As a follow-up to my previous Buildroot mailing-list post about the git format-patch and git send-email commands, this post covers how to set up the latter.

In many corporate settings it’s either hard or close to impossible to rely on the services of the IT dept. to send email to Open Source mailing lists. In this blog post we will set up Google Mail (Gmail) as an alternative.

  • Gmail, because many people already have an account
  • Easy to add “another” account:
  • Doesn’t add any obnoxious corporate “CONFIDENTIAL” footer
  • Your contributions are yours:
    • Remember attribution to your Company, this is usually a good idea for several reasons, set the Organization: email header
  • However, avoid the web client:
    • Changes tabs to spaces
    • Wraps text (patch text) unconditionally
    • Base64 encodes messages with non US ASCII characters: åäö
  • Instead, use with external client:

Tips for how to set up your external email client are available here, or check out another blog post about using Emacs with Notmuch Mail:

Then edit your ~/.gitconfig using your favorite editor:

    name           = YOUR NAME
    email          =
    headers        = "Organization: Company Inc\n"
    signoff        = true
    chainreplyto   = false
    smtpserver     =
    smtpuser       =
    smtpencryption = tls
    smtpserverport = 587
    smtpPass       = yourapplicationspecificpassword
    aliasesfile    = ~/.config/mutt/aliases
    aliasfiletype  = mutt
    to             = ","
    cc             = ""
    cccmd          = "./scripts/ --norolestats"

# You can also use "alias-foo" in to= and cc=, expands from ~/.config/mutt/aliases

This fils applies to all your GIT repositories. If you want to have a different behavior or setting for a repoistory, see the .git/config file for that specific working copy. These file holds other settings, see the man page git-config(1) for details.

One specific detail deserves to be highlighted. In the .gitconfig above, there is a section [sendemail.netdev]. It is triggered by the --identity argument:

$ git send-email --identity netdev mail/*

The extra settings (or overrides) defined for netdev are then used for all git send-email commands with that identity. This is useful in particular if you interact with many mailing-lists, but also when you are old and forgetful like yours truly.

Good Luck!

Note: see my previous post, the Buildroot Checklist, for an introduction to how to use git format-patch. It applies to many other mail-list based Open Source projects as well.