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     mail, rmail - read mail or send mail to users

  Sending Mail
     mail [-tw] [-m message_type] recipient...

     rmail [-tw] [-m message_type] recipient...

  Reading Mail
     mail [-ehpPqr] [-f file]

     mail [-x debug_level] [other_mail_options] recipient...

     A   recipient   is   usually   a   domain   style    address
     ("user@machine") or a user name recognized by login(1). When
     recipients are named, mail assumes a message is being  sent.
     It  reads  from  the  standard  input  up  to an end-of-file
     (Control-d) or, if reading from a terminal device, until  it
     reads  a  line  consisting  of just a period. When either of
     those indicators is received, mail adds the  letter  to  the
     mailfile for each recipient.

     A letter is composed of some  header  lines  followed  by  a
     blank line followed by the message content. The header lines
     section of the letter consists of one  or  more  UNIX  post-

       From sender date_and_time [remote from remote_system_name]

     followed by one or more standardized message header lines of
     the form:

       keyword-name: [printable text]

     where keyword-name  is  comprised  of  any  printable,  non-
     whitespace  characters  other  than  colon  (`:').  A  MIME-
     version: header line indicates that the message is formatted
     as  described  in  RFC  2045. A Content-Length: header line,
     indicating the number of bytes in the  message  content,  is
     always  present  unless  the  letter consists of only header
     lines with no message content. A Content-Type:  header  line
     that  describes  the  type  of  the message content (such as
     text/plain, application/octet-stream, and  so  on)  is  also
     present,  unless  the  letter  consists of only header lines
     with no message content. Header lines may  be  continued  on
     the following line if that line starts with white space.

  Sending Mail
     The following command-line arguments affect sending mail:

     -m message_type    A Message-Type: line is added to the mes-
                        sage    header    with   the   value   of

     -t                 A To: line is added to the message header
                        for each of the intended recipients.

     -w                 A letter is sent to  a  remote  recipient
                        without waiting for the completion of the
                        remote transfer program.

     If a letter is found to be undeliverable, it is returned  to
     the  sender  with diagnostics that indicate the location and
     nature of the failure. If mail is interrupted during  input,
     the  message is saved in the file dead.letter to allow edit-
     ing and resending. dead.letter is always appended  to,  thus
     preserving  any  previous  contents.  The initial attempt to
     append to (or create) dead.letter is in the  current  direc-
     tory.  If this fails, dead.letter is appended to (or created
     in) the user's login directory. If the second  attempt  also
     fails, no dead.letter processing is done.

     rmail only permits the sending of mail; uucp(1C) uses  rmail
     as a security precaution. Any application programs that gen-
     erate mail messages should be sure to  invoke  rmail  rather
     than mail for message transport and/or delivery.

     If the local  system  has  the  Basic  Networking  Utilities
     installed,  mail can be sent to a recipient on a remote sys-
     tem. There are numerous ways to address mail  to  recipients
     on  remote  systems  depending  on  the transport mechanisms
     available to  the  local  system.  The  two  most  prevalent
     addressing schemes are Domain-style and UUCP-style.
     Domain-style addressing    Remote recipients  are  specified
                                by  appending  an  `@' and domain
                                (and possibly sub-domain)  infor-
                                mation   to  the  recipient  name
                                (such as  user@sf.att.com).  (The
                                local system administrator should
                                be consulted for details on which
                                addressing conventions are avail-
                                able on the local system.)

     UUCP-style addressing      Remote recipients  are  specified
                                by  prefixing  the recipient name
                                with the remote system  name  and
                                an  exclamation  point,  such  as
                                sysa!user.  If  csh(1)   is   the
                                default  shell, sysa\!user should
                                be used. A series of system names
                                separated  by  exclamation points
                                can be used to  direct  a  letter
                                through an extended network (such
                                as     sysa!sysb!sysc!user     or

  Reading Mail
     The following command-line arguments affect reading mail:

     -e         Test for the presence of mail. mail prints  noth-

                An exit status of 0 is returned if the  user  has
                mail. Otherwise, an exit status of 1 is returned.

