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MSGS(1)			  BSD General Commands Manual		       MSGS(1)

     msgs -- system messages and junk mail program

     msgs [-fhlpq] [number] [-number]
     msgs [-s]
     msgs [-c] [-days]

     The msgs utility is used to read system messages.	These messages are
     sent by mailing to	the login `msgs' and should be short pieces of infor-
     mation which are suitable to be read once by most users of	the system.

     The msgs utility 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 sub-
     ject line,	the first few non-blank	lines of the message will be dis-
     played.  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.  A `s' or `s-' may be	followed by a space and	a file
		 name to receive the message replacing the default ``Mes-

     -m		 A copy	of the specified message is placed in a	temporary
		 mailbox and mail(1) is	invoked	on that	mailbox.  Both `m' and
		 `s' accept a numeric argument in place	of the `-'.

     The msgs utility 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 de-
     termine if	there are no messages for you.	If the contents	of bounds is
     incorrect it can be fixed by removing it; msgs will make a	new bounds
     file the next time	it is run with the -s option.  If msgs is run with any
     option other than -s, an error will be displayed if /var/msgs/bounds does
     not exist.

     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(1)) to enable
     posting of	messages.

     The -c option is used for performing cleanup on /var/msgs.	 A shell
     script entry to run msgs with the -c option should	be placed in
     /etc/periodic/daily (see periodic(8)) to run every	night.	This will re-
     move all messages over 21 days old.  A different expiration may be	speci-
     fied on the command line to override the default.	You must be the	supe-
     ruser to use this option.

     Options when reading messages include:

     -f		 Do not	say ``No new messages.''.  This	is useful in a .login
		 file since this is often the case here.

     -q		 Queries whether there are messages, printing ``There are new
		 messages.'' if	there are.  The	command	``msgs -q'' is often
		 used in login scripts.

     -h		 Print the first part of messages only.

     -l		 Cause only locally originated messages	to be reported.

     num	 A message number can be given on the command line, causing
		 msgs to start at the specified	message	rather than at the
		 next message 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.

     -p		 Pipe long messages through more(1).

     Within msgs you can also go to any	specific message by typing its number
     when msgs requests	input as to what to do.

     The msgs utility uses the HOME and	TERM environment variables for the de-
     fault home	directory and terminal type.

     /var/msgs/*  database
     ~/.msgsrc	  number of next message to be presented

     mail(1), more(1), aliases(5), periodic(8)

     The msgs command appeared in 3.0BSD.

BSD				April 28, 1995				   BSD


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