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Linux/Documentation/email-clients.txt

  1 .. _email_clients:
  2 
  3 Email clients info for Linux
  4 ============================
  5 
  6 Git
  7 ---
  8 
  9 These days most developers use ``git send-email`` instead of regular
 10 email clients.  The man page for this is quite good.  On the receiving
 11 end, maintainers use ``git am`` to apply the patches.
 12 
 13 If you are new to ``git`` then send your first patch to yourself.  Save it
 14 as raw text including all the headers.  Run ``git am raw_email.txt`` and
 15 then review the changelog with ``git log``.  When that works then send
 16 the patch to the appropriate mailing list(s).
 17 
 18 General Preferences
 19 -------------------
 20 
 21 Patches for the Linux kernel are submitted via email, preferably as
 22 inline text in the body of the email.  Some maintainers accept
 23 attachments, but then the attachments should have content-type
 24 ``text/plain``.  However, attachments are generally frowned upon because
 25 it makes quoting portions of the patch more difficult in the patch
 26 review process.
 27 
 28 Email clients that are used for Linux kernel patches should send the
 29 patch text untouched.  For example, they should not modify or delete tabs
 30 or spaces, even at the beginning or end of lines.
 31 
 32 Don't send patches with ``format=flowed``.  This can cause unexpected
 33 and unwanted line breaks.
 34 
 35 Don't let your email client do automatic word wrapping for you.
 36 This can also corrupt your patch.
 37 
 38 Email clients should not modify the character set encoding of the text.
 39 Emailed patches should be in ASCII or UTF-8 encoding only.
 40 If you configure your email client to send emails with UTF-8 encoding,
 41 you avoid some possible charset problems.
 42 
 43 Email clients should generate and maintain References: or In-Reply-To:
 44 headers so that mail threading is not broken.
 45 
 46 Copy-and-paste (or cut-and-paste) usually does not work for patches
 47 because tabs are converted to spaces.  Using xclipboard, xclip, and/or
 48 xcutsel may work, but it's best to test this for yourself or just avoid
 49 copy-and-paste.
 50 
 51 Don't use PGP/GPG signatures in mail that contains patches.
 52 This breaks many scripts that read and apply the patches.
 53 (This should be fixable.)
 54 
 55 It's a good idea to send a patch to yourself, save the received message,
 56 and successfully apply it with 'patch' before sending patches to Linux
 57 mailing lists.
 58 
 59 
 60 Some email client (MUA) hints
 61 -----------------------------
 62 
 63 Here are some specific MUA configuration hints for editing and sending
 64 patches for the Linux kernel.  These are not meant to be complete
 65 software package configuration summaries.
 66 
 67 
 68 Legend:
 69 
 70 - TUI = text-based user interface
 71 - GUI = graphical user interface
 72 
 73 Alpine (TUI)
 74 ************
 75 
 76 Config options:
 77 
 78 In the :menuselection:`Sending Preferences` section:
 79 
 80 - :menuselection:`Do Not Send Flowed Text` must be ``enabled``
 81 - :menuselection:`Strip Whitespace Before Sending` must be ``disabled``
 82 
 83 When composing the message, the cursor should be placed where the patch
 84 should appear, and then pressing :kbd:`CTRL-R` let you specify the patch file
 85 to insert into the message.
 86 
 87 Claws Mail (GUI)
 88 ****************
 89 
 90 Works. Some people use this successfully for patches.
 91 
 92 To insert a patch use :menuselection:`Message-->Insert` File (:kbd:`CTRL-I`)
 93 or an external editor.
 94 
 95 If the inserted patch has to be edited in the Claws composition window
 96 "Auto wrapping" in
 97 :menuselection:`Configuration-->Preferences-->Compose-->Wrapping` should be
 98 disabled.
 99 
100 Evolution (GUI)
101 ***************
102 
103 Some people use this successfully for patches.
104 
105 When composing mail select: Preformat
106   from :menuselection:`Format-->Paragraph Style-->Preformatted` (:kbd:`CTRL-7`)
107   or the toolbar
108 
109 Then use:
110 :menuselection:`Insert-->Text File...` (:kbd:`ALT-N x`)
111 to insert the patch.
