binmail - send or receive mail among users
/bin/mail [ + ] [ -i ] [ person ] ...
/bin/mail [ + ] [ -i ] -f file
Note: This is the old version 7 UNIX system mail program. The default mail command is
described in Mail(1), and its binary is in the directory /usr/ucb.
mail with no argument prints a user's mail, message-by-message, in last-in, first-out
order; the optional argument + displays the mail messages in first-in, first-out order.
For each message, it reads a line from the standard input to direct disposition of the
Go on to next message.
d Delete message and go on to the next.
p Print message again.
- Go back to previous message.
s [ file ] ...
Save the message in the named files (`mbox' default).
w [ file ] ...
Save the message, without a header, in the named files (`mbox' default).
m [ person ] ...
Mail the message to the named persons (yourself is default).
Put unexamined mail back in the mailbox and stop.
q Same as EOT.
Escape to the Shell to do command.
* Print a command summary.
An interrupt normally terminates the mail command; the mail file is unchanged. The
optional argument -i tells mail to continue after interrupts.
When persons are named, mail takes the standard input up to an end-of-file (or a line with
just `.') and adds it to each person's `mail' file. The message is preceded by the
sender's name and a postmark. Lines that look like postmarks are prepended with `>'. A
person is usually a user name recognized by login(1). To denote a recipient on a remote
system, prefix person by the system name and exclamation mark (see uucp(1C)).
The -f option causes the named file, for example, `mbox', to be printed as if it were the
When a user logs in he is informed of the presence of mail.
/etc/passwd to identify sender and locate persons
/usr/spool/mail/* incoming mail for user *
mbox saved mail
/tmp/ma* temp file
/usr/spool/mail/*.lock lock for mail directory
dead.letter unmailable text
Mail(1), write(1), uucp(1C), uux(1C), xsend(1), sendmail(8)
Race conditions sometimes result in a failure to remove a lock file.
Normally anybody can read your mail, unless it is sent by xsend(1). An installation can
overcome this by making mail a set-user-id command that owns the mail directory.
7th Edition April 29, 1985 BINMAIL(1)