Provided by: mime-support_3.35-2_all bug


       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.


       The order of entries in the /etc/mailcap file can be altered by editing
       the  /etc/mailcap.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 like:

         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 resort".

              Specifies the program to  run  to  view  a  file  of  the  given
              content-type.   Actually,  the  "view="  must be omitted and the
              viewer program must be the second value on the line  (after  the
              mime  type).   This  option  connot be omitted.  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  composing 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 complex.

              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 command 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 executed on either a real terminal
              or a terminal window.

              The  "copiousoutput" option, if given, indicates that the output
              from the view-command 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-

              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 data.

              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 filename
              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 "nametemplate=%s.gif".


       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

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


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


       update-mime was written by Brian White <>


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