
69	Evolution (GUI)
71	Some people use this successfully for patches.
73	When composing mail select: Preformat
74	  from Format->Heading->Preformatted (Ctrl-7)
75	  or the toolbar
77	Then use:
78	  Insert->Text File... (Alt-n x)
79	to insert the patch.
81	You can also "diff -Nru old.c new.c | xclip", select Preformat, then
82	paste with the middle button.
84	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
85	Kmail (GUI)
87	Some people use Kmail successfully for patches.
89	The default setting of not composing in HTML is appropriate; do not
90	enable it.
92	When composing an email, under options, uncheck "word wrap". The only
93	disadvantage is any text you type in the email will not be word-wrapped
94	so you will have to manually word wrap text before the patch. The easiest
95	way around this is to compose your email with word wrap enabled, then save
96	it as a draft. Once you pull it up again from your drafts it is now hard
97	word-wrapped and you can uncheck "word wrap" without losing the existing
98	wrapping.
100	At the bottom of your email, put the commonly-used patch delimiter before
101	inserting your patch:  three hyphens (---).
103	Then from the "Message" menu item, select insert file and choose your patch.
104	As an added bonus you can customise the message creation toolbar menu
105	and put the "insert file" icon there.
107	Make the composer window wide enough so that no lines wrap. As of
108	KMail 1.13.5 (KDE 4.5.4), KMail will apply word wrapping when sending
109	the email if the lines wrap in the composer window. Having word wrapping
110	disabled in the Options menu isn't enough. Thus, if your patch has very
111	long lines, you must make the composer window very wide before sending
112	the email. See: https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=174034
114	You can safely GPG sign attachments, but inlined text is preferred for
115	patches so do not GPG sign them.  Signing patches that have been inserted
116	as inlined text will make them tricky to extract from their 7-bit encoding.
118	If you absolutely must send patches as attachments instead of inlining
119	them as text, right click on the attachment and select properties, and
120	highlight "Suggest automatic display" to make the attachment inlined to
121	make it more viewable.
123	When saving patches that are sent as inlined text, select the email that
124	contains 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
126	properly composed.  There is no option currently to save the email when you
127	are actually viewing it in its own window -- there has been a request filed
128	at kmail's bugzilla and hopefully this will be addressed.  Emails are saved
129	as read-write for user only so you will have to chmod them to make them
130	group and world readable if you copy them elsewhere.
132	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
133	Lotus Notes (GUI)
135	Run away from it.
137	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
138	Mutt (TUI)
140	Plenty of Linux developers use mutt, so it must work pretty well.
142	Mutt doesn't come with an editor, so whatever editor you use should be
143	used in a way that there are no automatic linebreaks.  Most editors have
144	an "insert file" option that inserts the contents of a file unaltered.
146	To use 'vim' with mutt:
147	  set editor="vi"
149	  If using xclip, type the command
150	  :set paste
151	  before middle button or shift-insert or use
152	  :r filename
154	if you want to include the patch inline.
155	(a)ttach works fine without "set paste".
157	Config options:
158	It should work with default settings.
159	However, it's a good idea to set the "send_charset" to:
160	  set send_charset="us-ascii:utf-8"
162	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
163	Pine (TUI)
165	Pine has had some whitespace truncation issues in the past, but these
166	should all be fixed now.
168	Use alpine (pine's successor) if you can.
170	Config options:
171	- quell-flowed-text is needed for recent versions
172	- the "no-strip-whitespace-before-send" option is needed
175	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
176	Sylpheed (GUI)
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.
186	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
187	Thunderbird (GUI)
189	Thunderbird is an Outlook clone that likes to mangle text, but there are ways
190	to coerce it into behaving.
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.
200	To beat some sense out of the internal editor, do this:
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.
206	- Set "mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed" to "false"
208	- Set "mailnews.wraplength" from "72" to "0"
210	- "View" > "Message Body As" > "Plain Text"
212	- "View" > "Character Encoding" > "Unicode (UTF-8)"
214	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
215	TkRat (GUI)
217	Works.  Use "Insert file..." or external editor.
219	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
220	Gmail (Web GUI)
222	Does not work for sending patches.
224	Gmail web client converts tabs to spaces automatically.
226	At the same time it wraps lines every 78 chars with CRLF style line breaks
227	although tab2space problem can be solved with external editor.
229	Another problem is that Gmail will base64-encode any message that has a
230	non-ASCII character. That includes things like European names.
232	                                ###
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