mail, rmail - send mail to users or read mailSYNOPSIS
See mailx(1) and elm(1) for an enhanced user mail interface.
The command, when used without arguments, prints the user's mail, mes‐
sage-by-message, in last-in, first-out order.
For each message, prints a prompt and reads a line from the standard
input to determine the disposition of the message. Commands that auto‐
matically proceed to the next message exit from if already on the last
supports the following commands:
<new-line> Go on to next message. Exit if already on last
Same as <new-line>.
Same as <new-line>.
Delete message and go on to next message.
Print message again.
Go back to previous message.
Save message in the named
files (default is mark the message for deletion
from the user's mailfile, and proceed to next
Save message without its header (the ``From ...'' line),
in the named files (default is mark the message
for deletion, and go on to next message.
Mail the message to each named
person, mark the message for deletion, and go on
to next message.
Put undeleted mail back in the
Abort. Leave original unchanged and stop.
Escape to the command interpreter and execute
Print a command summary.
The following command-line options alter printing of the mail:
Cause messages to be printed in first-in, first-out order.
Suppresses printing of mail and returns the exit value:
0 = Mail present
1 = No mail
2 = Other error
Prints all mail without prompting for disposition.
Causes to terminate if an interrupt is received. Nor‐
mally an interrupt only causes the termination of
the printing of the current message.
Causes to use file (for example, instead of the default
Causes the outbound message to be preceded by each
person the mail is sent to. A person is usually
a user name recognized by (see login(1)). If a
person being sent mail is not recognized, or if
is interrupted during input, the file will be
saved to allow editing and resending. Note that
is regarded as a temporary file in that it is
recreated every time needed, erasing the previous
Causes to deliver mail directly. This isolates from
making routing decisions, and allows it to be
used as a local delivery agent. Typically this
option is used by auto-routing facilities when
they deliver mail locally.
When persons are named, takes the standard input up to an end-of-file
(or up to a line consisting of just a and adds it to each person's
mailfile. The message is preceded by the sender's name and a postmark.
To denote a recipient on a remote system, prefix person by the system
name and exclamation mark (see uucp(1)). Everything after the first
exclamation mark in person is interpreted by the remote system. In
particular, if person contains additional exclamation marks, it can
denote a sequence of machines through which the message is to be sent
on the way to its ultimate destination. For example, specifying as a
recipient's name causes the message to be sent to user on system System
then interprets that destination as a request to send the message to
user on system This might be useful, for instance, if the sending sys‐
tem can access system but not system does not use if the remote system
is the local system name (i.e., localsystem!user).
The can be manipulated in two ways to alter the function of The other
permissions of the file can 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 is preserved, even when empty, to perpetuate
the desired permissions. The file can also contain the first line:
which causes all mail sent to the owner of the to be forwarded to per‐
son. This is especially useful for forwarding all of a person's mail
to a given machine in a multiple-machine environment. In order for
forwarding to work properly the should have "mail" as group ID, and the
group permission should be read-write.
only permits the sending of mail. uses as a security precaution.
When a user logs in, the command can be used to detect the presence of
mail, if any, and so indicate. When terminating, produces a notifica‐
tion message if new mail arrived while was running.
determines the format and contents of the displayed date and time
If is not specified in the environment or is set to the empty string,
the value of is used as a default for each unspecified or empty vari‐
able. If is not specified or is set to the empty string, a default of
"C" (see lang(5)) is used instead of If any internationalization vari‐
able contains an invalid setting, behaves as if all internationaliza‐
tion variables are set to "C". See environ(5).
When set, the environment variable specifies a directory to be used for
temporary files, overriding the default directory
International Code Set Support
Between HP-UX systems, single- and multi-byte character code sets are
supported within mail text. Headers are restricted to characters from
the 7-bit USASCII code set (see ascii(5)).
Conditions sometimes result in a failure to remove a lock file.
After an interrupt, the next message may not be printed. To force
printing, type a
Lines that look like postmarks in the message (that is, ``From ...'')
are preceded by
treats a line consisting solely of a dot as the end of the message,
except when the command is used.
The maximum allowable line length in mail messages is 8 times that of
bytes as defined in If line length exceeds this limit, truncates the
line starting at beginning-of-line, and uses only the trailing 8 *
Using two separate mail programs to access the same mail file simulta‐
neously (usually inadvertently from two separate windows) can cause
Some sites that have programs that adhere strictly to RFC-822 will fail
to deliver a message if any of the recipient fields below is missing.
You can add the RFC-822 commands into the mail program buffer/editor.
Lock for mail directory
Variable containing path name of
To identify sender and locate persons
Directory for incoming mail
(mode group ID
Incoming mail for user; that is, the mailfile (mode group ID
SEE ALSOlogin(1), mailx(1), uucp(1), write(1).