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MAIL(1)			FreeBSD	General	Commands Manual		       MAIL(1)

NAME
     mail -- send and receive mail

SYNOPSIS
     mail [-EiInv] [-s subject]	[-c cc-addr] [-b bcc-addr] to-addr ... [-
	  sendmail-option ...]
     mail [-EiInNv] -f [name]
     mail [-EiInNv] [-u	user]

INTRODUCTION
     Mail is an	intelligent mail processing system, which has a	command	syntax
     reminiscent of ed(1) with lines replaced by messages.

     -v	   Verbose mode.  The details of delivery are displayed	on the user's
	   terminal.

     -E	   Do not send messages	with an	empty body.  This is useful for	piping
	   errors from cron(8) scripts.

     -i	   Ignore tty interrupt	signals.  This is particularly useful when
	   using mail on noisy phone lines.

     -I	   Forces mail to run in interactive mode even when input is not a
	   terminal.  In particular, the `~' special character when sending
	   mail	is only	active in interactive mode.

     -n	   Inhibits reading the	system-wide mail.rc files upon startup.

     -N	   Inhibits the	initial	display	of message headers when	reading	mail
	   or editing a	mail folder.

     -s	   Specify subject on command line (only the first argument after the
	   -s flag is used as a	subject; be careful to quote subjects contain-
	   ing spaces.)

     -c	   Send	carbon copies to list of users.

     -b	   Send	blind carbon copies to list.  List should be a comma-separated
	   list	of names.

     -f	   Read	in the contents	of your	mbox (or the specified file) for pro-
	   cessing; when you quit, mail	writes undeleted messages back to this
	   file.

     -u	   Is equivalent to:

		 mail -f /var/mail/user

   Startup actions
     At	startup	time mail will execute commands	in the system command files
     /usr/share/misc/mail.rc, /usr/local/etc/mail.rc and /etc/mail.rc in
     order, unless explicitly told not to by the use of	the -n option.	Next,
     the commands in the user's	personal command file ~/.mailrc	are executed.
     mail then examines	its command line options to determine whether a	new
     message is	to be sent, or whether an existing mailbox is to be read.

   Sending mail
     To	send a message to one or more people, mail can be invoked with argu-
     ments which are the names of people to whom the mail will be sent.	 You
     are then expected to type in your message,	followed by a `control-D' at
     the beginning of a	line.  The section below Replying to or	originating
     mail, describes some features of mail available to	help you compose your
     letter.

   Reading mail
     In	normal usage mail is given no arguments	and checks your	mail out of
     the post office, then prints out a	one line header	of each	message	found.
     The current message is initially the first	message	(numbered 1) and can
     be	printed	using the print	command	(which can be abbreviated `p').	 You
     can move among the	messages much as you move between lines	in ed(1), with
     the commands `+' and `-' moving backwards and forwards, and simple	num-
     bers.

   Disposing of	mail.
     After examining a message you can delete (d) the message or reply (r) to
     it.  Deletion causes the mail program to forget about the message.	 This
     is	not irreversible; the message can be undeleted (u) by giving its num-
     ber, or the mail session can be aborted by	giving the exit	(x) command.
     Deleted messages will, however, usually disappear never to	be seen	again.

   Specifying messages
     Commands such as print and	delete can be given a list of message numbers
     as	arguments to apply to a	number of messages at once.  Thus ``delete 1
     2'' deletes messages 1 and	2, while ``delete 1-5''	deletes	messages 1
     through 5.	 The special name `*' addresses	all messages, and `$'
     addresses the last	message; thus the command top which prints the first
     few lines of a message could be used in ``top *'' to print	the first few
     lines of all messages.

   Replying to or originating mail.
     You can use the reply command to set up a response	to a message, sending
     it	back to	the person who it was from.  Text you then type	in, up to an
     end-of-file, defines the contents of the message.	While you are compos-
     ing a message, mail treats	lines beginning	with the character `~' spe-
     cially.  For instance, typing `~m'	(alone on a line) will place a copy of
     the current message into the response right shifting it by	a tabstop (see
     indentprefix variable, below).  Other escapes will	set up subject fields,
     add and delete recipients to the message and allow	you to escape to an
     editor to revise the message or to	a shell	to run some commands.  (These
     options are given in the summary below.)

