(Emil is copyright SUNET and is made available under the GNU General Public License.)
This page is written by Martin Wendel, ITS, Uppsala university:
Emil v2 is a filter for converting Internet Messages.
It supports three basic formats: MIME, SUN Mailtool and
plain old style RFC822. It can be used with sendmail, as
a loopback mailer, or as a prefilter or backend program
with a mail client program, or as a plain filter.
Emil v2 is a complete rewrite of Emil-v1. New features
are support for RFC1522 headers and a more robust basic
The purpose of Emil v2 is to facilitate the official
migration to MIME for Internet Mail on SUNET (the Swedish
University Network), on hosts or sites unable to support
MIME. The migration was due on 1 Jan 1995. Information
about this is made available by SUNET at
What is Emil?
Simply put, Emil is a message format converter for Internet
Messages. This is a general description:
Emil is able to convert the format, headers and structure,
between messages of type MIME, Sun Mailtool and old style
Emil is able to convert the encoding of binary data
between the types Base64, BinHex and Uuencode.
Emil is able to convert the encoding of text to and from
the MIME encoding Quoted-Printable.
Emil is able to convert character set of text between the
character sets made available by Keld J. Simonsens strncnv
package. The strncnv package handles a large number of
character sets, as specified by RFC1345.
Emil also includes two special conversions for text:
SE conversion, which is a one-way
conversion of 8bit text to the swedish national
variant of ISO-646.
7bit conversion, which is a one-way
conversion of 8bit text to characters in US-ASCII
of the closest resemblance.
Emil is able to convert to and from RFC1522 format headers.
Conversion can be configured by a configuration file,
emil.cf, using sender, recipient and recipient host as input
parameters or by command line arguments.
Why Use Emil?
In the SUNET case, usage is obvious. A national network
decides to migrate to MIME formatted mail. Emil is used
by the hosts or sites unable to support MIME. The effect
is outgoing MIME messages and incoming non-MIME messages.
Another example is non-MIME sites receiving occasional
MIME messages. Emil can be configured to convert these
incoming MIME messages to old style RFC822 and convert
the Base64 encodings to uuencode or BinHex.
Emil can be used as a tool. A user unable to decode MIME
messages can convert those messages using Emil.
Where can I find Emil?
Emil is available by anonymous ftp from a large number of
sites. The latest version can always be found at Emil's home site
to download now.
More info about Emil?
I've assembled a small tutorial that will give you a guided tour
on the design of Emil and how to use it.
Click here to start now.
Emil v2 is constructed by Martin Wendel and Torbjörn Wictorin
both working at Uppsala university in Sweden.
ITS Uppsala university
751 08 Uppsala