Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 108384
Mutt starts Mozilla to display html mail
Last modified: 2014-03-16 22:39:58 EDT
Description of problem:
When using mutt, viewing an html mail tries to open Mozilla to view it. This is
very bad when using mutt over a low-speed ssh link. I find it completely absurd
that a text-based mail editor would attempt to do such a thing. Had I wanted
this I would have used Mozilla's mail editor.
As an added irritation, when using mozilla in this way any html spam I open
So I could argue that using a web browser in this fashion is dangerous,
confirms to spammers that my email address is valid, and, if paired with a
malicious webpage that exploits a browser hole, could compromise my account.
I understand that Mutt is using mailcap to choose a viewer for mime types it
can't display, and mailcap is calling htmlview, which is starting Mozilla. I
can see that mailcap is set up to use X software to display lots of things
(images, html, postscript...). What's not at all clear to me is where I should
make changes if I don't want this behavior. Should I reconfigure mutt, mailcap,
I can change mailcap to use lynx instead but I'm not sure if this breaks any X
software that uses mailcap. htmlview is, as far as I can tell, undocumented, so
I'm not sure if there's any hope there. I'm not sure if I can get fine control
within Muttrc/.muttrc over this behavior.
I'd appreciate any advice on the correct way to fix this.
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
Note also that using a browser to display html mail also effectively prevents
replying to mail while quoting the original message.
lynx -force_html -dump '%s'
to convert to text allows me to reply to the original quoted message from within
As of now, I don't think we'll change this; unfortunately, the
permutations of various text-mode web clients means that htmlview is
really the only safe choice for a mailcap app.