|HP-UX Reference > M
mail(1)HP-UX 11i Version 3: February 2007
mail, rmail — send mail to users or read mail
The mail command, when used without arguments, prints the user's mail, message-by-message, in last-in, first-out order.
For each message, mail prints a ? prompt and reads a line from the standard input to determine the disposition of the message. Commands that automatically proceed to the next message exit from mail if mail already on the last message.
mail supports the following commands:
The following command-line options alter printing of the mail:
When persons are named, mail 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 a!b!cde as a recipient's name causes the message to be sent to user b!cde on system a. System a then interprets that destination as a request to send the message to user cde on system b. This might be useful, for instance, if the sending system can access system a but not system b. mail does not use uucp if the remote system is the local system name (i.e., localsystem!user).
The mailfile can be manipulated in two ways to alter the function of mail. 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 mailfile to be forwarded to person. 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 mailfile should have "mail" as group ID, and the group permission should be read-write.
rmail only permits the sending of mail. uucp uses rmail as a security precaution.
When a user logs in, the command mail -e can be used to detect the presence of mail, if any, and so indicate. When terminating, mail produces a notification message if new mail arrived while mail was running.
LC_TIME determines the format and contents of the displayed date and time strings.
If LC_TIME is not specified in the environment or is set to the empty string, the value of LANG is used as a default for each unspecified or empty variable. If LANG is not specified or is set to the empty string, a default of "C" (see lang(5)) is used instead of LANG. If any internationalization variable contains an invalid setting, mail behaves as if all internationalization variables are set to "C". See environ(5).
When set, the TMPDIR environment variable specifies a directory to be used for temporary files, overriding the default directory /tmp.
International Code Set Support
Between HP-UX systems, single- and multibyte 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 p.
Lines that look like postmarks in the message (that is, ``From ...'') are preceded by >.
mail treats a line consisting solely of a dot (.) as the end of the message, except when the rmail -d command is used.
The maximum allowable line length in mail messages is 8 times that of BUFSIZ bytes as defined in /usr/include/stdio.h. If line length exceeds this limit, mail truncates the line starting at beginning-of-line, and uses only the trailing 8 * BUFSIZ characters.
Using two separate mail programs to access the same mail file simultaneously (usually inadvertently from two separate windows) can cause unpredictable results.
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.
To: resent-to: cc: resent-cc: bcc: resent-bcc:
You can add the RFC-822 commands into the mail program buffer/editor. For instance:
mail email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: This is a test To: email@example.com This is a test