Linux mail


How is command line linux mail implemented on DH hosts? My cron jobs send me mail. One was sending me a warning that I missed for a while because I can’t seem to get the mail command to work as it does on my old Solaris server. On bogota, when I type mail, all I get is mail: /home/username/Maildir:/ Is a directory. Maybe this is because the current mail is getting stuffed in a subdirectory named “new”

It’s hard to search for this in the forum, or wiki, because there are so many hits for regular email and webmail.

This signature line intentionally blank.


It reports it’s a directory 'cause it’s a directory :wink:

You can use mutt if the user has access to mail in shell.

Maximum Cash Discount on any plan with MAXCASH

How To Install PHP.INI / ionCube on DreamHost


Am I missing an easier solution that involves forwarding this system mail to a POP3 account or to webmail somehow?

This signature line intentionally blank.


I read your problem as being you couldn’t read your email while in shell.

Do you mean cron isn’t reporting a specific notification, or maybe that you are trying to use sendmail via crontab and it isn’t working?

Maximum Cash Discount on any plan with MAXCASH

How To Install PHP.INI / ionCube on DreamHost


No, I’m not trying to use sendmail in a cron job. I’m just trying to see if the cron jobs reported some failure.

Back when Sparc 10s roamed the earth, I’d telnet into my Solaris system and sometimes it would say “You have new mail.” I’d check mail messages to see what the system or my cron jobs were trying to tell me. I’d just type “mail” and see the header of the first message in my mailbox, and a ? prompt at which point I could enter other commands to read, or skip through the messages.

When I ssh into bogota at DH, sometimes it says “you have mail” but when I type mail I get “mail: /home/ykfpdata/Maildir/: Is a directory
You have new mail in /home/ykfpdata/Maildir/” and returned to the [bogota]$ prompt. Since it looks like the files with the recent mtime when I have new mail are down in /home/ykfpdata/Maildir/new, maybe all I have to do is make a change in a config file for mail somewhere so it looks in the right place.

When I ssh into my Ubuntu linux box and type mail, I get "The program ‘mail’ can be found in the following packages:

  • heirloom-mailx
  • mailutils
    Try: sudo apt-get install
    mail: command not found"

Well, I haven’t heard of any of those mail programs. That name heirloom-mailx makes me feel old. I guess the cool kids don’t use mail to check system messages anymore. Maybe I’m the last of a dying generation. What’s an old caveman to do when hunting woolly mammoths is no longer a marketable skill set?

This signature line intentionally blank.