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MSGS(1)                      BSD Reference Manual                      MSGS(1)

NAME
     msgs - system messages and junk mail program

SYNOPSIS
     msgs [-fhlpq] [number] [-number]
     msgs [-s]
     msgs [-c] [-days]

DESCRIPTION
     Msgs is used to read system messages.  These messages are sent by mailing
     to the login `msgs' and should be short pieces of information which are
     suitable to be read once by most users of the system.

     Msgs is normally invoked each time you login, by placing it in the file
     .login (or .profile if you use sh(1)).  It will then prompt you with the
     source and subject of each new message.  If there is no subject line, the
     first few non-blank lines of the message will be displayed.  If there is
     more to the message, you will be told how long it is and asked whether
     you wish to see the rest of the message.  The possible responses are:

     -y          Type the rest of the message.

     RETURN      Synonym for y.

     -n          Skip this message and go on to the next message.

     -           Redisplay the last message.

     -q          Drop out of msgs; the next time msgs will pick up where it
                 last left off.

     -s          Append the current message to the file ``Messages'' in the
                 current directory; `s-' will save the previously displayed
                 message. A `s' or `s-' may be followed by a space and a file
                 name to receive the message replacing the default ``Mes-
                 sages''.

     -m          A copy of the specified message is placed in a temporary
                 mailbox and mail(1) is invoked on that mailbox.  Both `m' and
                 `s' accept a numeric argument in place of the `-'.

     Msgs keeps track of the next message you will see by a number in the file
     .msgsrc in your home directory.  In the directory /var/msgs it keeps a
     set of files whose names are the (sequential) numbers of the messages
     they represent.  The file /var/msgs/bounds shows the low and high number
     of the messages in the directory so that msgs can quickly determine if
     there are no messages for you.  If the contents of bounds is incorrect it
     can be fixed by removing it; msgs will make a new bounds file the next
     time it is run.

     The -s option is used for setting up the posting of messages.  The line

           msgs: "| /usr/bin/msgs -s"

     should be included in /etc/aliases (see newaliases(1))  to enable posting
     of messages.

     The -c option is used for performing cleanup on /var/msgs. An entry with
     the -c option should be placed in /etc/crontab to run every night.  This
     will remove all messages over 21 days old.  A different expiration may be
     specified on the command line to override the default.



     Options when reading messages include:

     -f          Do not to say ``No new messages.''.  This is useful in a
                 .login file since this is often the case here.

     -q          Queries whether there are messages, printing ``There are new
                 messages.'' if there are.  The command ``msgs -q'' is often
                 used in login scripts.

     -h          Print the first part of messages only.

     -l          Option causes only locally originated messages to be report-
                 ed.

     num         A message number can be given on the command line, causing
                 msgs to start at the specified message rather than at the
                 next message indicated by your .msgsrc file.  Thus

                       msgs -h 1

                 prints the first part of all messages.

     -number     Start number messages back from the one indicated in the
                 .msgsrc file, useful for reviews of recent messages.

     -p          Pipe long messages through more(1).

     Within msgs you can also go to any specific message by typing its number
     when msgs requests input as to what to do.

ENVIRONMENT
     Msgs uses the HOME and TERM environment variables for the default home
     directory and terminal type.

FILES
     /usr/msgs/*  database
     ~/.msgsrc    number of next message to be presented

SEE ALSO
     aliases(5),  mail(1),  more(1)

HISTORY
     The msgs command appeared in 3.0BSD.

4th Berkeley Distribution       April 28, 1995                               2