112 
113 You can also ``diff -Nru old.c new.c | xclip``, select
114 :menuselection:`Preformat`, then paste with the middle button.
115 
116 Kmail (GUI)
117 ***********
118 
119 Some people use Kmail successfully for patches.
120 
121 The default setting of not composing in HTML is appropriate; do not
122 enable it.
123 
124 When composing an email, under options, uncheck "word wrap". The only
125 disadvantage is any text you type in the email will not be word-wrapped
126 so you will have to manually word wrap text before the patch. The easiest
127 way around this is to compose your email with word wrap enabled, then save
128 it as a draft. Once you pull it up again from your drafts it is now hard
129 word-wrapped and you can uncheck "word wrap" without losing the existing
130 wrapping.
131 
132 At the bottom of your email, put the commonly-used patch delimiter before
133 inserting your patch:  three hyphens (``---``).
134 
135 Then from the :menuselection:`Message` menu item, select insert file and
136 choose your patch.
137 As an added bonus you can customise the message creation toolbar menu
138 and put the :menuselection:`insert file` icon there.
139 
140 Make the composer window wide enough so that no lines wrap. As of
141 KMail 1.13.5 (KDE 4.5.4), KMail will apply word wrapping when sending
142 the email if the lines wrap in the composer window. Having word wrapping
143 disabled in the Options menu isn't enough. Thus, if your patch has very
144 long lines, you must make the composer window very wide before sending
145 the email. See: https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=174034
146 
147 You can safely GPG sign attachments, but inlined text is preferred for
148 patches so do not GPG sign them.  Signing patches that have been inserted
149 as inlined text will make them tricky to extract from their 7-bit encoding.
150 
151 If you absolutely must send patches as attachments instead of inlining
152 them as text, right click on the attachment and select properties, and
153 highlight :menuselection:`Suggest automatic display` to make the attachment
154 inlined to make it more viewable.
155 
156 When saving patches that are sent as inlined text, select the email that
157 contains the patch from the message list pane, right click and select
158 :menuselection:`save as`.  You can use the whole email unmodified as a patch
159 if it was properly composed.  There is no option currently to save the email
160 when you are actually viewing it in its own window -- there has been a request
161 filed at kmail's bugzilla and hopefully this will be addressed.  Emails are
162 saved as read-write for user only so you will have to chmod them to make them
163 group and world readable if you copy them elsewhere.
164 
165 Lotus Notes (GUI)
166 *****************
167 
168 Run away from it.
169 
170 Mutt (TUI)
171 **********
172 
173 Plenty of Linux developers use ``mutt``, so it must work pretty well.
174 
175 Mutt doesn't come with an editor, so whatever editor you use should be
176 used in a way that there are no automatic linebreaks.  Most editors have
177 an :menuselection:`insert file` option that inserts the contents of a file
178 unaltered.
179 
180 To use ``vim`` with mutt::
181 
182   set editor="vi"
183 
184 If using xclip, type the command::
185 
186   :set paste
187 
188 before middle button or shift-insert or use::
189 
190   :r filename
191 
192 if you want to include the patch inline.
193 (a)ttach works fine without ``set paste``.
194 
195 You can also generate patches with ``git format-patch`` and then use Mutt
196 to send them::
