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Linux in a Nutshell, Fourth Edition by Aaron Weber, Stephen Figgins, Ellen Siever

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Name

mail

Synopsis

                  mail [options] [users]

Read mail or send mail to other users. The mail utility allows you to compose, send, receive, forward, and reply to mail. mail has two main modes: compose mode, in which you create a message, and command mode, in which you manage your mail.

While mail is a powerful utility, it can be tricky for a novice user. It is most commonly seen nowadays in scripts. Most Linux distributions include several utilities that are richer in features and much easier to use: mailers built in to browsers such as Netscape and Mozilla, graphical mail programs distributed with GNOME (Evolution) and KDE (Kmail), and the terminal-based, full-screen utilities pine and elm. The GNU Emacs editor can also send and receive mail.

This section presents mail commands, options, and files. To get you started, here are two of the most basic commands.

To enter interactive mail-reading mode, type:

                  mail

To begin writing a message to user, type:

                  mail 
                  user

Enter the text of the message, one line at a time, pressing Enter at the end of each line. To end the message, enter a single period (.) in the first column of a new line and press Enter.

Command-line options

-b list

Set blind carbon copy field to comma-separated list.

-c list

Set carbon copy field to comma-separated list.

-d

Print debugging information.

-f [file]

Process contents of file instead of /var/spool/mail/$user. If file is omitted, process mbox in the user’s home directory.

-i

Do not respond to tty interrupt signals.

-n

Do not ...

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