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MAIL_ATT(1)							   MAIL_ATT(1)

NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

     mail - send mail to users or read mail

SYNOPSIS    [Toc]    [Back]

     Sending mail:

     mail address [ address... ]

     Reading mail:

     mail [ -ehpqr ] [ -f file ]

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

   Sending Mail
     The command-line arguments	that follow affect SENDING mail:

     An	address	can be any one of the following:

     1)	An RFC 822-compliant address specification (i.e.

     2)	A UUCP route (i.e. ``host1!host2!user'').

     3)	A local	user name or alias.

     When addresses are	specified, mail	assumes	a message is being sent.  It
     reads the text of the message from	standard input up to an	end-of-file
     (control-d), or until it reads a line consisting of just a	period.	When
     either of those signals is	received, mail passes the message text and the
     list of addresses to the sendmail(1M) program for further disposition.

     If	a letter is found to be	undeliverable, it is returned to the sender
     with diagnostics that indicate the	location and nature of the failure.
     If	mail is	interrupted during input, the file dead.letter is saved	to
     allow editing and resending.  dead.letter is normally maintained by
     sendmail, and the interrupted message will	be appended to the previous

   Reading Mail    [Toc]    [Back]
     The command-line arguments	that follow affect READING mail:

     -e	       causes mail not to be printed.  An exit value of	0 is returned
	       if the user has mail; otherwise,	an exit	value of 1 is
     -h	       causes a	window of headers to be	displayed rather than the
	       latest message.	The display is followed	by the '?' prompt.
     -p	       causes all messages to be printed without prompting for
     -q	       causes mail to terminate	after interrupts.  Normally an
	       interrupt causes	only the termination of	the message being

									Page 1

MAIL_ATT(1)							   MAIL_ATT(1)

     -r	       causes messages to be printed in	first-in, first-out order.
     -ffile    causes mail to use file (e.g., mbox) instead of the default
	       system mailbox.

     mail, unless otherwise influenced by command-line arguments, prints a
     user's mail messages in last-in, first-out	order.	For each message, the
     user is prompted with a ?,	and a line is read from	standard input.	 The
     following commands	are available to determine the disposition of the

     <new-line>, +, or n   Go on to next message.

     d,	or dp		   Delete message and go on to next message.

     d #		   Delete message number #.  Do	not go on to next

     dq			   Delete message and quit mail.

     h			   Display a window of headers around current message.

     h #		   Display header of message number #.

     h a		   Display headers of ALL messages in the user's
			   system mailbox.

     h d		   Display headers of messages scheduled for deletion.

     p			   Print current message again.

     -			   Print previous message.

     a			   Print message that arrived during the mail session.

     #			   Print message number	#.

     r [ users ]	   Reply to the	sender,	and other user(s), then	delete
			   the message.

     s [ files ]	   Save	message	in the named files (mbox is default).

     y			   Same	as save.

     u [ # ]		   Undelete message number # (default is last read).

     w [ files ]	   Save	message, without its top-most header, in the
			   named files (mbox is	default).

     m [ addresses ]	   Mail	the message to the listed addresses.

									Page 2

MAIL_ATT(1)							   MAIL_ATT(1)

     q,	or ctl-d	   Put undeleted mail back in the system mailbox and
			   quit	mail.

     x			   Put all mail	back in	the system mailbox unchanged
			   and exit mail.

     !command		   Escape to the shell to do command.

     ?			   Print a command summary.

     When a user logs in, the presence of mail,	if any,	is indicated. Also,
     notification is made if new mail arrives while using mail.

     The system	mailbox	permissions may	be manipulated to alter	the function
     of	mail.  The other permissions of	the file may be	read-write, read-only,
     or	neither	read nor write to allow	different levels of privacy.  If
     changed to	other than the default,	the file will be preserved even	when
     empty to perpetuate the desired permissions.

NOTES    [Toc]    [Back]

     Earlier versions of mail implemented an -F	option which was used to set
     up	mail forwarding	by placing special control text	at the top of an empty
     system mailbox.  This option is no	longer supported by mail in favor of
     the more convenient and general mechanism provided	by the .forward	file
     used by sendmail(1M).

     When sending mail,	mail does not insert a blank line at the beginning of
     the body.	Normally this is not a problem.	 However, if the first line
     has the form of a valid header line (non-whitespace text, then a colon,
     and then more text), some mail delivery agents will parse it as a header
     line, find	it invalid, and	omit it	from the delivered mail.  When sending
     mail (particularly	from programs) that might (sometimes) start with such
     a line, the problem can be	avoided	by making the the first	line of	the
     body be empty; that is, just a newline.

FILES    [Toc]    [Back]

     /etc/passwd	   to identify sender and locate users
     /var/mail/user	   incoming mail for user; i.e., the system mailbox
     /var/mail/user.lock   lock	for user's system mailbox
     $HOME/mbox		   saved mail
     $MAIL		   variable containing path name of the	system mailbox
     /tmp/mail*		   misc. temporary files
     /var/mail/:saved	   directory where temporary copies of the system
			   mailbox are written when it is being	updated
     dead.letter	   file	where the text of last aborted message will be

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

     login(1), mail_bsd(1), rmail(1M), sendmail(1M), uux(1C), write(1),

									Page 3

MAIL_ATT(1)							   MAIL_ATT(1)

     Internet RFC 822 -	Standard for the Format	of Internet Text Messages.

BUGS    [Toc]    [Back]

     Conditions	sometimes result in a failure to remove	a lock file.
     After an interrupt, the next message may not be printed; printing may be
     forced by typing a	p.

DIAGNOSTICS    [Toc]    [Back]

     Upon successful completion, a value of zero is returned.  Otherwise a
     value is returned to to indicate the error:

     1	      flag 'e' error

     2	      file error

     3	      no space

     4	      cannot forward

     5	      syntax error

     6	      forwarding loop

     7	      invalid sender

     8	      invalid user

     9	      too many From lines

     10	      bad permissions

     11	      mbox problem

     12	      temporary	file problem

     13	      Cannot create dead.letter

     14	      Unbounded	forwarding

     15	      cannot create lock file -	XXXrs

     16	      no group id of 'mail'

     17	      malloc failure

     18	      could not	fork

     19	      could not	pipe

									Page 4

MAIL_ATT(1)							   MAIL_ATT(1)

     20	      invoker does not own mailfile

     21	      can't call sendmail

									PPPPaaaaggggeeee 5555
[ Back ]
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