are you using /var/mail?

rob at current.nu rob at current.nu
Wed Jan 20 12:30:55 PST 1999


Seems to be where it is on some systems I have looked at (other than
Linux, but including even older versions of other OS's), but not all.

For example, even older versions of IRIX:

chem37 16% whoami
current
chem37 17% ls -l
total 3
drwxrwxr-x    2 root     mail         512 Dec  3 16:22 :saved
-rw-rw----    1 current  mail         813 Jan 20 14:20 current
chem37 18% pwd
/usr/var/mail
chem37 19% uname -a
IRIX chem37 5.3 11091809 IP6 mips
chem37 20%


But not DEC UNIX...

$ whoami
current
$ pwd
/var/spool/mail
$ ls -l current
-rw-------   1 current  daemon         0 Jan 20 07:41 current
$ uname -a
OSF1 plains V4.0 878 alpha
$

and no, it's not a symbolic link here:
$ pwd
/var/spool
$ ls -l
total 304
drwxr-xr-x   4 root     system      8192 Dec 29 09:43 cron/
drwxrwxr-x   2 uucp     uucp        8192 Dec 29 18:14 locks/
drwxr-xr-x   2 root     system      8192 Dec 29  1997 lpd/
-rw-r--r--   1 root     system         6 Jan  4 15:44 lpd.lock
drwxrwxrwt   5 root     mail      237568 Jan 20 14:30 mail/
drwxr-xr-x   2 root     system      8192 Jan 20 14:30 mqueue/
drwxr-xr-x   2 daemon   system      8192 Jan 18 00:30 popbulls/
drwxr-xr-x 104 root     system      8192 Jan  4 15:44 printers/
drwxrwxr-x  10 uucp     uucp        8192 Dec 29 10:06 uucp/
drwxrwxrwx   2 uucp     uucp        8192 Dec 29  1997 uucppublic/
$

I do believe it's not a completely universial standard yet, at least not
in practice.... But that doesn't mean it should be... (also don't expect
me to know what I am talking about, just sharing observations...)
-- 
"Robert W. Current" <rob at current.nu> - email
http://www.current.nu                - personal web site
"Hey mister, turn it on, turn it up, and turn me loose." - Dwight Yoakam

On Wed, 20 Jan 1999, Daniel Quinlan wrote:

> H Peter Anvin <hpa at transmeta.com> 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
> /var/spool/mail.
> 
> 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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