     -E         Similar to -e, but tests only for the presence of
                new mail.

                An  exit  status  of 0 is returned  if  the  user
                has new            mail  to read,  an exit status
                of 1 is returned if the            user   has  no
                mail,   or  an  exit  status  of  2  is  returned
                if the user has mail which has already been read.

     -h         A  window  of  headers  are  initially  displayed
                rather  than  the  latest message. The display is
                followed by the ? prompt.

     -p         All messages are printed  without  prompting  for

     -P         All messages are printed with  all  header  lines
                displayed,  rather  than  the  default  selective
                header line display.

     -q         mail terminates  after  interrupts.  Normally  an
                interrupt causes only the termination of the mes-
                sage being printed.

     -r         Messages  are  printed  in  first-in,   first-out

     -f file    mail uses file (such  as  mbox)  instead  of  the
                default mailfile.

     mail, unless otherwise influenced by command-line arguments,
     prints  a  user's mail messages in last-in, first-out order.
     The default mode for printing messages is  to  display  only
     those header lines of immediate interest. These include, but
     are not limited to,  the  UNIX  From  and  >From  postmarks,
     From:,  Date:,  Subject:,  and Content-Length: header lines,
     and any recipient header lines such as To:, Cc:,  Bcc:,  and
     so  forth.  After the header lines have been displayed, mail
     displays the contents (body) of the message only if it  con-
     tains  no  unprintable  characters. Otherwise, mail issues a
     warning statement about the message  having  binary  content
     and not display the content. This can be overridden by means
     of the p command.

     For each message, the user is prompted with a ? and  a  line
     is  read from the standard input. The following commands are
     available to determine the disposition of the message:

     #                     Print the number of the  current  mes-

     -                     Print previous message.

     <new-line>,+, or n    Print the next message.

     !command              Escape to the shell to do command.

     a                     Print message that arrived during  the
                           mail session.

     d, or dp              Delete the current message  and  print
                           the next message.

     d n                   Delete message number n. Do not go  on
                           to next message.

     dq                    Delete message and quit mail.

     h                     Display a  window  of  headers  around
                           current message.

     hn                    Display a  window  of  headers  around
                           message number n.

     h a                   Display headers of all messages in the
                           user's mailfile.

     h d                   Display headers of messages  scheduled
                           for deletion.

     m [ persons ]         Mail (and delete) the current  message
                           to the named persons.

     n                     Print message number n.

     p                     Print current message again,  overrid-
                           ing  any  indications  of binary (that
                           is, unprintable) content.

     P                     Override default brief mode and  print
                           current  message again, displaying all
                           header lines.

     q, or Control-d       Put undeleted mail back in  the  mail-
                           file and quit mail.

     r [ users ]           Reply to the sender, and other  users,
                           then delete the message.

     s [ files ]           Save message in the named files  (mbox
                           is default) and delete the message.

     u [ n ]               Undelete message number n (default  is
                           last read).

     w [ files ]           Save  message  contents,  without  any
                           header lines, in the named files (mbox
                           is default) and delete the message.

     x                     Put all  mail  back  in  the  mailfile
                           unchanged and exit mail.

     y [ files ]           Same as -w option.

     ?                     Print a command summary.

     When a user logs in, the presence of mail, if any,  is  usu-
     ally  indicated.  Also,  notification  is  made  if new mail
     arrives while using mail.

     The  permissions  of  mailfile  can  be  manipulated   using
     chmod(1)  in  two  ways  to  alter the function of mail. The
     other permissions of the  file  can  be  read-write  (0666),
     read-only  (0664), or neither read nor write (0660) to allow
     different levels of privacy. If changed to  other  than  the
     default  (mode  0660), the file is preserved even when empty
     to perpetuate the desired  permissions.  (The  administrator
     can    override    this    file   preservation   using   the
     DEL_EMPTY_MAILFILE option of mailcnfg.)

