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Linux/Documentation/email-clients.txt

  1 Email clients info for Linux
  2 ======================================================================
  3 
  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.
  9 
 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).
 14 
 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.
 23 
 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.
 27 
 28 Don't send patches with "format=flowed".  This can cause unexpected
 29 and unwanted line breaks.
 30 
 31 Don't let your email client do automatic word wrapping for you.
 32 This can also corrupt your patch.
 33 
 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.
 38 
 39 Email clients should generate and maintain References: or In-Reply-To:
 40 headers so that mail threading is not broken.
 41 
 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.
 46 
 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.)
 50 
 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.
 54 
 55 
 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.
 61 
 62 Legend:
 63 TUI = text-based user interface
 64 GUI = graphical user interface
 65 
 66 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 67 Alpine (TUI)
 68 
 69 Config options:
 70 In the "Sending Preferences" section:
 71 
 72 - "Do Not Send Flowed Text" must be enabled
 73 - "Strip Whitespace Before Sending" must be disabled
 74 
 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.
 78 
 79 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 80 Claws Mail (GUI)
 81 
 82 Works. Some people use this successfully for patches.
 83 
 84 To insert a patch use Message->Insert File (CTRL+i) or an external editor.
 85 
 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.
 89 
 90 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 91 Evolution (GUI)
 92 
 93 Some people use this successfully for patches.
 94 
 95 When composing mail select: Preformat
 96   from Format->Paragraph Style->Preformatted (Ctrl-7)
 97   or the toolbar
 98 
 99 Then use:
100   Insert->Text File... (Alt-n x)
101 to insert the patch.
102 
103 You can also "diff -Nru old.c new.c | xclip", select Preformat, then
104 paste with the middle button.
105 
106 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
107 Kmail (GUI)
108 
109 Some people use Kmail successfully for patches.
110 
111 The default setting of not composing in HTML is appropriate; do not
112 enable it.
113 
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.
121 
122 At the bottom of your email, put the commonly-used patch delimiter before
123 inserting your patch:  three hyphens (---).
124 
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.
128 
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
135 
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.
139 
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.
144 
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.
153 
154 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
155 Lotus Notes (GUI)
156 
157 Run away from it.
158 
159 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
160 Mutt (TUI)
161 
162 Plenty of Linux developers use mutt, so it must work pretty well.
163 
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.
167 
168 To use 'vim' with mutt:
169   set editor="vi"
170 
171   If using xclip, type the command
172   :set paste
173   before middle button or shift-insert or use
174   :r filename
175 
176 if you want to include the patch inline.
177 (a)ttach works fine without "set paste".
178 
179 You can also generate patches with 'git format-patch' and then use Mutt
180 to send them:
181     $ mutt -H 0001-some-bug-fix.patch
182 
183 Config options:
184 It should work with default settings.
185 However, it's a good idea to set the "send_charset" to:
186   set send_charset="us-ascii:utf-8"
187 
188 Mutt is highly customizable. Here is a minimum configuration to start
189 using Mutt to send patches through Gmail:
190 
191 # .muttrc
192 # ================  IMAP ====================
193 set imap_user = 'yourusername@gmail.com'
194 set imap_pass = 'yourpassword'
195 set spoolfile = imaps://imap.gmail.com/INBOX
196 set folder = imaps://imap.gmail.com/
197 set record="imaps://imap.gmail.com/[Gmail]/Sent Mail"
198 set postponed="imaps://imap.gmail.com/[Gmail]/Drafts"
199 set mbox="imaps://imap.gmail.com/[Gmail]/All Mail"
200 
201 # ================  SMTP  ====================
202 set smtp_url = "smtp://username@smtp.gmail.com:587/"
203 set smtp_pass = $imap_pass
204 set ssl_force_tls = yes # Require encrypted connection
205 
206 # ================  Composition  ====================
207 set editor = `echo \$EDITOR`
208 set edit_headers = yes  # See the headers when editing
209 set charset = UTF-8     # value of $LANG; also fallback for send_charset
210 # Sender, email address, and sign-off line must match
211 unset use_domain        # because joe@localhost is just embarrassing
212 set realname = "YOUR NAME"
213 set from = "username@gmail.com"
214 set use_from = yes
215 
216 The Mutt docs have lots more information:
217     http://dev.mutt.org/trac/wiki/UseCases/Gmail
218     http://dev.mutt.org/doc/manual.html
219 
220 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
221 Pine (TUI)
222 
223 Pine has had some whitespace truncation issues in the past, but these
224 should all be fixed now.
225 
226 Use alpine (pine's successor) if you can.
227 
228 Config options:
229 - quell-flowed-text is needed for recent versions
230 - the "no-strip-whitespace-before-send" option is needed
231 
232 
233 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
234 Sylpheed (GUI)
235 
236 - Works well for inlining text (or using attachments).
237 - Allows use of an external editor.
238 - Is slow on large folders.
239 - Won't do TLS SMTP auth over a non-SSL connection.
240 - Has a helpful ruler bar in the compose window.
241 - Adding addresses to address book doesn't understand the display name
242   properly.
243 
244 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
245 Thunderbird (GUI)
246 
247 Thunderbird is an Outlook clone that likes to mangle text, but there are ways
248 to coerce it into behaving.
249 
250 - Allow use of an external editor:
251   The easiest thing to do with Thunderbird and patches is to use an
252   "external editor" extension and then just use your favorite $EDITOR
253   for reading/merging patches into the body text.  To do this, download
254   and install the extension, then add a button for it using
255   View->Toolbars->Customize... and finally just click on it when in the
256   Compose dialog.
257 
258   Please note that "external editor" requires that your editor must not
259   fork, or in other words, the editor must not return before closing.
260   You may have to pass additional flags or change the settings of your
261   editor. Most notably if you are using gvim then you must pass the -f
262   option to gvim by putting "/usr/bin/gvim -f" (if the binary is in
263   /usr/bin) to the text editor field in "external editor" settings. If you
264   are using some other editor then please read its manual to find out how
265   to do this.
266 
267 To beat some sense out of the internal editor, do this:
268 
269 - Edit your Thunderbird config settings so that it won't use format=flowed.
270   Go to "edit->preferences->advanced->config editor" to bring up the
271   thunderbird's registry editor.
272 
273 - Set "mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed" to "false"
274 
275 - Set "mailnews.wraplength" from "72" to "0"
276 
277 - "View" > "Message Body As" > "Plain Text"
278 
279 - "View" > "Character Encoding" > "Unicode (UTF-8)"
280 
281 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
282 TkRat (GUI)
283 
284 Works.  Use "Insert file..." or external editor.
285 
286 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
287 Gmail (Web GUI)
288 
289 Does not work for sending patches.
290 
291 Gmail web client converts tabs to spaces automatically.
292 
293 At the same time it wraps lines every 78 chars with CRLF style line breaks
294 although tab2space problem can be solved with external editor.
295 
296 Another problem is that Gmail will base64-encode any message that has a
297 non-ASCII character. That includes things like European names.
298 
299                                 ###

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