deleting mails

Richard Lynch ceo at
Sun Sep 19 13:07:10 PDT 2004

susmit sarkar wrote:
> I know that the question I am asking might sound very stupid. But it has
> me really perplexed. It relates to Unix mail. I use the d command to
> delete mails. Like
> d <message_number>
> or
> d <message-list>
> But sometimes I find that the mails get deleted and sometimes not. I want
> the mails that I delete to be deleted sure shot. I have tried exiting
> using q but still the mails are there when I check back later. We have a
> BSD system. Please advise me how I can delete mail that I want deleted
> without the fear of it reappearing again when I log in and check the next
> time.

After you hit 'q' to quit, do you sometimes see an error message about a

Because if you do, then that's the times when mail didn't delete anything.

I've seen this under RedHat 8 a lot, and pretty much only delete a few
messages at a time.

It seems to happen "more" if I page back-and-forth in the header list,
deleting more or less sporadically, then if I delete the first few
messages and then quit.

I pretty much wouldn't use 'mail' to read any large bulk mailboxes --
These are just cronjob outputs on a couple machines that can no longer
send email, thanks to the folks who decided that one way to cut down on
spam was to stop taking email unless reverse-DNS matched up.  Gee, thanks.
 Now I get to log into boxes all the time to check my cron jobs. :-(

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