BSD 2.11 - man page for msgs (bsd section 1)
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msgs - system messages and junk mail program
msgs [ -fhlpq ] [ number ] [ -number ]
msgs -c [ -days ]
Msgs is used to read system messages. These messages are sent by mailing to the login
`msgs' and should be short pieces of information which are suitable to be read once by
most users of the system.
Msgs is normally invoked each time you login, by placing it in the file .login (.profile
if you use /bin/sh). It will then prompt you with the source and subject of each new mes-
sage. If there is no subject line, the first few non-blank lines of the message will be
displayed. 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 drops you out of msgs; the next time you run the program it will pick up where you
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 ``Messages''.
m or `m-' causes a copy of the specified message to be placed in a temporary mailbox
and mail(1) to be invoked on that mailbox. Both `m' and `s' accept a numeric argu-
ment in place of the `-'.
Msgs keeps track of the next message you will see by a number in the file .msgsrc in your
home directory. In the directory /usr/msgs it keeps a set of files whose names are the
(sequential) numbers of the messages they represent. The file /usr/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.
The -s option is used for setting up the posting of messages. The line
msgs: "| /usr/ucb/msgs -s"
should be include in /etc/aliases to enable posting of messages.
The -c option is used for performing cleanup on /usr/msgs. An entry with the -c option
should be placed in /etc/crontab 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
Options when reading messages include:
-f which causes it not to say ``No new messages.''. This is useful in your .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 causes msgs to print the first part of messages only.
-l option causes 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.
msgs -h 1
prints the first part of all messages.
will cause msgs to start number messages back from the one indicated by your
.msgsrc file, useful for reviews of recent messages.
-p causes long messages to be piped 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.
~/.msgsrc number of next message to be presented
aliases(5), crontab(5), mail(1), more(1)
4th Berkeley Distribution October 22, 1996 MSGS(1)
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:13 AM.