mailx anyone?

Polytropon freebsd at
Thu Jun 14 16:33:56 UTC 2018

On Wed, 13 Jun 2018 23:46:02 -0400, Lowell Gilbert wrote:
> Polytropon <freebsd at> writes:
> > On Wed, 13 Jun 2018 23:13:13 +0530, Mayuresh Kathe wrote:
> >> On 2018-06-13 09:37 PM, Matthew Seaman wrote:
> >> > On 13/06/2018 16:48, Mayuresh Kathe wrote:
> >> >> does anyone on this list still use mailx?
> >> >> if not regularly, at-least intermittently?
> >> > 
> >> > Given that mail(1) is part of the FreeBSD base system and is pretty
> >> > much the same thing as mailx(1), then probably not that many will use
> >> > mailx(1).  mail(1) is something I do use intermittently.
> >> 
> >> mailx is just a link to mail.  :-)
> >
> > It is actually the same file; check with "ls -li". :-)
> Which doesn't mean it has the same behaviour if called by different names.
> [See: 'w' vs. 'uptime']

Fully correct. On historical FreeBSD, there was a directory
full of programs (almost) all the same size, (almost) all with
different names, (almost) all pointing to the same inode entry;
that was /rescue/*. Depending on argv[0], the same (!) program
would act totally differently.

It is not uncommon on UNIX system to "select" program functionality
by program _invocation_, either via hardlink or via symlink. In
some cases, it's just different names for the same program with
the same behaviour, for providing backward compatibility, mostly
for scripts.

> In this case, though, I thought they were supposed to behave the same
> way in either case, and I can't find any reason to think otherwise.

According to "man mail", there is no difference in behaviour

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

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