   Ending a mail processing session.
     You can end a mail	session	with the quit (q) command.  Messages which
     have been examined	go to your mbox	file unless they have been deleted in
     which case	they are discarded.  Unexamined	messages go back to the	post
     office.  (See the -f option above).

   Personal and	system wide distribution lists.
     It	is also	possible to create a personal distribution lists so that, for
     instance, you can send mail to ``cohorts''	and have it go to a group of
     people.  Such lists can be	defined	by placing a line like

	   alias cohorts bill ozalp jkf	mark kridle@ucbcory

     in	the file .mailrc in your home directory.  The current list of such
     aliases can be displayed with the alias command in	mail.  System wide
     distribution lists	can be created by editing /etc/mail/aliases, see
     aliases(5)	and sendmail(8); these are kept	in a different syntax.	In
     mail you send, personal aliases will be expanded in mail sent to others
     so	that they will be able to reply	to the recipients.  System wide
     aliases are not expanded when the mail is sent, but any reply returned to
     the machine will have the system wide alias expanded as all mail goes
     through sendmail.

   Network mail	(ARPA, UUCP, Berknet)
     See mailaddr(7) for a description of network addresses.

     Mail has a	number of options which	can be set in the .mailrc file to
     alter its behavior; thus ``set askcc'' enables the	askcc feature.	(These
     options are summarized below.)

SUMMARY
     (Adapted from the `Mail Reference Manual')

     Each command is typed on a	line by	itself,	and may	take arguments follow-
     ing the command word.  The	command	need not be typed in its entirety -
     the first command which matches the typed prefix is used.	For commands
     which take	message	lists as arguments, if no message list is given, then
     the next message forward which satisfies the command's requirements is
     used.  If there are no messages forward of	the current message, the
     search proceeds backwards,	and if there are no good messages at all, mail
     types ``No	applicable messages'' and aborts the command.

     -	     Print out the preceding message.  If given	a numeric argument n,
	     goes to the n'th previous message and prints it.

     #	     ignore the	remainder of the line as a comment.

     ?	     Prints a brief summary of commands.

     !	     Executes the shell	(see sh(1) and csh(1)) command which follows.

     Print   (P) Like print but	also prints out	ignored	header fields.	See
	     also print, ignore	and retain.

     Reply   (R) Reply to originator.  Does not	reply to other recipients of
	     the original message.

     Type    (T) Identical to the Print	command.

     alias   (a) With no arguments, prints out all currently-defined aliases.
	     With one argument,	prints out that	alias.	With more than one
	     argument, creates a new alias or changes an old one.

     alternates
	     (alt) The alternates command is useful if you have	accounts on
	     several machines.	It can be used to inform mail that the listed
	     addresses are really you.	When you reply to messages, mail will
	     not send a	copy of	the message to any of the addresses listed on
	     the alternates list.  If the alternates command is	given with no
	     argument, the current set of alternate names is displayed.

     chdir   (c) Changes the user's working directory to that specified, if
	     given.  If	no directory is	given, then changes to the user's
	     login directory.

     copy    (co) The copy command does	the same thing that save does, except
	     that it does not mark the messages	it is used on for deletion
	     when you quit.

     delete  (d) Takes a list of messages as argument and marks	them all as
	     deleted.  Deleted messages	will not be saved in mbox, nor will
	     they be available for most	other commands.

     dp	     (also dt) Deletes the current message and prints the next mes-
	     sage.  If there is	no next	message, mail says ``at	EOF''.

     edit    (e) Takes a list of messages and points the text editor at	each
	     one in turn.  On return from the editor, the message is read back
	     in.

     exit    (ex or x) Effects an immediate return to the Shell	without	modi-
	     fying the user's system mailbox, his mbox file, or	his edit file
	     in	-f.

     file    (fi) The same as folder.

     folders
	     List the names of the folders in your folder directory.

     folder  (fo) The folder command switches to a new mail file or folder.
	     With no arguments,	it tells you which file	you are	currently
	     reading.  If you give it an argument, it will write out changes
	     (such as deletions) you have made in the current file and read in
	     the new file.  Some special conventions are recognized for	the
	     name.  # means the	previous file, % means your system mailbox,
	     %user means user's	system mailbox,	& means	your mbox file,	and
	     +folder means a file in your folder directory.

     from    (f) Takes a list of messages and prints their message headers.

