While mail is a powerful utility, it can be tricky for a novice user. It is most commonly seen nowadays in scripts. Most Linux distributions include several utilities that are richer in features and much easier to use: mailers built into browsers such as Mozilla and Firefox, graphical mail programs distributed with GNOME (Evolution) and KDE (Kmail), and the terminal-based, full-screen utilities pine and elm. The GNU Emacs editor can also send and receive mail.
This section presents mail commands, options, and configuration options. To get you started, here are two of the most basic commands.
To enter interactive mail-reading mode, type:
To begin writing a message to user, type:
Enter the text of the message, one line at a time, pressing Enter at the end of each line. To end the message, enter a single period (.) in the first column of a new line and press Enter.
You can also provide much of the information on the command line, as shown in the following example:
mail james -s "System Log" </var/log/messages
This command sends a message to the user james, with a subject line of System Log, and the text of the message read from the system logfile,