Enable TNEF on Linux Servers

Tags: mailoutlookTNEFwinmail

Published on: July 27, 2014 by Shafeer P

Enable TNEF on Linux Servers


In Linux servers sometimes we need to install TNEF, let me explain the scenario, when a mail is received from Microsoft Outlook that encoded using RTF (Rich Text Format), you may see an attachment winmail.dat that can’t be viewed on Webmail running on Linux platform by default. A sample error is given below.

Warning: tnef is not installed or not executable. you can't view winmail.dat attachments in the email module

What is TNEF?

TNEF (Transport Neutral Encapsulation Format) is a proprietary email attachment format used by Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Exchange Server. An attached file with TNEF encoding is most often named winmail.dat or win.dat



TNEF need to be complied and installed manually. The steps are given below,

 Step 1 : Get the download link of latest TNEF release from

 Step 2Strip the download link as follows

 Step 3Download and install TNEF

# cd /usr/local/src

# wget

# tar -xzf tnef-1.4.9.tar.gz

# cd tnef-1.4.9

# ./configure

# make

# make install

Step 4 : Check installation

# tnef -V
tnef 1.4.9
Copyright (C) 1999-2011 by Mark Simpson
Copyright (C) 1997 by Thomas Boll (original code)
You may redistribute copies of tnef under the terms of the GNU General
Public License. For more information about these matters, see the file


Category : Howtos, Linux, Windows

Shafeer P

Shafeer P

Shafeer is currently working as Senior System Engineer at SupportSages. He is capable of tackling time-consuming issues quickly with his advanced scripting abilities. His unchallenged expertise in solving complex issues in a cut-and-dried way makes him a dependable man in the team.The attitude and philosophy he shows on his workplace make his colleagues call him 'Mr. Perfectionist'.Furthermore, he is a travel and photography enthusiast, and loves to spend his leisure times on music and DIY arts.

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