     headers
	     (h) Lists the current range of headers, which is an 18-message
	     group.  If	a `+' argument is given, then the next 18-message
	     group is printed, and if a	`-' argument is	given, the previous
	     18-message	group is printed.

     help    A synonym for ?

     hold    (ho, also preserve) Takes a message list and marks	each message
	     therein to	be saved in the	user's system mailbox instead of in
	     mbox.  Does not override the delete command.

     ignore  Add the list of header fields named to the	ignored	list.  Header
	     fields in the ignore list are not printed on your terminal	when
	     you print a message.  This	command	is very	handy for suppression
	     of	certain	machine-generated header fields.  The Type and Print
	     commands can be used to print a message in	its entirety, includ-
	     ing ignored fields.  If ignore is executed	with no	arguments, it
	     lists the current set of ignored fields.

     mail    (m) Takes as argument login names and distribution	group names
	     and sends mail to those people.

     more    (mo) Takes	a list of messages and invokes the pager on that list.

     mbox    Indicate that a list of messages be sent to mbox in your home
	     directory when you	quit.  This is the default action for messages
	     if	you do not have	the hold option	set.

     next    (n) like (	+ or CR) Goes to the next message in sequence and
	     types it.	With an	argument list, types the next matching mes-
	     sage.

     preserve
	     (pre) A synonym for hold.

     print   (p) Takes a message list and types	out each message on the	user's
	     terminal.

     quit    (q) Terminates the	session, saving	all undeleted, unsaved mes-
	     sages in the user's mbox file in his login	directory, preserving
	     all messages marked with hold or preserve or never	referenced in
	     his system	mailbox, and removing all other	messages from his sys-
	     tem mailbox.  If new mail has arrived during the session, the
	     message ``You have	new mail'' is given.  If given while editing a
	     mailbox file with the -f flag, then the edit file is rewritten.
	     A return to the Shell is effected,	unless the rewrite of edit
	     file fails, in which case the user	can escape with	the exit com-
	     mand.

     reply   (r) Takes a message list and sends	mail to	the sender and all
	     recipients	of the specified message.  The default message must
	     not be deleted.

     respond
	     A synonym for reply.

     retain  Add the list of header fields named to the	retained list Only the
	     header fields in the retain list are shown	on your	terminal when
	     you print a message.  All other header fields are suppressed.
	     The Type and Print	commands can be	used to	print a	message	in its
	     entirety.	If retain is executed with no arguments, it lists the
	     current set of retained fields.

     save    (s) Takes a message list and a filename and appends each message
	     in	turn to	the end	of the file.  The filename in quotes, followed
	     by	the line count and character count is echoed on	the user's
	     terminal.

     set     (se) With no arguments, prints all	variable values.  Otherwise,
	     sets option.  Arguments are of the	form option=value (no space
	     before or after =)	or option.  Quotation marks may	be placed
	     around any	part of	the assignment statement to quote blanks or
	     tabs, i.e.	``set indentprefix="->"''

     saveignore
	     Saveignore	is to save what	ignore is to print and type.  Header
	     fields thus marked	are filtered out when saving a message by save
	     or	when automatically saving to mbox.

     saveretain
	     Saveretain	is to save what	retain is to print and type.  Header
	     fields thus marked	are the	only ones saved	with a message when
	     saving by save or when automatically saving to mbox.  Saveretain
	     overrides saveignore.

     shell   (sh) Invokes an interactive version of the	shell.

     size    Takes a message list and prints out the size in characters	of
	     each message.

     source  The source	command	reads commands from a file.

     top     Takes a message list and prints the top few lines of each.	 The
	     number of lines printed is	controlled by the variable toplines
	     and defaults to five.

     type    (t) A synonym for print.

     unalias
	     Takes a list of names defined by alias commands and discards the
	     remembered	groups of users.  The group names no longer have any
	     significance.

     undelete
	     (u) Takes a message list and marks	each message as	not being
	     deleted.

     unread  (U) Takes a message list and marks	each message as	not having
	     been read.

     unset   Takes a list of option names and discards their remembered	val-
	     ues; the inverse of set.

     visual  (v) Takes a message list and invokes the display editor on	each
	     message.

     write   (w) Similar to save, except that only the message body (without)
	     the header) is saved.  Extremely useful for such tasks as sending
	     and receiving source program text over the	message	system.

     xit     (x) A synonym for exit.

     z	     Mail presents message headers in windowfuls as described under
	     the headers command.  You can move	mail's attention forward to
	     the next window with the z	command.  Also,	you can	move to	the
	     previous window by	using z-.

