Electronic Mail Overview

Standard UNIX Mail

Sending Mail

Send Mode Commands

     Control Commands:
     CTRL-D          - Send message 
     ~q              - Quit editor without saving or sending 
     ~p              - Display the contents of the message buffer
     ~?              - Display help 
     ~:set           - Show which mail options are in effect 
     Add to Heading:
     ~h              - Add to lists for To: Subject: Cc: and Bcc:
     ~t addrlist     - Add user addresses in addrlist to the 
                       To: list
     ~s subject      - Set the Subject: line to the string 
                       specified by Subject
     ~c addrlist     - Add user addresses in addrlist to Cc: list
     ~b addrlist     - Add user addresses in addrlist to Bcc: list 

     Add to Message:
     ~d              - Append contents of dead.letter to message
     ~r filename     - Append contents of filename to the message
     ~f numlist      - Append contents of message numbers in 
     ~m numlist      - Append/indent contents of message numbers 
                       in numlist

     Change Message:
     ~e              - Edit the message using an external 
                       editor (default is e)
     ~v              - Edit the message using an external 
                       editor (default is vi)
     ~w filename     - Write the message to filename
     ~! command      - Start a shell, run command, and return 
                       to the editor.
     ~| command      - Pipe the message to standard input of 
                       command; REPLACE the message with the 
                       standard output from that command.

Reading Mail

Command Mode Commands

     Control Commands:
     q               - Quit - apply mailbox commands entered this
     x               - Quit - restore mailbox to original state
     ! cmd           - Start a shell, run cmd, return to mailbox
     cd dir          - Change directory to dir or $HOME
     a               - Display list of aliases with addresses
     ?               - Display help
     set             - Show which mail options are in effect
     folder filename - Make filename the current mail folder

     - Display Commands:
     Return key      - Display current message
     t               - Display current message
     t msg_list      - Display messages in msg_list
     n               - Display next message
     f msg_list      - Display headings of messages in msg_list
     h               - Display headings or all messages

     - Message Handling:
     e num           - Edit message num (default editor is e)
     v num           - Edit message num using vi editor
     d msg_list      - Delete messages in msg_list or current 
     u msg_list      - Recall deleted messages
     s msg_list file - Append messages (with headings) to file
     w msg_list file - Append messages (text only) to file
     pre msg_list    - Keep messages in system mailbox

     - Creating New Mail:
     m addrlist      - Create/send new message to addresses
                       in addrlist
     r msg_list      - Send reply to senders and recipients 
                       of messages
     R msg_list      - Send reply only to senders of messages

Saving Mail and Using Folders

     s jsmith                - Save current message to file jsmith 
                               in current directory
     s 1-4 projects          - Save messages 1 thru 4 to file 
                               projects in current directory
     s 2 4 5  Mail/old/paul  - Save messages 2,4,5 to file

Customizing Your Mail Environment

     Variable             Action
     --------             -----------------------------
     alias name address   - Creates an alias for a mail address 
     ask                  - Prompts for the subject of each message 
     askcc                - Prompts for carbon copy mail addresses
     crt=lines            - Defines the number of lines of a mail 
                            message the Mail program displays before 
                            pausing for input. Works with PAGER.
     EDITOR=editor        - Gives the full path name of the 
                            editor to be started with the e mailbox 
                            subcommand or the ~e mail editor 
     folder=directory     - Directory to save mail files in.
     hold                 - Keep messages that have been read in 
                            the system mailbox, not the mbox file.
     ignore fieldlist     - Specifies which header fields to 
                            not display(ignore) 
     keepsave             - do not delete messages that have been 
                            saved.  Keep them in the system mailbox.
                            Use with the hold option.
     nosave               - Prevents retention of interrupted 
                            letters in the $HOME/dead.letter file. 
     PAGER                - the pager used to paginate output 
                            when a message is longer than the 
                            screen.  Works with "crt" setting.
     record=fileName      - Defines a file in which to record 
                            outgoing mail.
     screen=lines         - Defines the number of lines of 
                            message headers displayed before pausing 
                            for input. 
     topline=number       - the number of lines of the top of each 
                            message to print with the ~t command.
     VISUAL=editor        - the name of the editor called by 
                            the ~v command. Editor is given as a 
                            full pathname.

Pine: One Alternative to UNIX Mail

This concludes the tutorial. Return to the Table of Contents