are you using /var/mail?

t.sippel-dau at t.sippel-dau at
Wed Jan 20 12:41:28 PST 1999

The keyboard of Roeland Th. Jansen emitted at some point in time:
> > If nobody is using it, we can consider changing it back.  If not, then
> > we'll just specifically allow a symbolic link at /var/mail to point to
> > the real spool directory (or something like that).
> just symlink the stuff -- it's somewhat ugly but keeps everyone happy.

Not only that, sites with more than one machine will have a particular
machine where the mail spool is held (as long as there is only one of
them), and not all machines will have active mail spools. In that case,
it just does not matter if /var/mail (or /var/spool/mail) is a link, a
directory, a mount point, and outomount map trigger, or a character file
calling for a kernel driver to handle further procssing.

We should probably say:

  o  there are applications that use /var/mail and expect "the mailspool"
  o  there are applications that use /var/spool/mail and expect "the mailspool"
  o  new applications should use .....
  o  the system manager will have to ensure both accesses are equally valid

Somehow I have the feeling many people would like to have this problem ...


*   Why not use metric units and get it right first time, every time ?
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