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HP-UX 11i Version 3: February 2007

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mailfrom — summarize mail folders by subject and sender


mailfrom [-hnQqStv] [-s status] [folder|username]...


The mailfrom command reads one or more mail folders and outputs one line per message in the form:

from [subject]

where from is the name of the person the message is from, and subject is the subject of the message, if present. If mailfrom determines that the message is from you, the from portion will read To user, where user is the user the message was sent to. This happens when you receive a copy of a letter you sent.

The default folder is your incoming mailbox, /var/mail/yourloginname. See the Operands subsection below.


mailfrom recognizes the following options:


Print a brief help message summarizing the options.


Number the messages using the same numbering scheme used by readmail.


Very quiet mode. Only error messages are produced. This option is useful in shell scripts, where only the success or failure of the program is important, and output is not desired.


Quiet mode. Output only a one-line summary for each mailbox or folder.


Add a summary of the number of messages by message status in each mailbox or folder. To get the summary only, use this with the -q option. The summary has the form:

Folder contains: New messages: n Unread messages: u Read messages: r

If an item count, n, r, or u is zero, the line is omitted.

-s status

Only display headers from messages with the given status. status can be one of new, old, read, or unread. old and unread are equivalent. The -s option can be repeated to print header information from more than one category, for example, only new and unread messages. The values can be abbreviated to their first letters. The default is all messages.


Tidy mode. If the from field is long enough to displace the subject field from its normal start column, move the subject down onto the next line.


Verbose mode. Print a descriptive header before listing the contents of each mailbox or folder.


mailfrom recognizes the following optional operands:


A file name or the name of a mail user on your system. You can use the =filename format to specify a folder in your mail directory, defined by the maildir string variable in your elmrc configuration file.

mailfrom searches for the value as a file name relative to your current directory. Then, if the file name is not an absolute path, it searches for the value relative to the incoming mailbox directory, /var/mail. The first file found is selected. You must have read access to the file.


mailfrom returns the following values:


Messages matching status are present.


No messages matching status are present, but there are some messages.


There are no messages at all.


An error occurred.

If multiple mailboxes or folders are specified, the exit status only applies to the last one examined. This can be used in scripts to determine what kind of mail a user has.


Display header information from all the messages in your mailbox.


Display header information from all new messages in your mailbox.

mailfrom -s new

Assuming you have the proper file permissions to read guest's mail, print out header information from all new and unread messages in guest's incoming mailbox.

mailfrom -s new -s unread guest

Print only a summary of how many new, unread, and read messages are in your incoming mailbox.

mailfrom -q -S


mailfrom was developed by HP.



Your elm configuration file.


Directory of incoming mailboxes.

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