System mail

Polytropon freebsd at
Mon Aug 30 19:21:53 UTC 2010

On Mon, 30 Aug 2010 11:59:46 -0700, Rem P Roberti <remegius at> wrote:
>   At this time system mail is being delivered to /var/mail/<user>, which 
> is the normal way of doing things.  Is it possible to have system mail 
> delivered to an email client, such as Thunderbird or Mutt?

No. Per definition, a mail client (mail user agent - MUA) can not
be the target of mail delivery. It can act on is own to incorporate
mail from a mail spool, e. g. /var/mail/<user>. This is often done
by a kind of "local mailbox" selection (in opposite to incorporation
from a distant mail box via POP3).

For example, I have my system mail delivered to /var/mail/poly. This
is the local mail box I check using the Sylpheed MUA (comparable to
Thunderbird in many ways).

You just need to configure your actual MUA to get mail from the
system's mail spool.

An extension of this concept, just as a sidenote: I use fetchmail to
obtain the mail from my distant mail box via POP3. This mail is then
placed into /var/mail/poly - the spool where Sylpheed reads from.
This way, I have separated mail incorporation from mail processing.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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