     The group ID of the mailfile must be mail to allow new  mes-
     sages  to be delivered, and the mailfile must be writable by
     group mail.

     The following command-line arguments cause mail  to  provide
     debugging information:

     -x debug_level    mail  creates  a  trace  file   containing
                       debugging information.

     The  -x  option  causes  mail  to  create   a   file   named
     /tmp/MLDBGprocess_id  that  contains  debugging  information
     relating to how mail  processed  the  current  message.  The
     absolute  value  of  debug_level controls the verboseness of
     the  debug  information.  0   implies   no   debugging.   If
     debug_level  is  greater  than 0, the debug file is retained
     only if mail encountered some problem while  processing  the
     message.  If  debug_level  is less than 0, the debug file is
     always be retained. The debug_level specified via  -x  over-
     rides  any specification of DEBUG in /etc/mail/mailcnfg. The
     information provided by the -x option  is  esoteric  and  is
     probably only useful to system administrators.

  Delivery Notification
     Several forms of notification  are  available  for  mail  by
     including one of the following lines in the message header.

     Transport-Options: [ /options ]

     Default-Options: [ /options ]

     >To: recipient [ /options ]

     Where the "/options" can be one or more of the following:

     /delivery      Inform the sender that the message  was  suc-
                    cessfully  delivered to the recipient's mail-

     /nodelivery    Do  not  inform  the  sender  of   successful

     /ignore        Do  not   inform   the   sender   of   failed

     /return        Inform the sender  if  mail  delivery  fails.
                    Return the failed message to the sender.

     /report        Same as /return except that the original mes-
                    sage is not returned.

     The default is /nodelivery/return. If contradictory  options
     are  used,  the  first is recognized and later, conflicting,
     terms are ignored.

     The following operand is supported for sending mail:

     recipient    A domain style address ("user@machine") or user
                  login name recognized by login(1).

     See largefile(5) for the description of the behavior of mail
     and rmail when encountering files greater than or equal to 2
     Gbyte ( 2^31 bytes).

     See environ(5) for descriptions of the following environment
     variables  that  affect  the  execution  of  mail: LC_CTYPE,

     TZ    Determine  the  timezone  used  with  date  and   time

     The following exit values are returned:

     0     Successful completion when the user had mail.

     1     The user  had  no  mail  or  an  initialization  error

     >1    An error occurred after initialization.

     dead.letter         unmailable text

     /etc/passwd         to identify sender and locate recipients

     $HOME/mbox          saved mail

     $MAIL               variable containing path name  of  mail-

     /tmp/MLDBG*         debug trace file

     /var/mail/*.lock    lock for mail directory

     /var/mail/:saved    directory  for  holding  temp  files  to
                         prevent  loss  of data in the event of a
                         system crash

     /var/mail/user      incoming mail for  user;  that  is,  the

     var/tmp/ma*         temporary file

     See attributes(5) for descriptions of the  following  attri-

    |       ATTRIBUTE TYPE        |       ATTRIBUTE VALUE       |
    | Availability                | SUNWcsu                     |

     chmod(1),    csh(1),    login(1),    mailx(1),     uucp(1C),
     uuencode(1C),    vacation(1),    write(1),    attributes(5),
     environ(5), largefile(5)

     The interpretation and resulting action taken because of the
     header lines described in the Delivery Notifications section
     only occur if this version of mail is installed on the  sys-
     tem  where  the  delivery (or failure) happens. Earlier ver-
     sions of mail might not support any types of delivery notif-

     Conditions sometimes result in a failure to  remove  a  lock
     After an interrupt, the next message might not  be  printed.
     Printing can be forced by typing a p.

Man pages from Solaris 10 Update 8. See docs.sun.com and www.oracle.com for further documentation and Solaris information.