linux/Documentation/email-clients.txt
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   2
   3Email clients info for Linux
   4============================
   5
   6Git
   7---
   8
   9These days most developers use ``git send-email`` instead of regular
  10email clients.  The man page for this is quite good.  On the receiving
  11end, maintainers use ``git am`` to apply the patches.
  12
  13If you are new to ``git`` then send your first patch to yourself.  Save it
  14as raw text including all the headers.  Run ``git am raw_email.txt`` and
  15then review the changelog with ``git log``.  When that works then send
  16the patch to the appropriate mailing list(s).
  17
  18General Preferences
  19-------------------
  20
  21Patches for the Linux kernel are submitted via email, preferably as
  22inline text in the body of the email.  Some maintainers accept
  23attachments, but then the attachments should have content-type
  24``text/plain``.  However, attachments are generally frowned upon because
  25it makes quoting portions of the patch more difficult in the patch
  26review process.
  27
  28Email clients that are used for Linux kernel patches should send the
  29patch text untouched.  For example, they should not modify or delete tabs
  30or spaces, even at the beginning or end of lines.
  31
  32Don't send patches with ``format=flowed``.  This can cause unexpected
  33and unwanted line breaks.
  34
  35Don't let your email client do automatic word wrapping for you.
  36This can also corrupt your patch.
  37
  38Email clients should not modify the character set encoding of the text.
  39Emailed patches should be in ASCII or UTF-8 encoding only.
  40If you configure your email client to send emails with UTF-8 encoding,
  41you avoid some possible charset problems.
  42
  43Email clients should generate and maintain References: or In-Reply-To:
  44headers so that mail threading is not broken.
  45
  46Copy-and-paste (or cut-and-paste) usually does not work for patches
  47because tabs are converted to spaces.  Using xclipboard, xclip, and/or
  48xcutsel may work, but it's best to test this for yourself or just avoid
  49copy-and-paste.
  50
  51Don't use PGP/GPG signatures in mail that contains patches.
  52This breaks many scripts that read and apply the patches.
  53(This should be fixable.)
  54
  55It's a good idea to send a patch to yourself, save the received message,
  56and successfully apply it with 'patch' before sending patches to Linux
  57mailing lists.
  58
  59
  60Some email client (MUA) hints
  61-----------------------------
  62
  63Here are some specific MUA configuration hints for editing and sending
  64patches for the Linux kernel.  These are not meant to be complete
  65software package configuration summaries.
  66
  67
  68Legend:
  69
  70- TUI = text-based user interface
  71- GUI = graphical user interface
  72
  73Alpine (TUI)
  74************
  75
  76Config options:
  77
  78In 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
  83When composing the message, the cursor should be placed where the patch
  84should appear, and then pressing :kbd:`CTRL-R` let you specify the patch file
  85to insert into the message.
  86
  87Claws Mail (GUI)
  88****************
  89
  90Works. Some people use this successfully for patches.
  91
  92To insert a patch use :menuselection:`Message-->Insert` File (:kbd:`CTRL-I`)
  93or an external editor.
  94
  95If the inserted patch has to be edited in the Claws composition window
  96"Auto wrapping" in
  97:menuselection:`Configuration-->Preferences-->Compose-->Wrapping` should be
  98disabled.
  99
 100Evolution (GUI)
 101***************
 102
 103Some people use this successfully for patches.
 104
 105When composing mail select: Preformat
 106  from :menuselection:`Format-->Paragraph Style-->Preformatted` (:kbd:`CTRL-7`)
 107  or the toolbar
 108
 109Then use:
 110:menuselection:`Insert-->Text File...` (:kbd:`ALT-N x`)
 111to insert the patch.
 112
 113You can also ``diff -Nru old.c new.c | xclip``, select
 114:menuselection:`Preformat`, then paste with the middle button.
 115
 116Kmail (GUI)
 117***********
 118
 119Some people use Kmail successfully for patches.
 120
 121The default setting of not composing in HTML is appropriate; do not
 122enable it.
 123
 124When composing an email, under options, uncheck "word wrap". The only
 125disadvantage is any text you type in the email will not be word-wrapped
 126so you will have to manually word wrap text before the patch. The easiest
 127way around this is to compose your email with word wrap enabled, then save
 128it as a draft. Once you pull it up again from your drafts it is now hard
 129word-wrapped and you can uncheck "word wrap" without losing the existing
 130wrapping.
 131
 132At the bottom of your email, put the commonly-used patch delimiter before
 133inserting your patch:  three hyphens (``---``).
 134
 135Then from the :menuselection:`Message` menu item, select insert file and
 136choose your patch.
