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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->Heading->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 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"
183 
184 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
185 Pine (TUI)
186 
187 Pine has had some whitespace truncation issues in the past, but these
188 should all be fixed now.
189 
190 Use alpine (pine's successor) if you can.
191 
192 Config options:
193 - quell-flowed-text is needed for recent versions
194 - the "no-strip-whitespace-before-send" option is needed
195 
196 
197 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
198 Sylpheed (GUI)
199 
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.
207 
208 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
209 Thunderbird (GUI)
210 
211 Thunderbird is an Outlook clone that likes to mangle text, but there are ways
212 to coerce it into behaving.
213 
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.
221 
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.
230 
231 To beat some sense out of the internal editor, do this:
232 
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.
236 
237 - Set "mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed" to "false"
238 
239 - Set "mailnews.wraplength" from "72" to "0"
240 
241 - "View" > "Message Body As" > "Plain Text"
242 
243 - "View" > "Character Encoding" > "Unicode (UTF-8)"
244 
245 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
246 TkRat (GUI)
247 
248 Works.  Use "Insert file..." or external editor.
249 
250 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
251 Gmail (Web GUI)
252 
253 Does not work for sending patches.
254 
255 Gmail web client converts tabs to spaces automatically.
256 
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.
259 
260 Another problem is that Gmail will base64-encode any message that has a
261 non-ASCII character. That includes things like European names.
262 
263                                 ###

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