Provided by: mime-support_3.59ubuntu1_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 the /etc directory.
       This  allows users to create a custom ordering configuration and get a complete ~/.mailcap
       file out of it.  In this local mode, the order overriding file (see below) will be  looked
       for in the ~/.mailcap.order file.


       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, as the the file they create in /usr/lib/mime/packages will cause
       update-mime to be automatically run via a Dpkg trigger.


       In addition to the abovementioned mechanism update-mime also  parses  desktop  entries  in
       /usr/share/applications/  to  generate  mailcap  entries.  These entries are given a lower
       priority than those in /usr/lib/mime/packages.


       mailcap.order(5), deb-triggers(1), RFC-2046, RFC-1524


       update-mime was written by Brian White <>


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