mail man page on Ultrix

Man page or keyword search:  
man Server   3690 pages
apropos Keyword Search (all sections)
Output format
Ultrix logo
[printable version]

mail(1)								       mail(1)

Name
       mail - send or read mail

Syntax
       mail [-v] [-i] [-n] [-e] [-s subject] [user...]
       mail [-v] [-i] [-n] -f [name]
       mail [-v] [-i] [-n] -u user
       mail nodename::username (If DECnet is installed.)

Description
       The  utility  is an intelligent mail processing system which has a com‐
       mand syntax similar to However, in lines are replaced by messages.

       If DECnet is installed on your system, you can also  send  and  receive
       mail  from  other DECnet users.	See for information on DECnet address‐
       ing.

       Sending mail.  To send a message to one or more persons, type  and  the
       names  of  the people receiving your mail.  Press the RETURN key.  Note
       that if you use other arguments, the names  of  the  recipients	should
       always be the last element on the command line.	For example,
       mail -v -s "mail message" users
       If  you	do not specify a subject on the command line, you are prompted
       for a subject.  After entering a subject, and pressing the RETURN  key,
       type your message.  To send the message, type a period (.) or CTRL D at
       the beginning of a new line.

       You can use tilde ( ) escape sequences  to  perform  special  functions
       when  composing	mail  messages.	  See  the list of options for more on
       tilde escape sequences.

       Reading mail.  In normal usage is given no arguments  and  checks  your
       mail out of the mail directory. Then it prints out a one line header of
       each message there.  The current message is initially the first message
       and is numbered 1.  It can be displayed using the command.

       The  option  causes  mail not to be printed.  Instead, an exit value is
       returned.  For the exit status, see RETURN VALUES.  You can move	 among
       the  messages  by  typing  a plus sign (+) followed by a number to move
       forward that many messages, or a minus sign (-) followed by a number to
       move backward that many messages.

       Disposing  of  mail.   After reading a message you can delete (d) it or
       reply (r) to it.	 Deleted messages can be undeleted, however, in one of
       two  ways:   you can use the undelete (u) command and the number of the
       message, or you can end the mail session with  the  exit	 (x)  command.
       Note  that  if  you end a session with the quit (q) command, you cannot
       retrieve deleted messages.

       Specifying messages.  Commands such as and can be given a list of  mes‐
       sage numbers as arguments.  Thus, the command
       delete 1 2
       deletes messages 1 and 2, while the command
       delete 1-5
       deletes messages 1 through 5.  The asterisk (*) addresses all messages,
       and the dollar sign ($) addresses the last message.  For	 example,  the
       command,	 which prints the first few lines of a message, can be used in
       the following manner to print the first few lines of all messages:
       top *

       Replying to or originating mail.	 Use the command to respond to a  mes‐
       sage.

       Ending  a mail processing session.  End a session with the (q) command.
       Unless they were deleted, messages that you have read go to  your  mbox
       file.   Unread  messages	 go back to the mail directory.	 The -f option
       causes to read in the contents of your mbox (or the specified file) for
       processing.   When  you the mail utility writes undeleted messages back
       to this file.  The -u flag is a short way of specifying:

       Personal and systemwide distribution lists.  You can create a  personal
       distribution  list  that directs mail to a group of people.  Such lists
       can be defined by placing a  line  similar  to  the  following  in  the
       .mailrc file in your home directory:
       alias cohorts bill ozalp jkf mark kridle@ucbcory

       Cohorts	is the name of the distribution list that consists of the fol‐
       lowing users: bill, ozalp, jkf, mark, and kridle@ucbcory.   A  list  of
       current aliases can be displayed with the command in

       System  wide distribution lists can be created by editing The syntax of
       system wide lists differs from that of personally defined aliases.

       Personal aliases are expanded in mail you send.	When a recipient on  a
       personally  defined  mailing  list  uses the option, the entire mailing
       list receives the response automatically.  System wide aliases are  not
       expanded	 when  the mail is sent, but any reply returned to the machine
       will have the system-wide alias expanded as all mail goes through

       Forwarding is also a form of aliasing.  A file  can  be	set  up	 in  a
       user's  home  directory.	  Mail for that user is then redirected to the
       list of addresses in the file.  See and for more information.

       Network mail (ARPA, UUCP, Berknet, DECnet)  See for  a  description  of
       network addresses.

Options
       -e     Causes not to be printed.	 Instead, an exit value is returned.

       -f     Causes  to  read	in  the contents of your mbox file (or another
	      file you specify) for processing.

       -i     Causes tty interrupt signals to be ignored. This is useful  when
	      using on noisy phone lines.

       -n     Inhibits the reading of /usr/lib/Mail.rc.

