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I'm trying to send an email with attachment from a perl script.

First, I create the attachment (an xml file):

open(XMLFILE, ">:utf8", $xmlfile);
print XMLFILE "<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"utf-8\"?>\n";
print XMLFILE "<data>\n";
#print XMLFILE "...\n";
print XMLFILE "</data>\n";
close (XMLFILE);

I also tried open(XMLFILE, ">", $xmlfile); with binmode XMLFILE, ":utf8";.

Then I send the email like this:

open(MUTT, "|/usr/bin/mutt -s \"TestSubject\" -a $xmlfile \"test\@example.com\"");
binmode MUTT, ":utf8";
print MUTT ("TestBody");
close (MUTT);

Nevertheless, both the text part and the attachment have Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1.

I also tried open(MUTT, "|/usr/bin/mutt -e \"set file_charset=utf-8\" -a $xmlfile ..., but this gave me an Error in command line: file_charset: unknown variable.

What am I doing wrong?

share|improve this question
@slm Thanks for retagging! – Martin Jun 13 '13 at 10:24

How about something like this:

$ mutt -e "set content_type=text/html" Email address -s "subject" < test.html

Change it around for what ever content_type you want. In Perl something like this:

open(MUTT, "|/usr/bin/mutt -e \"set content_type=text/xml\" -s \"TestSubject\" -a $xmlfile \"test\@example.com\"");

If you don't want to use mutt you can use mail instead:

### method #1
$ mail -a 'MIME-Version: 1.0' -a 'Content-Type: text/xml; charset=iso-8859-1' -a 'X-AUTOR: Some Guy' -s 'MTA STATUS: mail queue' <to user>  -- -f <from user>  < /tmp/eximrep.xml

### method #2
 $ mail -a 'Content-type: text/xml; charset="us-ascii"' <to user> < /tmp/file.xml

You could also do this using sendmail directly:

echo "From: myuser@example.com"
echo "To: user@example.net"
echo "MIME-Version: 1.0"
echo "Content-Type: multipart/mixed;"
echo ' boundary="BOUNDARY"'
echo "Subject: Test Message"
echo ""
echo "This is a MIME-encapsulated message"
echo "--BOUNDARY"
echo "Content-Type: text/plain"
echo ""
echo "This is what someone would see without an HTML capable mail client."
echo ""
echo "--BOUNDARY"
echo "Content-Type: text/html"
echo ""
echo "<html>
<body bgcolor='black'>
<blockquote><font color='green'>GREEN</font> <font color='white'>WHITE</font> <font color='red'>RED</font></blockquote>
echo "--BOUNDARY--"
) | sendmail -t


share|improve this answer
Same problem: Error in command line: content_type: unknown variable - Also, I'm not sure if that would give me utf-8-encoded attachments. – Martin Jun 13 '13 at 10:23
Both give the same error. Which mutt version do you have? I didn't find out how to get the version number, but my docs (/usr/share/doc) have version mutt- – Martin Jun 13 '13 at 12:59
mutt -v. I have this: Mutt 1.5.21 (2010-09-15) – slm Jun 13 '13 at 13:20
Then it's probably a version problem. I'll try to update mutt (problematic, because it's not my own system...). – Martin Jun 13 '13 at 13:24
let us continue this discussion in chat – Martin Jun 13 '13 at 13:27
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I was unable to update the mutt version, but I found a workaround - others may find this helpful, too.

Including a comment with special characters lets perl and mutt choose the correct (utf-8) encoding (probably the 'ł' would suffice, but the intent gets clearer with the umlaut characters):

In the xml this is what it looks like:

<?xml ... ?>
<?comment <!-- ł€èÄöÜß --> ?>
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