SUMMARY: Problem with user's mailboxes

From: Glenn Carver (
Date: Thu Jan 14 1993 - 19:33:14 CST

Apologies for the long delay in getting this summary out, it's taken
a long time to get to the right response. The original message is appended at
the bottom.

I am indebted to (Jan-Ulf Lundberg) who put
in a call to the Sun Hotline for this question. Unfortunately, it is NOT
possible to get rid of the 'hold' setting in OW3 mailtool. It has previously
been reported to Sun USA (bugID 1073107) but I gather there has been no
response from Sun so far.

Possible ways around the problem were:
1. Have a cron job which email user's if their mailbox is greater than some
   limit. The reasoning here being that the users eventually get fed up with
   root mailing them and do something about it.
2. Move /var/spool/mail to a bigger partition. Fine if you have lots of spare
   system disk space.
3. Link users inboxes to a user's ~/.inbox. Need to ensure that the ln in
   /var/spool/mail can never be deleted.
4. suggested using a .forward file to move the
   mail: "The key point is that the -n prevents alias expansion by sendmail !

                .forward reads:


                The script mvmail is:

                #! /bin/sh
                if [ `/bin/hostname` = $MAILTO ]; then
                        /bin/cat >> $HOME/.pjwmail
                        /usr/lib/sendmail -n "pjw@${MAILTO}"
Glenn Carver Email:
Atmospheric Chemistry Modelling Group Phone: (44-223) 336521
Chemistry Department Fax : (44-223) 336362
Cambridge University

Thanks to all who replied:

--------- Original message -------------------

>From glenn Mon Nov 30 16:11:13 1992
Subject: Problems with user's mailboxes

I've got a problem handling users mailboxes on /var/spool/mail that is
becoming urgent since the start of the new term and a large and sudden
increase in users.

Ever since upgrading to OW3, I've been plagued by not having enough
space in /var/spool/mail for users default mailboxes. With the version
of mailtool in OW2, I used to get users to have 'set nohold'
in their .mailrc file so that read messages would automatically be moved
to their private mbox. But now with OW3 version, this no longer happens,
Mailtool ignores the nohold variable but I don't know why. Is this a known
bug and is there a patch?

I realise that /usr/lib/Mailrc has 'set hold' but this is overridden by
nohold in the users private .mailrc file.

Increasing space on the /var/spool partition is NOT an option. I don't have
enough spare capacity.

If this is not a bug, how do others handle this problem?

All help appreciated and I will summarise.
Glenn Carver
Systems Adminstrator
Centre for Atmospheric Science
Cambridge University, UK.


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