       -s     Specifies	 a  subject  on	 the command line.  Note that only the
	      first argument after the -s flag is used as a subject  and  that
	      you must enclose subjects containing spaces in quotes.

       -u     Specifies a short hand for expressing the following:
	      mail -f /usr/spool/mail/user

       -v     Prints  the mail message.	 The details of delivery are displayed
	      on the user's terminal.

       The following options can be set in  the	 .mailrc  file	to  alter  the
       behavior of the command.

       Each  command  is typed on a line by itself and may take arguments fol‐
       lowing the command word and the	command	 abbreviation.	 For  commands
       that take message lists as arguments, if no message list is given, then
       the next message forward which satisfies the command's requirements  is
       used.   If  there  are  no messages forward of the current message, the
       search proceeds backwards.  If there are no good messages at all,  can‐
       cels the command, displaying the message: No applicable messages.

       -	   Prints  out	the previous message. If given a numeric argu‐
		   ment n, prints n-th previous message.

       ?	   Prints a brief summary of commands.

       !	   Executes the ULTRIX shell command which follows.

       alias (a)   Prints out all currently-defined aliases, if given  without
		   arguments.  With one argument, prints out that alias.  With
		   more than one argument, creates a new  or  changes  an  old
		   alias.   These  aliases  are in effect for the current mail
		   session only.

       alternates (alt)
		   Informs that you have several valid addresses.  The command
		   is  useful  if  you have accounts on more than one machine.
		   When you to messages, does not send a copy of  the  message
		   to  any of the addresses listed on the alternates list.  If
		   the command is given with no argument, the current  set  of
		   alternate names is displayed.

       chdir (ch)  Changes the user's working directory to that specified.  If
		   no directory is given, then	the  command  changes  to  the
		   user's login directory.

       copy (co)   Takes a message list and file name and appends each message
		   to the end of the file.  The command functions in the  same
		   way	as  the command, except that it does not mark the mes‐
		   sages that you copy for deletion when you quit.

       delete (d)  Takes a list of messages as argument and marks them all  as
		   deleted.   Deleted  messages are not saved in mbox, nor are
		   they available for most other commands.

       dp (or dt)  Deletes the current message and prints  the	next  message.
		   If there is no next message, returns a message:  at EOF.

       edit (e)	   Takes a list of messages and points the text editor at each
		   one in turn.	 On return from the  editor,  the  message  is
		   read back in.

       exit (ex or x)
		   Returns  to	the  Shell without modifying the user's system
		   mailbox, mbox file, or edit file in

       file (fi)   Switches to a new mail file or folder.  If no arguments are
		   given,  it  tells you which file you are currently reading.
		   If you give it an argument, it writes out changes (such  as
		   deletions)  you  have made in the current file and reads in
		   the new file. Some special conventions are  recognized  for
		   the	name.  A pound sign (#) indicates the previous file, a
		   percent sign (%)  indicates	your  systemb  mailbox,	 %user
		   indicates the user's system mailbox, an ampersand (&) indi‐
		   cates your  /mbox file, and +folder	indicates  a  file  in
		   your folder directory.

       folders	   List the names of the folders in your folder directory.

       folder (fo) Switches  to	 a  new mail file or folder. The command func‐
		   tions in the same way as the command.

       from (f)	   Takes a list of messages and prints their  message  headers
		   in the order that they appear in the mail directory, not in
		   the order given in the list.

       headers (h) Lists the current range of headers, which is a  20  message
		   group.   If	a  plus sign (+) is given as an argument, then
		   the next message group is printed.  If a minus sign (-)  is
		   given  as  an  argument,  the  previous  message  group  is
		   printed.

       help	   Prints a brief summary of commands.	Synonymous with ?.

       hold (ho, also preserve)
		   Takes a message list and marks each message	in  it	to  be
		   saved in the user's system mailbox instead of in mbox.  The
		   command does not override the delete command.

       ignore	   Adds the list of header fields named to the	ignored	 list.
		   Header  fields  in  the ignore list are not printed on your
		   terminal when you print a message.  This  command  is  fre‐
		   quently  used  to suppress certain machine-generated header
		   fields. The and commands are used to print a message in its
		   entirety,  including ignored fields. If is executed with no
		   arguments, it lists the current set of ignored fields.

       mail (m)	   Takes login names and distribution group names as arguments
		   and sends mail to those people.

       mbox	   Indicates that a list of messages should be sent to mbox in
		   your home directory when you	 quit.	This  is  the  default
		   action for messages if you did not set the hold option.

       next (n, + or CR)
		    Goes  to  the next message in sequence and types it.  With
		   an argument list, it types the next matching message.

       preserve (pre)
		   Takes a message list and marks each message	in  it	to  be
		   saved  in  the  user's  system mailbox instead of in mbox .
		   Synonymous with the command.

       print (p)   Takes a message list and types  out	each  message  on  the
		   user's  terminal,  without  printing	 any specified ignored
		   fields.

