/etc/mailcap.order - the mailcap ordering specifications


The order of entries in the /etc/mailcapfile can be altered by editing the /etc/mailcap.orderfile. Each line of that file specifies a package and an optional mime type. Mailcap entries that match will be placed in the order of this file. Entries that don't match will be placed later.

2.1. Example

mime-support:*/* gv:application/postscript netscape:text/html less:text/* emacs:text/* The above would make any entries provided by the

mime-support package (as found in the /usr/lib/mime/packagesdirectory) take priority over everything else. The

gv package will be used over anything else when it comes to postscript documents.

Netscape will be used for any html documents and

less will be used for any remaining text documents. However, since neither netscape or less provide for editing documents, any edit or compose actions will fall through to the

emacs rules. After modifying this file, be sure to run /usr/sbin/update-mime(as root) to propagate the changes into the /etc/mailcapfile. Remember that this files takes packagenames and not executablenames. If you want to define rules that reference specific programs, the best way is to include them in ~/.mailcapor the user section of the /etc/mailcapfile.


There is currently no way to break out a certain type from a wildcard rule. If, for example, both xv and gimp were to specify "image/*" rules, it isn't possible to use xv for gifimages but use gimp for jpegimages. Also, I would like to add the ability to specify certain actions in the rules. For example, if netscape were to have an editrule but I wanted to use emacs for editing/creating html documents, I could place a line like emacs:text/* action=edit|compose before the netscape entry. The

update-mime program would then spit out entries such that netscape viewrule comes

before the emacs viewrule but have the netscape editrule comes

after the emacs editrule.



mailcap.order specification was written by Brian White <>