dist - redistribute a message to additional addresses
(only available within the message handling system, mh)
dist [msg] [+folder] [options]
Annotates the message that you are redistributing. The
following lines are added to the message that you are
Resent: date Resent: addrs
The first line records the time at which the message
was redistributed; the second records the
addresses of the recipients of the redistributed
The dist command only annotates messages when they
are successfully sent. If you do not send the message
immediately and file the unsent draft, it will
not be annotated. Specifies the folder in which
the draft message is created. If you do not send
the draft, the mail system will store it in this
This option is usually set up in your See mh_profile(4) for more information. If you have this
option set up, you can override it by using the
-nodraftfolder option. Specifies the file in which
the draft message is created. If no absolute pathname
is given, the file is assumed to be in your
Mail directory, standardly $HOME/Mail. If you do
not send the message, it is stored in the named
file until you delete it, or send it at a later
date. Specifies the editor that you want to use to
edit your forwarded message.
You can also set up an editor in your file; see
mh_profile(4) for more information. Specifies the
message header to be used in the draft message. If
this option is present, dist takes the header of
the draft message from the named file. If this
option is not present, the header is taken from the
distcomps file in your Mail directory, or failing
that, from the mail system default header. Causes
annotation to be done in place, to preserve links
to the annotated message. This option only works
with the -annotate option. Prints a list of the
valid options for this command. Suppresses editing
of the draft message altogether. Specifies an
alternative whatnow program. Normally, dist
invokes the default whatnow program. See whatnow(1)
for a discussion of available options. You can
specify your own alternative to the default program
using the -whatnowproc program option. If you do
specify your own program, you should not call it
You can suppress the whatnow program entirely by
using the -nowhatnowproc option. However, as the
program normally starts the initial edit, the
-nowhatnowproc option will prevent you from editing
The defaults for dist are:
+folder defaults to the current folder
msg defaults to cur
Use dist to redistribute a message to addresses that are
not on the original address list.
You can specify the message which you want to redistribute
by giving a message number as the msg argument. If you do
not supply a message number, dist takes the current message.
You can only redistribute one message at a time.
You can also specify a message in another folder by giving
the +folder argument. This argument can be used in conjunction
with the msg argument.
The program dist is similar to forw. The main difference
between the two commands is that forw encapsulates the
message, whereas dist merely resends it. You cannot add
any new text of your own to a message that you re-distribute
using dist. A message that has been forwarded will
appear to have been sent by the person who forwarded the
message. A message that has been redistributed using dist
will appear to have come from the sender of the original
message. This is shown in the scan listing of the messages.
In the following example, messages 1 and 2 are
identical apart from the method used to send the message
on to additional recipients:
1 20/06 goodman Hello <<As you will see
2+ 21/06 John As previous, but forwarded
When you use dist, you will get a message form to fill in
with the details of the additional recipients. The
default message form contains the following elements:
If the file named dist comps exists in your Mail directory,
standardly $HOME/Mail, it is used instead of the
standard mail header. If the option -form formfile is
given, it overrides both of these.
You can only put recognized header lines in your message
form. The dist program recognizes values in the following
Resent-To: Resent-cc: Resent-Bcc: Resent-Fcc: Resent-Xmts:
The headers and the body of the original message are
copied to the draft when the message is sent. You cannot
add any new body text of your own when redistributing a
message with dist.
If you do not have a draft folder set up, dist creates the
message form in a file called draft in your Mail directory.
This file must be empty before you can create a new
draft, which means that you can only store one draft at a
time. If it is not empty, the mail system asks you what
you want to do with the existing contents. The options
are: Aborts dist, leaving the draft intact. Replaces the
existing draft with the appropriate message form. Displays
the draft message. Refiles the existing draft message
in the specified folder, and provides a new message
form for you to complete.
If you want to be able to have more than one draft at a
time, you can set up a draft folder in your you to keep as
many unsent drafts as space allows, and still create new
messages as you wish. To do this, make sure that the following
line is in your
For more information on how to do this, see mh_profile(4).
You cannot store unsent messages created using dist in
your draft folder. If you attempt to do so, only the message
form is stored. This does not contain the original
message that you are redistributing, so you will not be
able to send it later.
If you use repl to reply to a message resent to you by
dist, the reply will go to the sender of the original message,
rather than the person who forwarded it to you. The
repl command ignores the Resent-xxx: fields when creating
the header for your draft reply.
Path: To determine your Mail directory (<mh-dir>)
Draft-Folder: To find the default draft folder
Editor: To override the default editor
fileproc: Program to refile the message
whatnowproc: Program to ask the What now? questions
The default system template for re-distributed messages.
The user-supplied alternative to the default system template.
The user profile. The draft file.
comp(1), forw(1), repl(1), send(1), whatnow(1)
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