       Print (P)   Prints a  message  in  its  entirety,  including  specified
		   ignored fields.

       quit (q)	   Terminates  the  session.   All undeleted, unsaved messages
		   are saved in the user's mbox file in his  login  directory;
		   all	messages  marked with or or that were never referenced
		   are saved in his system mailbox; and all other messages are
		   removed  from his system mailbox.  If new mail arrives dur‐
		   ing the session, the user receives the  message:  You  have
		   new	mail.	If given while editing a mailbox file with the
		   flag, then the edit file is rewritten.   A  return  to  the
		   Shell  is  effected,	 unless	 the  rewrite of the edit file
		   fails, in which case the user can escape with the command.

       reply (r)   Takes a message list and sends mail to the sender  and  all
		   recipients  of  the specified message.  The default message
		   must not be deleted.

       Reply (R)   Replies to originator of the message.  Does	not  reply  to
		   other recipients of the original message.

       respond	   Takes  a  message list and sends mail to the sender and all
		   recipients of the specified message.	 Synonymous with

       save (s)	   Takes a message list and a file name and appends each  mes‐
		   sage to the end of the file.	 The messages are saved in the
		   order in which they appear in the mail  directory,  not  in
		   the	order  given in the message list.  The filename, which
		   is enclosed in quotes, followed by the line count and char‐
		   acter count, is displayed on the user's terminal.

       set (se)	   Prints  all	variable  values  when no arguments are given.
		   Otherwise, the command sets the  specified  option.	 Argu‐
		   ments either take the form
		   option=value
		   or
		   option

       shell (sh)  Invokes an interactive version of the shell.

       size	   Takes  a  message  list and prints out the size (in charac‐
		   ters) of each  message.   The  size	of  the	 messages  are
		   printed  in	the  order that they appear in the mail direc‐
		   tory, not in the order given in the list.

       source (so) Reads commands from a file.

       top	   Takes a message list and prints the top few lines of	 each.
		   The	number	of lines printed is controlled by the variable
		   and defaults to five.

       type (t)	   Takes a message list and types  out	each  message  on  the
		   user's  terminal,  without  printing	 any specified ignored
		   fields.  Synonymous with

       type (T)	   Prints a  message  in  its  entirety,  including  specified
		   ignored fields.  Synonymous with

       unalias	   Takes  a  list of names defined by commands and cancels the
		   list of users.  The group names no longer have any signifi‐
		   cance.

       undelete (u)
		   Takes  a  message  list  and	 marks	each  one as not being
		   deleted.

       unset	   Takes a list of option names and discards their  remembered
		   values; the inverse of

       visual (v)  Takes a message list and invokes the display editor on each
		   message.

       write (w)   Takes a message list and a file name and appends each  mes‐
		   sage to the end of the file.	 Synonymous with

       xit (x)	   Returns  to	the  Shell without modifying the user's system
		   mailbox, mbox , or edit file in Synonymous with

       z	   Presents message headers in windowfulls as described	 under
		   the	command.  You can move forward to the next window with
		   the z command. Also, you can move to the previous window by
		   using z-.

       The  following  is a summary of the tilde escape functions that you can
       use when composing mail messages.  Note that you can only invoke	 these
       functions from within the body of a mail message and that the sequences
       are only executed if they are placed at the beginning of lines.

       ~!command   Executes the indicated shell command, then returns  to  the
		   message.

       ~?	   Prints a brief summary of tilde commands.

       ~:	   Executes  the  mail	commands.  (For	 example,  the command
		   prints out message number 10 while prints out the  previous
		   message.

       ~c name ... Adds the given names to the list of carbon copy recipients.

       ~d	   Reads  the  file named dead.letter from your home directory
		   into the message.

       ~e	   Invokes the text editor on  the  message  you  are  typing.
		   After  the  editing	session	 is finished, you may continue
		   appending text to the message.

       ~f messages Reads the named messages into the message being  sent.   If
		   no messages are specified, reads in the current message.

       ~h	   Edits  the message header fields by typing each one in turn
		   and allowing the user to append text to the end or to  mod‐
		   ify	the field by using the current terminal erase and kill
		   characters.

       ~m messages Reads the named  messages  into  the	 message  being	 sent,
		   shifted  one	 tab  space  to the right.  If no messages are
		   specified, reads the current message.

       ~p	   Prints the message on your terminal, prefaced by  the  mes‐
		   sage header fields.

       ~q	   Aborts  the	message	 being	sent,  copying	the message to
		   dead.letter in your home directory if the  save  option  is
		   set.

       ~r filename Reads the named file into the message.

