Provided by: mime-support_3.51-1ubuntu1_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.

       --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/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

         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
              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

              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-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
              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


       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 <>


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