mail − the standard /usr/bin/mail interface


mail [OPTION...] [address...]


GNU mail −− the standard /usr/bin/mail interface

−a, −−append=HEADER: VALUE Append given header to the message being sent

−e, −−exist

Return true if mail exists

−E, −−exec=COMMAND


−f, −−file[=URL]

Operate on given mailbox URL (default ~/mbox)

−F, −−byname

Save messages according to sender

−H, −−headers

Write a header summary and exit

−i, −−ignore

Ignore interrupts

−n, −−norc

Do not read the system mailrc file

−N, −−nosum

Do not display initial header summary

−p, −−print

Print all mail to standard output

−q, −−quit

Cause interrupts to terminate program

−r, −−read

Same as −p

−s, −−subject=SUBJ

Send a message with a Subject of SUBJ

−t, −−to

Precede message by a list of addresses

−u, −−user=USER

Operate on USER’s mailbox

Common options


Print license and exit

−−external−locker=PATH Set full path to the external locker program


Number of seconds after which the lock expires


Default locker flags (E=external, R=retry, T=time, P=pid)


Set the maximum number of times to retry acquiring the lockfile


Set timeout for acquiring the lockfile

−m, −−mail−spool=URL

Use specified URL as a mailspool directory


Default mailbox type to use


Enable TLS support

−?, −−help

give this help list


give a short usage message

−V, −−version

print program version

Mandatory or optional arguments to long options are also mandatory or optional for any corresponding short options.


Report bugs to <bug−mailutils [AT]>.


The complete GNU mailutils manual is not available in Debian systems due to licensing reasons. You can find this manual online in the GNU mailutils webpage: