MSGS(1) BSD Reference Manual MSGS(1)
msgs - system messages and junk mail program
msgs [-fhlopqr] [[-]number] msgs [-s] 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. The options are as follows: -c -days The -c option is used for performing cleanup on /var/msgs. An entry with the -c option should be placed in the system crontab(5) to run every night. This will remove all messages over 21 days old. The optional -days argument may be specified on the command line to override the default. -f Do not say "No new messages." This is useful in a .login file since this is often the case here. -h Print the first part of messages only. -l Causes only locally originated messages to be reported. -o By default, msgs exits when there are no more messages to read. If the -o flag is specified, the user will be given the chance to save or read messages again. -p Pipe long messages through the program specified by the PAGER environment variable. If PAGER is null or not defined, more(1) is used. -q Queries whether there are messages, printing "There are new messages." if there are. The command msgs -q is often used in login scripts. -r Disables the ability to save messages or enter the mailer. It is assumed that the PAGER environment is set to something secure. -s The -s option is used for setting up the posting of messages. The line msgs: "| /usr/bin/msgs -s" should be included in /etc/mail/aliases (see newaliases(8)) to enable posting of messages. number A message number can be given on the command line, causing msgs to start at the specified message rather than at the next mes- sage indicated by your .msgsrc file. Thus msgs -h 1 prints the first part of all messages. -number Start number messages back from the one indicated in the .msgsrc file; useful for reviews of recent messages. msgs is normally invoked each time you login, by placing it in the file .login (or .profile if you use sh(1)). It will then prompt you with the source and subject of each new message. 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 Drop out of msgs; the next time msgs will pick up where it last left off. s Append the current message to the file Messages in the current directory; 's-' will save the previously displayed message. An 's' or 's-' may be followed by a space and a file name to receive the message replacing the default "Messages". m A copy of the specified message is placed in a temporary mailbox and mail(1) is invoked on that mailbox. p The specified message is piped through the program specified by the PAGER environment variable. If PAGER is not defined, more(1) is used. The commands m, p, and s all accept a numeric argument 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 /var/msgs it keeps a set of files whose names are the (sequential) numbers of the messages they represent. The file /var/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. Within msgs you can also go to any specific message by typing its number when msgs requests input as to what to do.
msgs uses the HOME and TERM environment variables for the default home directory and terminal type. If defined and non-null, the PAGER variable is invoked as the pagination program.
/var/msgs/* database ~/.msgsrc number of next message to be presented
mail(1), more(1), aliases(5), crontab(5), newaliases(8)
The msgs command appeared in 3.0BSD. MirOS BSD #10-current April 28, 1995 1
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