are you using /var/mail?

Daniel Quinlan quinlan at
Wed Jan 20 12:01:21 PST 1999

H Peter Anvin <hpa at> writes:

> I think changing it back would be a bad idea, because it breaks
> compatibility with other systems, which we *can't* change.

Yes, many sites have several different types of Unix running (such as
Solaris), most of which use /var/mail.  Pretty much only Linux uses

The other side of the coin is that there is lots of source code that
has #ifdef linux and sets the default MAILPATH to /var/spool/mail.  In
addition, most Linux packages (from places like Debian, SuSE, and Red
Hat) continue to use /var/spool/mail.

At Transmeta, we actually have a symbolic link from /var/spool/mail to
a /var/mail mount point on our Linux systems.

- Dan

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