binmail man page on Ultrix

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binmail(1)							    binmail(1)

       binmail - send or receive mail among users

       /bin/mail [+] [-i] [person...]
       /bin/mail [+] [-i] -f file

       This  is	 the old version 7 UNIX system mail program.  The default com‐
       mand is described in and its binary is in the directory The program  is
       still  used  to	actually deliver a mail message into the users system-
       wide mailbox ( ), however, the  reading	of  these  messages  has  been
       replaced with the program Do not remove from your system.

       The  command with no argument prints a user's mail, message-by-message,
       in last-in, first-out order; the optional argument + displays the  mail
       messages	 in  first-in,	first-out order.  For each message, it reads a
       line from the standard input to direct the disposition of the message.

       Issue the following commands from the program prompt:

       <CR>		   Go on to next message

       d		   Delete message and go on to the next.

       p		   Print message again.

       -		   Go back to previous message.

       s [file...]	   Save	 the  message  in  the	named  files   (`mbox'

       w [file...]	   Save	 the  message,	without a header, in the named
			   files (`mbox' default).

       m [person...]	   Mail the message to the named persons (yourself  is

       EOT (control-D)	   Put unexamined mail back in the mailbox and stop.

       q		   Same as EOT.

       !command		   Escape to the Shell to do command.

       *		   Print a command summary.

       An  interrupt  normally	terminates  the	 command;  the	mail  file  is

       When persons are named, takes the standard input up to  an  end-of-file
       (or a line with just `.')  and adds it to each person's mail file.  The
       message is preceded by the sender's name and a  postmark.   Lines  that
       look like postmarks are prepended with `>'.  A person is usually a user
       name recognized by To denote a recipient on  a  remote  system,	prefix
       person  by  the system name and exclamation mark.  For further informa‐
       tion, see

       The program sends a message to the screen that there is mail  when  the
       user logs in.

       When  is used to deliver mail, (usually calls to do this), a mailbox is
       created for the user in the directory if it doesn't already exist.  The
       mailbox	is created with the mode 700 so that only its owner can access
       it.  In addition, the directory has the mode 777 with  the  sticky  bit
       set.   The  mode is 777 so that other mail programs, notably can create
       the appropriate lock files to prevent another process from  writing  to
       the mailbox at the same time.  The sticky bit set on the directory pre‐
       vents one user from unlinking another user's mailbox.

       -f		   Displays mail messages contained in	the  specified
			   file (next argument) in place of your mailbox file.

       -i		   Notifies mail to continue after interrupts.

       Race conditions sometimes result in a failure to remove a lock file.

       /etc/passwd	      to identify sender and locate persons
       /usr/spool/mail/*      incoming mail for user *
       mbox		      saved mail
       /tmp/ma*		      temp file
       /usr/spool/mail/*.lock lock for mail directory
       dead.letter	      unmailable text

See Also
       mail(1), uucp(1c), uux(1c), write(1), sendmail(8)


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