   Tilde/Escapes
     Here is a summary of the tilde escapes, which are used when composing
     messages to perform special functions.  Tilde escapes are only recognized
     at	the beginning of lines.	 The name ``tilde escape'' is somewhat of a
     misnomer since the	actual escape character	can be set by the option
     escape.

     ~!command
	     Execute the indicated shell command, then return to the message.

     ~bname ...
	     Add the given names to the	list of	carbon copy recipients but do
	     not make the names	visible	in the Cc: line	("blind" carbon	copy).

     ~cname ...
	     Add the given names to the	list of	carbon copy recipients.

     ~d	     Read the file ``dead.letter'' from	your home directory into the
	     message.

     ~e	     Invoke the	text editor on the message collected so	far.  After
	     the editing session is finished, you may continue appending text
	     to	the message.

     ~fmessages
	     Read the named messages into the message being sent.  If no mes-
	     sages are specified, read in the current message.	Message	head-
	     ers currently being ignored (by the ignore	or retain command) are
	     not included.

     ~Fmessages
	     Identical to ~f, except all message headers are included.

     ~h	     Edit the message header fields by typing each one in turn and
	     allowing the user to append text to the end or modify the field
	     by	using the current terminal erase and kill characters.

     ~mmessages
	     Read the named messages into the message being sent, indented by
	     a tab or by the value of indentprefix.  If	no messages are	speci-
	     fied, read	the current message.  Message headers currently	being
	     ignored (by the ignore or retain command) are not included.

     ~Mmessages
	     Identical to ~m, except all message headers are included.

     ~p	     Print out the message collected so	far, prefaced by the message
	     header fields.

     ~q	     Abort the message being sent, copying the message to
	     ``dead.letter'' in	your home directory if save is set.

     ~rfilename
	     Read the named file into the message.

     ~Rstring
	     Use string	as the Reply-To	field.

     ~sstring
	     Cause the named string to become the current subject field.

     ~tname ...
	     Add the given names to the	direct recipient list.

     ~v	     Invoke an alternate editor	(defined by the	VISUAL option) on the
	     message collected so far.	Usually, the alternate editor will be
	     a screen editor.  After you quit the editor, you may resume
	     appending text to the end of your message.

     ~wfilename
	     Write the message onto the	named file.

     ~|command
	     Pipe the message through the command as a filter.	If the command
	     gives no output or	terminates abnormally, retain the original
	     text of the message.  The command fmt(1) is often used as command
	     to	rejustify the message.

     ~:mail-command
	     Execute the given mail command.  Not all commands,	however, are
	     allowed.

     ~~string
	     Insert the	string of text in the message prefaced by a single ~.
	     If	you have changed the escape character, then you	should double
	     that character in order to	send it.

   Mail	Options
     Options are controlled via	set and	unset commands.	 Options may be	either
     binary, in	which case it is only significant to see whether they are set
     or	not; or	string,	in which case the actual value is of interest.	If an
     option is not set,	mail will look for an environment variable of the same
     name.  The	binary options include the following:

     append  Causes messages saved in mbox to be appended to the end rather
	     than prepended.  This should always be set	(preferably in one of
	     the system-wide mail.rc files).

     ask     Causes mail to prompt you for the subject of each message you
	     send.  If you respond with	simply a newline, no subject field
	     will be sent.

     askcc   Causes you	to be prompted for additional carbon copy recipients
	     at	the end	of each	message.  Responding with a newline indicates
	     your satisfaction with the	current	list.

     autoprint
	     Causes the	delete command to behave like dp - thus, after delet-
	     ing a message, the	next one will be typed automatically.

     debug   Setting the binary	option debug is	the same as specifying -d on
	     the command line and causes mail to output	all sorts of informa-
	     tion useful for debugging mail.

     dot     The binary	option dot causes mail to interpret a period alone on
	     a line as the terminator of a message you are sending.

     hold    This option is used to hold messages in the system	mailbox	by
	     default.

     ignore  Causes interrupt signals from your	terminal to be ignored and
	     echoed as @'s.

     ignoreeof
	     An	option related to dot is ignoreeof which makes mail refuse to
	     accept a control-d	as the end of a	message.  Ignoreeof also
	     applies to	mail command mode.

     metoo   Usually, when a group is expanded that contains the sender, the
	     sender is removed from the	expansion.  Setting this option	causes
	     the sender	to be included in the group.

     noheader
	     Setting the option	noheader is the	same as	giving the -N flag on
	     the command line.

     nosave  Normally, when you	abort a	message	with two RUBOUT	(erase or
	     delete) mail copies the partial letter to the file
	     ``dead.letter'' in	your home directory.  Setting the binary
	     option nosave prevents this.

