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3.5 mail — Send and Receive Mail

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Mail is an enhanced version of POSIX mailx program. The program operates in two modes: read and send.

Mail enters send mode when at least one email address was specified in its command line. In this mode the program waits until user finishes composing the message, then attempts to send it to the specified addresses and exits. See Composing Mail, for a detailed description of this behavior.

If the command line contained no email addresses, mail switches to reading mode. In this mode it allows the user to read and manipulate the contents of the user system mailbox. Use the --file (-f) option to specify another mailbox name. For more detail, see Reading Mail.

In addition to the Mailutils configuration file, mail reads the traditional ‘mailrc’-style configuration files. See Mail Configuration Files, for a detailed description of their format.