Creme Fraîche

Email to PDF Konverter


cremefraiche [eml-files] ...

cremefraiche < mail



This program converts email to PDF. The objective is to keep readable versions of the messages, HTML versions of the processed mails are simplified, colors and images are lost in the process.

The resulting mails will be created either

  • in the same directory alongside the original eml files

  • when 1 mail is piped-in to cremefraiche, in the current working directory. In this case, the new PDF-file will overwrite, if it exists, an existing file 001_mail_message.pdf

ATTN! Not all html flavors will result in usable PDF; reacting to all possible variations in the way that Mail is created these days, is an ongoing endeavor. If you need authentic output of a HTML mail, use a different software, a Web Browser or a converter specifically developed for the task.


Cremefraiche is highly configurable.

To create your own version of the configuration file in order to modify the behavior of the program, execute cremefraiche once with the only argument “user-conf”:

user@machine:~$ cremefraiche user-conf

The file will be written in a hidden subdirectory .cremefraiche and is named config. It is full of explanations and it should be no problem to do the necessary adaptations directly in the file.

You can also set and modify values in the GUI, after pushing the button that refers to the configuration.

The Graphical User Interface



The simplistic GUI serves to keep a list of eml files for repeated conversion to PDF. You can also exempt files from this list from an immediate conversion but keep it for later use.

In the GUI, you can also decide to interrupt running conversions in a way that necessitates a kill-signal in the console version of the program.

Other Information

pipe-in a mail from STDIN

You can pipe in mails to cremefraiche. This is useful for use in conjunction with mail-clients that allow such operation, notably the Mutt mail client. For Mutt, it is sufficient to define two macros in the file .muttrc :

macro index X "|cremefraiche -\n" "make PDF"

macro pager X "|cremefraiche -\n" "make PDF"

This will enable the Shortcut Shift-x in the mail index and in the pager.


The gem-file that you get with the gem-utility or from contains
all the code of the program and some documentation (this page notably). To read
its content, you must

  1. untar the gem-file with tar -xf cremefraiche-1.1.7.gem
  2. uncompress the data.gz archive: gunzip data.gz
  3. untar the resultig data.tar archive: tar -xf data.tar

This creates the directories bin, doc and lib.

Why « Crème Fraîche » ?

As with Crème Fraîche you create splendid meals from otherwise frugal ingredients, I found it a good name for the initial versions of the program.

In the meantime – and under the influence of too much HTML garbage – I wonder what you will make of it. Though simplifying the HTML-mail that I receive, in an effort to make it readable, is still an objective.


Cremefraiche is distributed under the conditions of the WTFPL-2.0 or later
License (see or license-text in the doc
directory of the gem-file).


Cremefraiche has been developed by
Michael Uplawski