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FAQ 5-8

Question 5.8

Sometimes I see little images at the top of article buffer. What’s that and how can I send one with my postings, too?


Those images are called X-Faces. They are 48*48 pixel b/w pictures, encoded in a header line. If you want to include one in your posts, you’ve got to convert some image to a X-Face. So fire up some image manipulation program (say Gimp), open the image you want to include, cut out the relevant part, reduce color depth to 1 bit, resize to 48*48 and save as bitmap. Now you should get the compface package from this site. and create the actual X-face by saying

cat file.xbm | xbm2ikon | compface > file.face
cat file.face | sed 's/["\\]/\\&/g' > file.face.quoted

If you can’t use compface, there’s an online X-face converter at If you use MS Windows, you could also use the WinFace program, which used to be available from ‘’. Now you only have to tell Gnus to include the X-face in your postings by saying

(setq message-default-headers
          (insert "X-Face: ")
          (insert-file-contents "~/.xface")

in ~/.gnus.el. If you use Gnus 5.10, you can simply add an entry

(x-face-file "~/.xface")

to gnus-posting-styles.