197 
198     $ mutt -H 0001-some-bug-fix.patch
199 
200 Config options:
201 
202 It should work with default settings.
203 However, it's a good idea to set the ``send_charset`` to::
204 
205   set send_charset="us-ascii:utf-8"
206 
207 Mutt is highly customizable. Here is a minimum configuration to start
208 using Mutt to send patches through Gmail::
209 
210   # .muttrc
211   # ================  IMAP ====================
212   set imap_user = 'yourusername@gmail.com'
213   set imap_pass = 'yourpassword'
214   set spoolfile = imaps://imap.gmail.com/INBOX
215   set folder = imaps://imap.gmail.com/
216   set record="imaps://imap.gmail.com/[Gmail]/Sent Mail"
217   set postponed="imaps://imap.gmail.com/[Gmail]/Drafts"
218   set mbox="imaps://imap.gmail.com/[Gmail]/All Mail"
219 
220   # ================  SMTP  ====================
221   set smtp_url = "smtp://username@smtp.gmail.com:587/"
222   set smtp_pass = $imap_pass
223   set ssl_force_tls = yes # Require encrypted connection
224 
225   # ================  Composition  ====================
226   set editor = `echo \$EDITOR`
227   set edit_headers = yes  # See the headers when editing
228   set charset = UTF-8     # value of $LANG; also fallback for send_charset
229   # Sender, email address, and sign-off line must match
230   unset use_domain        # because joe@localhost is just embarrassing
231   set realname = "YOUR NAME"
232   set from = "username@gmail.com"
233   set use_from = yes
234 
235 The Mutt docs have lots more information:
236 
237     http://dev.mutt.org/trac/wiki/UseCases/Gmail
238 
239     http://dev.mutt.org/doc/manual.html
240 
241 Pine (TUI)
242 **********
243 
244 Pine has had some whitespace truncation issues in the past, but these
245 should all be fixed now.
246 
247 Use alpine (pine's successor) if you can.
248 
249 Config options:
250 
251 - ``quell-flowed-text`` is needed for recent versions
252 - the ``no-strip-whitespace-before-send`` option is needed
253 
254 
255 Sylpheed (GUI)
256 **************
257 
258 - Works well for inlining text (or using attachments).
259 - Allows use of an external editor.
260 - Is slow on large folders.
261 - Won't do TLS SMTP auth over a non-SSL connection.
262 - Has a helpful ruler bar in the compose window.
263 - Adding addresses to address book doesn't understand the display name
264   properly.
265 
266 Thunderbird (GUI)
267 *****************
268 
269 Thunderbird is an Outlook clone that likes to mangle text, but there are ways
270 to coerce it into behaving.
271 
272 - Allow use of an external editor:
273   The easiest thing to do with Thunderbird and patches is to use an
274   "external editor" extension and then just use your favorite ``$EDITOR``
275   for reading/merging patches into the body text.  To do this, download
276   and install the extension, then add a button for it using
277   :menuselection:`View-->Toolbars-->Customize...` and finally just click on it
278   when in the :menuselection:`Compose` dialog.
279 
280   Please note that "external editor" requires that your editor must not
281   fork, or in other words, the editor must not return before closing.
282   You may have to pass additional flags or change the settings of your
283   editor. Most notably if you are using gvim then you must pass the -f
284   option to gvim by putting ``/usr/bin/gvim -f`` (if the binary is in
285   ``/usr/bin``) to the text editor field in :menuselection:`external editor`
286   settings. If you are using some other editor then please read its manual
287   to find out how to do this.
288 
289 To beat some sense out of the internal editor, do this:
290 
291 - Edit your Thunderbird config settings so that it won't use ``format=flowed``.
292   Go to :menuselection:`edit-->preferences-->advanced-->config editor` to bring up
293   the thunderbird's registry editor.
294 
295 - Set ``mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed`` to ``false``
296 
297 - Set ``mailnews.wraplength`` from ``72`` to ``0``
298 
299 - :menuselection:`View-->Message Body As-->Plain Text`
300 
301 - :menuselection:`View-->Character Encoding-->Unicode (UTF-8)`
302 
303 TkRat (GUI)
304 ***********
305 
306 Works.  Use "Insert file..." or external editor.
307 
308 Gmail (Web GUI)
309 ***************
310 
311 Does not work for sending patches.
312 
313 Gmail web client converts tabs to spaces automatically.
314 
315 At the same time it wraps lines every 78 chars with CRLF style line breaks
316 although tab2space problem can be solved with external editor.
317 
318 Another problem is that Gmail will base64-encode any message that has a
319 non-ASCII character. That includes things like European names.

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