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

     mail - send and receive mail

     mail [-iInv] [-s subject] [-c cc-addr] [-b bcc-addr] to-addr ... [-
	  sendmail-option ...]
     mail [-iInNv] -f [name]
     mail [-iInNv] [-u user]

     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

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

     -I    Forces mail to run in interactive mode even when input isn't a ter­
	   minal.  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

     -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 or­
     der, 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

   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

   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 `$' address­
     es 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 dis­
     tribution lists can be created by editing /etc/mail/aliases, see alias­
     es(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 ma­
     chine will have the system wide alias expanded as all mail goes through

   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 al­
     ter its behavior; thus ``set askcc'' enables the askcc feature.  (These
     options are summarized below.)

     (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 ``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 ar­
	     gument, creates a new alias or changes an old one.

	     (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 lo­
	     gin 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

     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.

	     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.

	     (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 di­
	     rectory 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

	     (pre) A synonym for hold.

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

     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

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

	     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

     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 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 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.

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

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

     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

     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-.


     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

	     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

     ~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.

	     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.

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

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

	     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.

	     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.

	     Read the named file into the message.

	     Use string as the Reply-To field.

	     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 ap­
	     pending text to the end of your message.

	     Write the message onto the named file.

	     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.

	     Execute the given mail command.  Not all commands, however, are

	     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.	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.

	     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 de­

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

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

	     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 op­
	     tion nosave prevents this.

	     Reverses the sense of reply and Reply commands.

     quiet   Suppresses the printing of the version when first invoked.

	     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 in­

	     Setting the option verbose is the same as using the -v flag on
	     the command line.	When mail runs in verbose mode, the actual de­
	     livery 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 de­

     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.

     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.

     /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.

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

     fmt(1),  newaliases(1),  vacation(1),  aliases(5),  mailaddr(7),  send­
     mail(8) and

     The Mail Reference Manual..

     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.

     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.

4th Berkeley Distribution      December 30, 1993			     9


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