[Gllug] emai notification on login

John Edwards john at cornerstonelinux.co.uk
Sat Feb 18 12:49:44 UTC 2012

On Sat, Feb 18, 2012 at 11:40:12AM +0000, Tethys wrote:
> John Edwards writes:
>> To be honest you would probably be better served by setting up an
>> forward or alias to get those emails off the server into a more
>> "modern" email system which is more familar to you and which you
>> can access with an email client using IMAP or POP3.
> Why are you assuming that the presence of $MAIL implies an obsolete
> mail reading system? And why are you assuming that IMAP or POP3 are
> desireable? While those things may be true, they're certainly not
> necessarily so. I have no need for IMAP or POP3, for example.

Not obsolete, but not common. Most of my email is still in mbox files,
sorted and delivered by procmail, and read by mutt. Dovecot has been
layered on top to provide IMAP access.

But I am aware that is is not what new users are used to, and rather
than talk someone through the setup of a new mail system I think it
might be easier for them to pass the email on to an existing mail
system that is already working.

> To answer the original question, it all depends on what you're
> using to read mail, and where it stores its information about which
> messages are unread.

On most distributions the "You have mail" message at login is probably
handled by pam_mail.

Having read the man page there is a "quiet" option that claims to
"Only report when there is new mail". But editing a system's PAM
configuration can be rather dangerous and leave the system unusable,
especially if we don't know what distribution is being used.

But for those who want to try it, this may work on Debian/Ubuntu:
    sed -i.bak 's/pam_mail.so standard/pam_mail.so quiet/g' /etc/pam.d/login

The original unchanged file is saved as /etc/pam.d/login.bak .

|    John Edwards   Email: john at cornerstonelinux.co.uk    |
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