     Replyall
	     Reverses the sense	of reply and Reply commands.

     quiet   Suppresses	the printing of	the version when first invoked.

     searchheaders
	     If	this option is set, then a message-list	specifier in the form
	     ``/x:y'' will expand to all messages containing the substring
	     ``y'' in the header field ``x''.  The string search is case
	     insensitive.

     verbose
	     Setting the option	verbose	is the same as using the -v flag on
	     the command line.	When mail runs in verbose mode,	the actual
	     delivery of messages is displayed on the user's terminal.

   Option String Values
     EDITOR	   Pathname of the text	editor to use in the edit command and
		   ~e escape.  If not defined, then a default editor is	used.

     LISTER	   Pathname of the directory lister to use in the folders com-
		   mand.  Default is /bin/ls.

     PAGER	   Pathname of the program to use in the more command or when
		   crt variable	is set.	 The default paginator more(1) is used
		   if this option is not defined.

     REPLYTO	   If set, will	be used	to initialize the Reply-To field for
		   outgoing messages.

     SHELL	   Pathname of the shell to use	in the ! command and the ~!
		   escape.  A default shell is used if this option is not
		   defined.

     VISUAL	   Pathname of the text	editor to use in the visual command
		   and ~v escape.

     crt	   The valued option crt is used as a threshold	to determine
		   how long a message must be before PAGER is used to read it.
		   If crt is set without a value, then the height of the ter-
		   minal screen	stored in the system is	used to	compute	the
		   threshold (see stty(1)).

     escape	   If defined, the first character of this option gives	the
		   character to	use in the place of ~ to denote	escapes.

     folder	   The name of the directory to	use for	storing	folders	of
		   messages.  If this name begins with a `/', mail considers
		   it to be an absolute	pathname; otherwise, the folder	direc-
		   tory	is found relative to your home directory.

     MBOX	   The name of the mbox	file.  It can be the name of a folder.
		   The default is ``mbox'' in the user's home directory.

     record	   If defined, gives the pathname of the file used to record
		   all outgoing	mail.  If not defined, then outgoing mail is
		   not so saved.

     indentprefix  String used by the ``~m'' tilde escape for indenting	mes-
		   sages, in place of the normal tab character (^I).  Be sure
		   to quote the	value if it contains spaces or tabs.

     toplines	   If defined, gives the number	of lines of a message to be
		   printed out with the	top command; normally, the first five
		   lines are printed.

ENVIRONMENT
     Mail utilizes the HOME and	USER environment variables.  Also, if the MAIL
     environment variable is set, it is	used as	the location of	the user's
     mailbox instead of	the default in /var/mail.

FILES
     /var/mail/*		 Post office.
     ~/mbox			 User's	old mail.
     ~/.mailrc			 File giving initial mail commands.
     /tmp/R*			 Temporary files.
     /usr/share/misc/mail.*help	 Help files.

     /usr/share/misc/mail.rc
     /usr/local/etc/mail.rc
     /etc/mail.rc		 System-wide initialization files.  Each file
				 will be sourced, in order, if it exists.

SEE ALSO
     fmt(1), newaliases(1), vacation(1), aliases(5), mailaddr(7), sendmail(8)

     The Mail Reference	Manual.

HISTORY
     A mail command appeared in	Version	1 AT&T UNIX.  This man page is derived
     from The Mail Reference Manual originally written by Kurt Shoens.

BUGS
     There are some flags that are not documented here.	 Most are not useful
     to	the general user.

     Usually, mail is just a link to Mail, which can be	confusing.

FreeBSD	9.3		       December	30, 1993		   FreeBSD 9.3

NAME | SYNOPSIS | INTRODUCTION | SUMMARY | ENVIRONMENT | FILES | SEE ALSO | HISTORY | BUGS

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