 137As an added bonus you can customise the message creation toolbar menu
 138and put the :menuselection:`insert file` icon there.
 139
 140Make the composer window wide enough so that no lines wrap. As of
 141KMail 1.13.5 (KDE 4.5.4), KMail will apply word wrapping when sending
 142the email if the lines wrap in the composer window. Having word wrapping
 143disabled in the Options menu isn't enough. Thus, if your patch has very
 144long lines, you must make the composer window very wide before sending
 145the email. See: https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=174034
 146
 147You can safely GPG sign attachments, but inlined text is preferred for
 148patches so do not GPG sign them.  Signing patches that have been inserted
 149as inlined text will make them tricky to extract from their 7-bit encoding.
 150
 151If you absolutely must send patches as attachments instead of inlining
 152them as text, right click on the attachment and select properties, and
 153highlight :menuselection:`Suggest automatic display` to make the attachment
 154inlined to make it more viewable.
 155
 156When saving patches that are sent as inlined text, select the email that
 157contains 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
 159if it was properly composed.  There is no option currently to save the email
 160when you are actually viewing it in its own window -- there has been a request
 161filed at kmail's bugzilla and hopefully this will be addressed.  Emails are
 162saved as read-write for user only so you will have to chmod them to make them
 163group and world readable if you copy them elsewhere.
 164
 165Lotus Notes (GUI)
 166*****************
 167
 168Run away from it.
 169
 170Mutt (TUI)
 171**********
 172
 173Plenty of Linux developers use ``mutt``, so it must work pretty well.
 174
 175Mutt doesn't come with an editor, so whatever editor you use should be
 176used in a way that there are no automatic linebreaks.  Most editors have
 177an :menuselection:`insert file` option that inserts the contents of a file
 178unaltered.
 179
 180To use ``vim`` with mutt::
 181
 182  set editor="vi"
 183
 184If using xclip, type the command::
 185
 186  :set paste
 187
 188before middle button or shift-insert or use::
 189
 190  :r filename
 191
 192if you want to include the patch inline.
 193(a)ttach works fine without ``set paste``.
 194
 195You can also generate patches with ``git format-patch`` and then use Mutt
 196to send them::
 197
 198    $ mutt -H 0001-some-bug-fix.patch
 199
 200Config options:
 201
 202It should work with default settings.
 203However, it's a good idea to set the ``send_charset`` to::
 204
 205  set send_charset="us-ascii:utf-8"
 206
 207Mutt is highly customizable. Here is a minimum configuration to start
 208using 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 $LANG; also fallback for send_charset
 229  # Sender, email address, and sign-off line must match
 230  unset use_domain        # because joe@localhost is just embarrassing
 231  set realname = "YOUR NAME"
 232  set from = "username@gmail.com"
 233  set use_from = yes
 234
 235The Mutt docs have lots more information:
 236
 237    http://dev.mutt.org/trac/wiki/UseCases/Gmail
 238
 239    http://dev.mutt.org/doc/manual.html
 240
 241Pine (TUI)
 242**********
 243
 244Pine has had some whitespace truncation issues in the past, but these
 245should all be fixed now.
 246
 247Use alpine (pine's successor) if you can.
 248
 249Config options:
 250
 251- ``quell-flowed-text`` is needed for recent versions
 252- the ``no-strip-whitespace-before-send`` option is needed
 253
 254
 255Sylpheed (GUI)
 256**************
 257
 258- Works well for inlining text (or using attachments).
 259- Allows use of an external editor.
 260- Is slow on large folders.
 261- Won't do TLS SMTP auth over a non-SSL connection.
 262- Has a helpful ruler bar in the compose window.
 263- Adding addresses to address book doesn't understand the display name
 264  properly.
 265
 266Thunderbird (GUI)
 267*****************
 268
 269Thunderbird is an Outlook clone that likes to mangle text, but there are ways
 270to coerce it into behaving.
 271
 272- Allow use of an external editor:
 273  The easiest thing to do with Thunderbird and patches is to use an
 274  "external editor" extension and then just use your favorite ``$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
 289To 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
 303TkRat (GUI)
 304***********
 305
 306Works.  Use "Insert file..." or external editor.
 307
 308Gmail (Web GUI)
 309***************
 310
 311Does not work for sending patches.
 312
 313Gmail web client converts tabs to spaces automatically.
 314
 315At the same time it wraps lines every 78 chars with CRLF style line breaks
 316although tab2space problem can be solved with external editor.
 317
 318Another problem is that Gmail will base64-encode any message that has a
 319non-ASCII character. That includes things like European names.
 320