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Check for mail

Posted on 1998-01-18
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Last Modified: 2013-12-26
I have the xbiff and al other mailchecker I have found (eating to much memmory)
I wounder If I can make a script that chek for new mail my self,´? Mabe check if /var/spool/mail/$user has changed or something?

I always have some mail in /var/spool/mail so I just want to check if I have new mail.

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Question by:chucken
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Expert Comment

by:mlev
ID: 1295930
Have you tried biff? ("biff y")
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Author Comment

by:chucken
ID: 1295931
Hmmmm no.... where can I find it??

I've tried xbiff asmail and xmailbox....
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Expert Comment

by:mlev
ID: 1295932
I *think* it's a standard part of Unix. Are you sure you don't have it? What is your OS?
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Author Comment

by:chucken
ID: 1295933
RedHat 5.0 and mabe I have it. I'm not at home now...
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by:mlev
ID: 1295934
It is in the package called biff-0.10-1.
For it to work, you need to add this line to /etc/inetd.conf:
biff    dgram   udp     wait    root    /usr/sbin/tcpd  in.comsat
(and kill -1 `cat /var/run/inetd.pid` for immediate effect)
Then, type "biff y" in a window where you'd like to be notified.

Biff's advantages: you are notified of mail *immediately* as it arrives, since it is event-driven, not polling; no process runs constantly (occupying your precious memory :), a daemon named comsat is started on demand when mail arrives, and exits after a while.

Disadvantages: you need a terminal window; it messes up your screen (so you need to remember refresh keys :)). Of course, you can use a separate small window for it, but that would use even more memory than xbiff.
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Accepted Solution

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hajek earned 50 total points
ID: 1295935
1) method for checking if file has changed - what about sum ?
   If you will test sum now with sum before, it will tell you
   whether file was changed

2) method for "on-line checking"
   you can create .forward file in your $HOME :
   \YOU, "|pipe_to_your_command"
   EOF

   And you can run any command/program when new mail comes.
 
None of the methods does any overhead.

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Author Comment

by:chucken
ID: 1295936
Looks like a good idea...
So I just put

\username , |"pine" for exampel?????

I'll try!
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Author Comment

by:chucken
ID: 1295937
I get this when I use a .forward that looks like this

\peter, "|/usr/X11R6/bin/xbiff"

   ----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors -----
"|/usr/X11R6/bin/xbiff"
    (expanded from: <peter@a201.ryd.student.liu.se>)

   ----- Transcript of session follows -----
Error: Can't open display:
554 "|/usr/X11R6/bin/xbiff"... unknown mailer error 1

  [ Part 2: "Included Message" ]

Reporting-MTA: dns; a201.ryd.student.liu.se
Received-From-MTA: DNS; samantha.lysator.liu.se
Arrival-Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 11:14:46 +0100

Final-Recipient: RFC822; peter@a201.ryd.student.liu.se
Action: expanded (to multi-recipient alias)
Status: 2.0.0
Last-Attempt-Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 11:14:46 +0100

Final-Recipient: RFC822; peter@a201.ryd.student.liu.se
X-Actual-Recipient: RFC822; |/usr/X11R6/bin/xbiff@a201.ryd.student.liu.se
Action: failed
Status: 5.0.0
Last-Attempt-Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 11:14:46 +0100
                     

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Expert Comment

by:hajek
ID: 1295938
Well, pine is a mailing program, is'n it ? I did not mean it so.
\YOU .... you will get the mail by normal way, it will be in you mail box
 AND
|"pipe command"  ... ANY action with new mail. Depends
on your choice. BUT it should be program, which does not wait
for your input. I supposed some program, which let you know
about arrival of new mail (write ?).
I do not know (I doubt) if |"pine"  will work. Try it.

PS: summary: YOU will get the mail AND TOGETHER WITH IT (paralelly) you can run anything you want.

.forward (sendmail use it) works all time, no matter if you are logged in, of course
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Expert Comment

by:hajek
ID: 1295939
sorry. "|pipe" is WRONG syntax. It should be |"pipe" .
This works me.
Michal
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Author Comment

by:chucken
ID: 1295940


I have a alias for pine (xterm -e pine) so it should work...

But I tried to execute xbiff when mail arrives, and I get this:
Why do I get Can't open display ???

   ----- Transcript of session follows -----
Error: Can't open display:
554 |"/usr/X11R6/bin/xbiff"... unknown mailer error 1
                                                           
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Expert Comment

by:hajek
ID: 1295941
The same problem as if you try to run it (xbiff) via cron.
The program does not know you settings, eg. $HOME, $USER,
$TERMCAP, $TERM and so on (set command). You may write script,
which will set all these things and then execute xbiff.
If you do not log from one place, you will have to detect, where
you are logged and run "xbiff -display xxx...."

I do not have further experince with XWIN things (my command
sends text to my pager :-).

If you are interested, write me: mailto:hajek@nspuh.cz


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Author Comment

by:chucken
ID: 1295942
Thanks,..

I'm a bit tierd. It's not so strange that sendmail doesn't have DISPLAY set....
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