The following is taken from the mail manual pages. These are the configuration variables that you can set or unset in your .mailrc file. The mail program assumes your .mailrc is in your main directory unless you state otherwise in your .login file.
Examples on setting these variables:
prompt% cat .mailrc set askcc <-- will give you a Cc: prompt after message is entered set crt=25 <-- message text longer than 25 lines will be piped through "more". set indentprefix=">" <-- when you quote other peoples mail (using the tilde escapes ~m or ~f), use ">" as the indent character. Mail Variables The following variables can be initialized within the .mailrc file, or set and altered interactively using the set command. They can also be imported from the environment (in which case their values cannot be changed within mail). The unset command clears variables. The set command can also be used to clear a variable by prefixing the word no to the name of the variable to clear. Variables for which values are normally supplied are indi- cated with an equal-sign (=). The equal-sign is required by the set command, and there can be no spaces between the variable-name, equal-sign, and value, using set to assign a value. allnet All network names whose last component (login name) match are treated as identical. This causes the message list specifications to behave similarly. Default is noallnet. See also the alternates command and the metoo variable. alwaysignore Ignore header fields with ignore everywhere, not just during print or type. Affects the save, Save, copy, Copy, top, pipe, and write commands, and the ~m and ~f tilde escapes. append Upon termination, append messages to the end of the mbox file instead of prepending them. Default is noappend but append is set in the global start-up file (which can be suppressed with the -n command line option). askcc Prompt for the Cc list after message is entered. Default is noaskcc. asksub Prompt for subject if it is not specified on the command line with the -s option. Enabled by default. autoprint Enable automatic printing of messages after delete and undelete commands. Default is noautoprint. bang Enable the special-casing of exclamation points (!) in shell escape command lines as in vi(1). Default is nobang. cmd=shell-command Set the default command for the pipe command. No default value. conv=conversion Convert uucp addresses to the address style specified by conversion, which can be either: internet This requires a mail delivery program conforming to the RFC822 standard for electronic mail addressing. optimize Remove loops in uucp(1C) address paths (typically generated by the reply com- mand). No rerouting is performed; mail has no knowledge of UUCP routes or con- nections. Conversion is disabled by default. See also sendmail(8) and the -U command line option. crt=number Pipe messages having more than number lines through the command specified by the value of the PAGER variable (more by default). Dis- abled by default. DEAD=filename The name of the file in which to save partial letters in case of untimely interrupt or delivery errors. Default is the file dead.letter in your home directory. debug Enable verbose diagnostics for debugging. Messages are not delivered. Default is node- bug. dot Take a period on a line by itself during input from a terminal as EOF. Default is nodot but dot is set in the global start-up file (which can be suppressed with the -n command line option). editheaders Include message headers in the text to be edited by the ~e and ~v commands. EDITOR=shell-command The command to run when the edit or ~e command is used. Default is ex(1). escape=c Substitute c for the ~ escape character. folder=directory The directory for saving standard mail files. User specified file names beginning with a plus (+) are expanded by preceding the filename with this directory name to obtain the real filename. If directory does not start with a slash (/), the value of HOME is prepended to it. There is no default for the folder variable. See also outfolder below. header Enable printing of the header summary when entering mail. Enabled by default. hold Preserve all messages that are read in the system mailbox instead of putting them in the standard mbox save file. Default is nohold for mail and hold for mailtool(1). ignore Ignore interrupts while entering messages. Handy for noisy dial-up lines. Default is noignore. ignoreeof Ignore EOF during message input. Input must be terminated by a period (`.') on a line by itself or by the `~.' command. Default is noignoreeof. See also dot above. indentprefix=string When indentprefix is set, string is used to mark indented lines from messages included with ~m. The default is a TAB character. keep When the system mailbox is empty, truncate it to zero length instead of removing it. Dis- abled by default. keepsave Keep messages that have been saved in other files in the system mailbox instead of delet- ing them. Default is nokeepsave. LISTER=shell-command The command (and options) to use when listing the files in the folder directory. The default is ls(1V). MBOX=filename The name of the file to save messages which have been read. The xit command overrides this variable, as does saving the message explicitly to another file. Default is the file mbox in your home directory. metoo If your login appears as a recipient, do not delete it from the list. Default is nometoo. no When used as a prefix to a variable name, has the effect of unsetting the variable. onehop When responding to a message that was origi- nally sent to several recipients, the other recipient addresses are normally forced to be relative to the originating author's machine for the response. This flag disables altera- tion of the recipients' addresses, improving efficiency in a network where all machines can send directly to all other machines (that is, one "hop" away). outfolder Locate the files used to record outgoing mes- sages in the directory specified by the folder variable unless the pathname is absolute. Default is nooutfolder. See folder above and the Save, Copy, followup, and Followup com- mands. page Used with the pipe command to insert a form feed after each message sent through the pipe. Default is nopage. PAGER=shell-command The command to use as a filter for paginating output, along with any options to be used. Default is more(1). prompt=string Set the command mode prompt to string. Default is `&'. quiet Refrain from printing the opening message and version when entering mail. Default is noquiet. record=filename Record all outgoing mail in filename. Dis- abled by default. See also the variable out- folder. replyall Reverse the effect of the reply and Reply commands. save Enable saving of messages in the dead.letter file on interrupt or delivery error. See DEAD for a description of this file. Enabled by default. screen=number Set the number of lines in a screen-full of headers for the headers command. sendmail=shell-command Alternate command for delivering messages. Note: in addition to the expected list of recipients, mail also passes the -i and -m, flags to the command. Since these flags are not appropriate to other commands, you may have to use a shell script that strips them from the arguments list before invoking the desired command. sendwait Wait for background mailer to finish before returning. Default is nosendwait. SHELL=shell-command The name of a preferred command interpreter. Typically inherited from the environment, the shell is normally the one you always use. Otherwise defaults to sh(1). showto When displaying the header summary and the message is from you, print the recipient's name instead of the author's name. sign=autograph The autograph text inserted into the message when the ~a (autograph) command is given. No default (see also the ~i tilde escape). Sign=autograph The autograph text inserted into the message when the ~A command is given. No default (see also the ~i tilde escape). toplines=number The number of lines of header to print with the top command. Default is 5. verbose Invoke sendmail with the -v flag. VISUAL=shell-command The name of a preferred screen editor. Default is vi.
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