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HP-UX 11i Version 3: February 2007

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newmail — notify users of new mail in mailboxes


newmail [-i interval] [-w] [file-spec]...


The newmail utility monitors your incoming mailbox or specified mail folders.

The basic operation is that the program checks the folders each interval seconds (default 60) and lists any new mail that has arrived in any of the mailboxes, indicating the sender's name, and the subject of the message.

Without any options, newmail runs in the background at a default interval of 60 seconds to monitor the user's incoming mailbox. So that they are suitable for display on an already active screen, messages are prefixed with a pair of pointer characters as follows:

>> Mail from sender-name - subject-of-message >> Priority sender-name - subject-of-message

If there is no subject, the message (No Subject Specified) is displayed. If there is more than one folder, output lines are prefixed by the folder-name or the prefix string specified by file-spec.

newmail runs until you log out or explicitly kill it. It can internally reset itself if the mailbox shrinks in size and then grows again.


newmail recognizes the following options:

-i interval

Set the time interval between mailbox checks to the value specified, in seconds. The default is 60.

interval must be less than 232 seconds. If it is set to less than 10 seconds, newmail warns that such short intervals are not recommended.


Run the program within the current window in the foreground with a more succinct output format.

The output formats become:

Mail from sender-name - subject-of-message Priority sender-name - subject-of-message


newmail recognizes the following operand:


Specifies the name of a folder and an optional prefix string, in the form:


Metacharacters such as +, =, and % indicate the folder directory. The default is the value of the environment variable MAILDIR or $HOME/Mail.


Check incoming mailbox every 60 seconds:


Check incoming mailboxes of joe and root every 15 seconds for new messages.

newmail -i 15 joe root

Monitor the incoming mailbox of user mary and the folder in your mail directory called postmaster. Prefix all new messages in the incoming mailbox of mary with the string Mary, and the new messages in the folder postmaster with POBOX. Also, monitor folder /tmp/mbox:

newmail "mary=Mary" +postmaster=POBOX /tmp/mbox


newmail was developed by HP.

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