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       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.   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 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").