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Re: [bug-mailutils] Mail, sends to dead.letter once in a while, to black

From: Sergey Poznyakoff
Subject: Re: [bug-mailutils] Mail, sends to dead.letter once in a while, to black hole mostly
Date: Wed, 03 Jul 2013 20:29:40 +0300

Hi Gene,

There were quite a few mails in the list recently which my schedule
did not permit me to attend in time, for which I apologize.

> So, now, how do I troubleshoot what your /usr/bin/mail is actually doing 
> with my pecks on the keyboard?  Does it keep a logfile someplace?

First of all, let's verify that the binary we are talking about is
really the mail utility from mailutils (Debian succeded in making such
a mess of UNUX that one can never be sure what binary one is running).
So, the first step is to try "mail --version".  If it shows "GNU
Mailutils", then we're at home.  Note, however, what version number
it shows.  That might be important.

The mailutils implementation of bin/mail never tries to deliver mails
directly.  Instead it uses a transport layer (a "mailer"), which is
configured via the variable "sendmail" (a misnomer, I readily agree).
Its default value instructs mail to invoke "/usr/sbin/sendmail 
-t -oi" and to pipe the composed message to its standard input.  This
variable may be redefined either in the site-wide configuration file
/etc/mail.rc or in the user configuration file ~/.mailrc.  You can
always check its value by running "set" without arguments from the mail
shell, or by running

   mail -E set </dev/null|grep ^sendmail

To see what is going on when mail is invoked, set the variable
"verbose" to true.  To do so, add the following line to either
configuration file:

  set verbose

or use the option -E "set verbose" when invoking mail, e.g.

  mail -E "set verbose"  address@hidden

Now you can examine its output and tell where your mails are going.
Should you have any difficulties in interpreting its output, please
do not hesitate to post it to the list.


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