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elm text only (disabling mime attachements view when reading)

Nilesh Sampat
Occasional Visitor

elm text only (disabling mime attachements view when reading)

recently we have upgraded elm to [ELM $Revision: $]. This has caused lots of problem as elm witout mime awareness worked very well for the purpose I was using.

Is there anyway to disable MIMe capability to the new version i.e. any config key etc?

please reply as soon as possible as this has made my life very difficult.

Jose Mosquera
Honored Contributor

Re: elm text only (disabling mime attachements view when reading)


MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) encoding classifies the message and its attachments according to a Content-Transfer-Encoding, which is the encoding, if any, that is used to make the message mailable, and a Content-Type, which is the type and form of the message part after it has been decoded. The encoding and types are described in more detail in the Attachment Configuration Menu subsection and in RFC 1521.
elm provides built-in support for the following Content-Types: text/plain [; charset=charset]

The text is all in the displayable character set charset which defaults to US-ASCII.
multipart/mixed ; boundary=boundary-string

The message is composed of a number of individual "body parts", separated by --boundary-string, each having optional headers defining Content-Type and Content-Transfer-Encoding. The default Content-Type is text/plain.
multipart/digest ; boundary=boundary-string

This is similar to multipart/mixed, except that the default Content-Type is message/rfc822.
multipart/report ; boundary=boundary-string


The message consists of another message in standard message format.

metamail is a system program that is invoked by elm to manage the display of messages and attachments that are not displayable in ordinary ASCII text.

metamail provides external support for other Content-Types, as defined in one or more mailcap files. The system mailcap file is /etc/mail/mailcap. You can define your own default mailcap file in $HOME/.mailcap. You can also specify your own list of mailcap files by setting the MAILCAPS environment variable. The mailcap files are searched in order until an entry is found that matches the Content-Type and any qualifications.

A minimum mailcap entry consists of a line in the form:

content-type ; command

The command is the command that you would type to view a file of the indicated Content-Type, with the string %s replaced by a file name. For example, to view body part that was HTML source text and had the Content-Type text/html, you could have the entry

text/html; netscape %s

Similarly, for a GIF image file, you could have the entry

image/gif; xv %s

RFC 1521 defines a number of Content-Types that elm leaves for metamail to handle:


Check the system mailcap file for entries that handle many of them.

To full extended explanation about, pls chk "man elm" or go to