Home > UNIX > PDF sent from MUTT not seen as attachment in webmail

PDF sent from MUTT not seen as attachment in webmail

Recently I had a report from a user that PDF’s sent from MUTT were not visible from the webmail used by their recipient. I thought this was odd because the very reason I changed from mailx to MUTT was so I could use MIME instead of UUENCODE, thus insure all clients could read attachments.

I verified some of the common webmail clients could receiv a PDF correctly: Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, GMail. All of the before mentioned services worked fine. It was then I was able to get the recipients email address, it was a Charter account. This is not the first time I’ve had problems with Charter receiving email. I’m not sure what Charter users for its webmail, but it seems to be worse bit of code I’ve ever encountered for email usage.

Charter accounts are able to view PDF’s sent from Outlook and other clients. What I found is that MUTT sends all emails with the following set in the header:

Content-Disposition: inline

With further testing I found that no matter what is attached to the email Charter will interpret the whole email as one long text file. The content disposition is not user editable in MUTT, and has been confirmed in their bug tracker as a new enhancement.

There is a patch someone created to fix this (for PGP, but works for this as well). However it looks like the MUTT project group is unlikely to change the default behavior because according to the RFC the client software should be able to detect attachments correctly no matter what (this is very over-simplified, read the RFC if you want a longer explanation).

My solution in this case to ignore the problem. With only one recipient being affected it did not warrant time/resources to find a solution. After knowing about the problem we were able to get the customer use a client instead of webmail.

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Categories: UNIX
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