COMSAT(8) BSD System Manager's Manual COMSAT(8)
comsat - biff server
Comsat is the server process which receives reports of incoming mail and
notifies users if they have requested this service. Comsat receives mes-
sages on a datagram port associated with the ``biff'' service specifica-
tion (see services(5) and inetd(8)). The one line messages are of the
If the user specified is logged in to the system and the associated ter-
minal has the owner execute bit turned on (by a ``biff y''), the offset
is used as a seek offset into the appropriate mailbox file and the first
7 lines or 560 characters of the message are printed on the user's termi-
nal. Lines which appear to be part of the message header other than the
``From'', ``To'', ``Date'', or ``Subject'' lines are not included in the
/var/run/utmp to find out who's logged on and on what terminals
The message header filtering is prone to error. The density of the in-
formation presented is near the theoretical minimum.
Users should be notified of mail which arrives on other machines than the
one to which they are currently logged in.
The notification should appear in a separate window so it does not mess
up the screen.
The comsat command appeared in 4.2BSD.
4.2 Berkeley Distribution June 4, 1993 1