mail - send and receive electronic mail
mail [-epqr] [-f file]
mail [-dtv] [-s subject] user [...]
-e Exit with status TRUE or FALSE to indicate if there is mail in
-p Print all mail and then exit
-q Quit program if SIGINT received
-r Reverse print order, i.e., print oldest first
-f Use file instead of /usr/spool/mail/user as mailbox
-d Force use of the shell variable MAILER
-t Show distribution list as Dist: header in message
-v Verbose mode (passed on to MAILER)
-s Use Subject: subject
mail ast # Send a message to ast
mail # Read your mail
cat mail.cdiff | mail -s ''Here's the diff!'' asw
# Pipe program output to mail with a subject line
mail -f /usr/spool/mail/asw
# How root can read asw's mail
Mail is an extremely simple electronic mail program. It can be used to
send or receive email on a single MINIX system, in which case it
functions as user agent and local delivery agent. If the flag MAILER is
defined in mail.c, it can also call a transport agent to handle remote
mail as well. No such agent is supplied with MINIX.
When called by user with no arguments, it examines the mailbox
/usr/spool/mail/user, prints one message (depending on the -r flag), and
waits for one of the following commands:
<newline> Go to the next message
- Print the previous message
!command Fork off a shell and execute command
CTRL-D Update the mailbox and quit (same as q)
d Delete the current message and go to the next one
q Update the mailbox and quit (same as CTRL-D)
p Print the current message again
s [file] Save message in the named file
x Exit without updating the mailbox
To send mail, the program is called with the name of one or more
recipients as arguments. The mail is sent, along with a postmark line
containing the date. For local delivery, a file named after each
recipient in the directory /usr/spool/mail must be writable. If a spool
file does not exist for a recipient it will be created.
If the directory /usr/spool/mail does not exist then the mail is dumped
on the console, so that system programs have a way to notify a user on a
system that does not have a mail spool.
The received mail contains a To: header showing the recipient. If there
are multiple recipients and the -t option is specified each recipient
will also see a Dist: header line showing the other recipients.
The -s option allows a subject to be specified. The subject must be
quoted if it contains spaces. If no subject is specified the mail will be
delivered with Subject: No subject.
The -s option was added to make this simple mail program consistent with
mail programs found in other *nix variants. Many programs, including the
version of cron distributed with Minix releases 2.0.3 and later, report
their outcome by piping output to the mail program in order to send a
mail message to root in lieu of writing a log file. Such programs often
expect the mail program to accept a subject line using this option.
If an external MAILER is used it is likely the conditional code
supporting this will need some editing to be made to work correctly.
The original mail program for Minix was written by Peter B. Housel. The
-e and -t options were added by C. W. Rose. The -s option was added by A.
S. Woodhull. This man page revised by ASW 2003-07-18.