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Linux 2.6 - man page for update-mime (linux section 8)

UPDATE-MIME(8)			       Update MIME Programs			   UPDATE-MIME(8)

       update-mime - create or update MIME information

       update-mime [no parameters]

       update-mime  updates the /etc/mailcap file to reflect mime information changed by a Debian
       package during installation or removal.

       --local Generate files in the current user's home directory instead of /etc.  This  allows
       users  to create a custom ordering configuration and get a complete ~/.mailcap file out of

       The order of entries in the /etc/mailcap file can be altered  by  editing  the  /etc/mail-
       cap.order file.	Please see the mailcap.order(5) man page for more information.

       To  create  entries  in	the  mailcap  file,  packages  need  to  create  a  file  in  the
       /usr/lib/mime/packages directory.  In this file goes the verbatim desired mailcap entries.
       In  addition  to  the standard mailcap options (described below) is a new priority option.
       Specifying this will provide for simple ranking of programs within a given mime type.   An
       animation  viewer,  for	example,  may  be  able to display a static picture, but probably
       wouldn't be the best choice and so would give an  option  like  "priority=2".   Priorities
       range  from  0  to  9,  with  0 being the lowest and 9 being the highest.  If the priority
       option is omitted, a value of 5 is used.

       The following are standard options that can be specified in the	mailcap  entry.   Options
       are  separated  by semicolons (;) but must all be on the same line.  Each line should look

	 mime/type; viewer; option; another=val; etc; priority=5

       Mime types of the form "class/*" and even "*/*" are now acceptable (they  were  previously
       disallowed).   When  using "class/*", it is probably a good idea to add a "priority=[1-4]"
       option so specific rules using the default priority  will  get  chosen  first.	If  using
       "*/*",  though,	you  probably want to add a "priority=0" option to make that rule a "last

	      Specifies the program to run to view a file of the given content-type.  This option
	      setting  connot be omitted.  An implicit "view=" can be considered before it.  When
	      writing an entry that has no viewer, use a value of false in this space.

	      The "compose" command may be used to specify a program that can be used to  compose
	      a  new  body or body part in the given format.  Its intended use is to support mail
	      composing agents that support the composition  of  multiple  types  of  mail  using
	      external composing agents.  The result of the composing program may be data that is
	      not yet suitable for mail transport -- that  is,	a  Content-Transfer-Encoding  may
	      need to be applied to the data.

	      The "composetyped" command is similar to "compose", but is to be used when the com-
	      posing program needs to specify the Content-type header field to be applied to  the
	      composed	data.	The  "compose"	option	is simpler, and is preferred for use with
	      existing (non-mail-oriented) programs for composing data in a  given  format.   The
	      "composetyped"  option  is necessary when the Content-type information must include
	      auxiliary parameters, and the composition program must then know enough about  mail
	      formats to produce output that includes the mail type information.

	      The "edit" command may be used to specify a program that can be used to edit a body
	      or body part in the given format.  In many cases, it may be identical in content to
	      the "compose" command.

	      The  "print"  command  may be used to specify a program that can be used to print a
	      message or body part in the given format.

       These options are modifiers to all the commands specified on the command line.

	      The "test" option may be used to test some external condition  (e.g.,  the  machine
	      architecture,  or the window system in use) to determine whether or not the mailcap
	      line applies.  It specifies a program to be run to test  some  condition.   If  the
	      test  fails,  a subsequent mailcap entry will be sought.	Multiple test options are
	      not permitted -- since a test can call a program, it  can  already  be  arbitrarily

	      Note: When testing for X by looking at the DISPLAY environment variable, please use
	      one of:

		      test=test -z "$DISPLAY"	  (no X)
		or    test=test -n "$DISPLAY"	  (have X)

	      Many programs recognize these strings and optimize for them.

	      The "needsterminal" option, if given, indicates that the commands must be run on an
	      interactive terminal.  This is needed to inform window-oriented user agents that an
	      interactive terminal is needed.  (The decision is not left exclusively to the  com-
	      mand because in some circumstances it may not be possible for such programs to tell
	      whether or not they are  on  interactive	terminals.)   The  needsterminal  command
	      applies  to  the view, compose and edit commands, if they exist.	Note that this is
	      NOT a test -- it is a requirement for the environment in which the program will  be
	      executed,  and will typically cause the creation of a terminal window when not exe-
	      cuted on either a real terminal or a terminal window.

	      The "copiousoutput" option, if given, indicates that the output from the	view-com-
	      mand will be an extended stream of output and is to be interpreted as advice to the
	      UA (User Agent mail-reading program) that the output should be either paged or made
	      scrollable.   Note that it is probably a mistake if needsterminal and copiousoutput
	      are both specified.

   Content-Type Info
       These options provide additional information about the given content-type.

	      The "description" option simply provides a textual description that  describes  the
	      type  of data, to be used optionally by mail readers that wish to describe the data
	      before offering to display it.

	      The "textualnewlines" option, if given, indicates that this type of data	is  line-
	      oriented	and that, if encoded in a binary format, all newlines should be converted
	      to canonical form (CRLF) before encoding, and will be in that form after	decoding.
	      In  general,  this is needed only if there is line-oriented data of some type other
	      than text/* or non-line-oriented data that is a subtype of text.

	      The "x11-bitmap" option names a file, in X11 bitmap (xbm) format, which  points  to
	      an  appropriate  icon  to  be  used to visually denote the presence of this kind of

	      The "nametemplate" option gives a file name format, in which %s will be replaced by
	      a  short	unique	string to give the name of the temporary file to be passed to the
	      viewing command.	This is only expected to be relevant in environments where  file-
	      name  extensions	are  meaningful,  e.g.,  one  could specify that a GIF file being
	      passed to a gif viewer should have a name  ending  in  ".gif"  by  using	"nametem-

       Packages  that  wish to provide MIME access to themselves should not depend on, recommend,
       or suggest mime-support.  Instead, they should just put something like  the  following  in
       the postinst and postrm scripts.

	   if [ -x /usr/sbin/update-mime ]; then

       mailcap.order(5), RFC-2046, RFC-1524

       update-mime was written by Brian White <bcwhite@pobox.com>

       update-mime is in the public domain (the only true "free").

Debian Project				   3rd Sep 2010 			   UPDATE-MIME(8)

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