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wossy 04-07-2006 01:51 PM

"mail" shell command under FedCore4
I have ben usig FC4 for a few weeks now and I'm delving a little deeper into the shell-terminal side of things. I come from a DOS/Win backgroun and quite a bit of the foundations are easy to grasp.

My question is, is it possible to use the "mail" command to send emails to users outside my computer? I have had fun sending mesages to other users on this machine but I have not been able to work out how to configure mail to let me specify my real-world email address and settings so i can send an email to my pal in Switzerland.

I figured I would have to edit some configuration file somewhere. Can someone please enlighten me? Ideally I'd like to use the same email credentials as I have already go setup (and working) in Thunderbird.

Many thanks and well done on a really sexy linux site :thumb:

chief_officer 04-07-2006 02:54 PM

You can do it. You have to configure your mail server. I don't know if you're using sendmail/postfix/exim4 as your e-mail server. But an easy solution would be to go to and download & install webmin on your computer. Then log on to webmin and configure your e-mail server. When your server is configured, it will download the messages from the internet and enable you to send.

Personally I am using fetchmail for mail retrieval and postfix for mail sending (and Pine as my e-mail client).

jonaskoelker 04-08-2006 04:09 AM

Basically speaaking, yes.

It's possible to use the program called 'mail' to (duh) deal with your mail. It's--in my not so humble opinion--completely bollox though, except perhaps for programatically shipping mail around, so I recommend a better mail client. I use mutt, which "outsources" editing outgoing mail to $EDITOR (that is, your editor of choice).

Anyways, to do so, you need to install (and correctly configure) a mail transfer agent such as exim. Read the manuals, read the config file, ask in #exim or (I guess) #fedora, that should generally work out okay.

One problem, though, is that by default mail I send out seem to be coming from (that is, your-username <at> your-machine).

Unless you're one leet sysadmin, you're probably going to have lower uptimes than most decent email providers, so you don't wan't to tell people to send their mail to bounce messages (and other "control traffic") look at your from-address.

You fix this (or at least I fixed this) by adding a line to /etc/email-addresses, saying "jonas:"; that is, "username: <email address I want people to think I'm sending from>". So all the mail servers you talk to will believe you're coming from (in my case), and thus send all replies to that address (use your favorite gmail, yahoo, hotmail or whatever account).

Also, this is somewhat beyond answering your question, and a bit of pimping my own preference, but here's what I do: I have a "public" account (at sourceforge) which I tell people to mail me at; all mail sent to that account is then forwarded to my private "backend" account.

The benefit of doing this is that you can switch backend account without going around telling your friends (and mailing lists) that "I've changed my email address yet again". Currently, I use mailshack as a backend, and they've worked without complaints. I then use fetchmail to automatically download any email in my backend account to my machine (via the pop3 protocol, so you can do this for free with gmail, AFAIK, for a price with yahoo mail, and not at all with bloody fascist microsoft hotmail).

Warning: if you are offended by reading a fucking few swearwords, please do not read this post :)

wossy 04-08-2006 05:27 AM

Thanks for the advice guys, I'll check it out.

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