General-Purpose Mail Package
|Official GNU Software|
To read messages from a given mailbox, use one of the following ways of
To read messages from your system mailbox.
To read messages from your mailbox ($HOME/mbox). If the --user option (see below) is also given, read messages from that user’s mbox.
mail -f path_to_mailbox
mail --file path_to_mailbox
To read messages from the specified mailbox.
mail -u user
To read messages from the system mailbox belonging to user.
Please note, that usual mailbox permissions won’t allow you to use the last variant of invocation, unless you are a super-user. Similarly, the last but one variant is also greatly affected by the permissions the target mailbox has.
Notice that path_to_mailbox is not an argument to --file (-f) option, but rather the first non-optional argument on the command line. Therefore, the following three invocations are equivalent:
$ mail -fin mymbox $ mail -f mymbox -in $ mail --file -in mymbox $ mail --file -i mymbox -n
Additionally, for conformance to the GNU standards, the following form is also accepted:
$ mail --file=mymbox -i -n
Unless you have started mail with --norc command line option,
it will read the contents of the system-wide configuration file.
Then it reads the contents of user configuration file, if any.
For detailed description of these files, see Mail Configuration Files.
After this initial setup,
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