       ~s string   Causes  the	named  string  to  become  the current subject
		   field.

       ~t name ... Adds the given names to the direct recipient list.

       ~v	   Invokes an alternate editor (defined by the VISUAL  option)
		   on  the message.  Usually, the alternate editor is a screen
		   editor.  After you quit the editor, you can resume  append‐
		   ing text to the end of your message.

       ~w filename Writes the message onto the named file.

       ~|command   Pipes  the message through the command as a filter.	If the
		   command gives no output or terminates  abnormally,  retains
		   the	original  text	of the message.	 The command fmt(1) is
		   often used as command to rejustify the message.

       ~~string	   Inserts the string of text in the  message  prefaced	 by  a
		   single  tilde  (~).	If you have changed the escape charac‐
		   ter, then you should double that character in order to send
		   it.

       Options	are  controlled	 via  the and commands.	 Options may be either
       binary or string.  If they are binary you should	 see  whether  or  not
       they  are  set;	if  they  are string it is the actual value that is of
       interest.

       The binary options include the following:

       append	      Causes messages saved in mbox to be appended rather than
		      prepended.   (This is set in /usr/lib/Mail.rc on version
		      7 systems.)

       ask	      Causes mail to prompt you for the subject of  each  mes‐
		      sage  you	 send.	If you simply respond with a new line,
		      no subject field is sent.

       askcc	      Asks you at the end of each message whether you want  to
		      send  a carbon copy of the message to additional recipi‐
		      ents.  Responding with a new line indicates your	satis‐
		      faction with the current list.

       autoprint      Causes the command to behave like - thus, after deleting
		      a message, the next one is typed automatically.

       debug	      Causes to output information useful for  debugging  Set‐
		      ting  the	 binary option debug is the same as specifying
		      on the command line.

       dot	      Causes to interpret a period alone on a line as the ter‐
		      minator of a message you are sending.

       hold	      Holds messages in the system mailbox by default.

       ignore	      Causes  interrupt	 signals  from	your  terminal	to  be
		      ignored and echoed as at signs (@).

       ignoreeof      Causes to refuse to accept a control-d as the end	 of  a
		      message.

       msgprompt      Prompts  you  for	 the message text and indicates how to
		      terminate the message.

       metoo	      Includes the sender in the distribution group  receiving
		      a mail message.

       nosave	      Prevents	 from	copying	  aborted  messages  into  the
		      dead.letter file in your home directory.

       quiet	      Suppresses  the  printing	 of  the  version  when	 first
		      invoked.

       verbose	      Displays	the  details of each message's delivery on the
		      user's terminal.	Setting the option is the same as typ‐
		      ing -v on the command line.

       The string options include the following:

       EDITOR	      Pathname of the text editor to use in the command and ~e
		      escape.  If not defined, then a default editor is used.

       SHELL	      Pathname of the shell to use in the !  command  and  the
		      ~!  escape.   A  default shell is used if this option is
		      not defined.

       VISUAL	      Pathname of the text editor to use in the command and ~v
		      escape.

       crt	      Threshold to determine how long a message must be before
		      is used to read it.

       escape	      The first character of this option gives	the  character
		      to  use  in the place of tilde (~) to denote escapes, if
		      defined.

       folder	      Directory name to use for storing folders	 of  messages.
		      If this name begins with a backslash (/) considers it an
		      absolute pathname; otherwise, the	 folder	 directory  is
		      found relative to your home directory.

       record	      Pathname	of  the file used to record all outgoing mail.
		      If it is not defined,  then  outgoing  mail  is  not  so
		      saved.

       toplines	      The  number  of  lines  of a message that is printed out
		      with the top command; normally, the first five lines are
		      printed.

Return Values
       If  mail	 is  invoked with the -e option, the following exit values are
       returned:
       0    the user has mail
       1    the user has no mail

Files
       /usr/spool/mail/*	mail directory
       ~/mbox			your read mail
       ~/.mailrc		file giving initial mail commands
       /tmp/R#			temporary for editor escape
       /usr/lib/Mail.help*	help files
       /usr/lib/Mail.rc		system initialization file
       Message*			temporary for editing messages

See Also
       binmail(1), fmt(1), newaliases(1), aliases(5), mailaddr(7), sendmail(8)

								       mail(1)
[top]

List of man pages available for Ultrix

Copyright (c) for man pages and the logo by the respective OS vendor.

For those who want to learn more, the polarhome community provides shell access and support.

[legal] [privacy] [GNU] [policy] [cookies] [netiquette] [sponsors] [FAQ]
Tweet
Polarhome, production since 1999.
Member of Polarhome portal.
Based on Fawad Halim's script.
...................................................................
Vote for polarhome
Free Shell Accounts :: the biggest list on the net