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MSGS(1)                 FreeBSD General Commands Manual                MSGS(1)

     msgs -- system messages and junk mail program

     msgs [-fhlpq] [number] [-number]
     msgs [-s]
     msgs [-c] [-days]

     The msgs utility is used to read system messages.  These messages are
     sent by mailing to the login `msgs' and should be short pieces of infor-
     mation which are suitable to be read once by most users of the system.

     The msgs utility is normally invoked each time you login, by placing it
     in the file .login (or .profile if you use sh(1)).  It will then prompt
     you with the source and subject of each new message.  If there is no sub-
     ject line, the first few non-blank lines of the message will be dis-
     played.  If there is more to the message, you will be told how long it is
     and asked whether you wish to see the rest of the message.  The possible
     responses are:

     -y          Type the rest of the message.

     RETURN      Synonym for y.

     -n          Skip this message and go on to the next message.

     -           Redisplay the last message.

     -q          Drop out of msgs; the next time msgs will pick up where it
                 last left off.

     -s          Append the current message to the file ``Messages'' in the
                 current directory; `s-' will save the previously displayed
                 message.  A `s' or `s-' may be followed by a space and a file
                 name to receive the message replacing the default ``Mes-

     -m          A copy of the specified message is placed in a temporary
                 mailbox and mail(1) is invoked on that mailbox.  Both `m' and
                 `s' accept a numeric argument in place of the `-'.

     The msgs utility keeps track of the next message you will see by a number
     in the file .msgsrc in your home directory.  In the directory /var/msgs
     it keeps a set of files whose names are the (sequential) numbers of the
     messages they represent.  The file /var/msgs/bounds shows the low and
     high number of the messages in the directory so that msgs can quickly
     determine if there are no messages for you.  If the contents of bounds is
     incorrect it can be fixed by removing it; msgs will make a new bounds
     file the next time it is run with the -s option.  If msgs is run with any
     option other than -s, an error will be displayed if /var/msgs/bounds does
     not exist.

     The -s option is used for setting up the posting of messages.  The line

           msgs: "| /usr/bin/msgs -s"

     should be included in /etc/mail/aliases (see newaliases(1)) to enable
     posting of messages.

     The -c option is used for performing cleanup on /var/msgs.  A shell
     script entry to run msgs with the -c option should be placed in
     /etc/periodic/daily (see periodic(8)) to run every night.  This will
     remove all messages over 21 days old.  A different expiration may be
     specified on the command line to override the default.  You must be the
     superuser to use this option.

     Options when reading messages include:

     -f          Do not say ``No new messages.''.  This is useful in a .login
                 file since this is often the case here.

     -q          Queries whether there are messages, printing ``There are new
                 messages.'' if there are.  The command ``msgs -q'' is often
                 used in login scripts.

     -h          Print the first part of messages only.

     -l          Cause only locally originated messages to be reported.

     num         A message number can be given on the command line, causing
                 msgs to start at the specified message rather than at the
                 next message indicated by your .msgsrc file.  Thus

                       msgs -h 1

                 prints the first part of all messages.

     -number     Start number messages back from the one indicated in the
                 .msgsrc file, useful for reviews of recent messages.

     -p          Pipe long messages through more(1).

     Within msgs you can also go to any specific message by typing its number
     when msgs requests input as to what to do.

     The msgs utility uses the HOME and TERM environment variables for the
     default home directory and terminal type.

     /var/msgs/*  database
     ~/.msgsrc    number of next message to be presented

     mail(1), more(1), aliases(5), periodic(8)

     The msgs command appeared in 3.0BSD.

FreeBSD 6.2                     April 28, 1995                     FreeBSD 6.2


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