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Mail Clients

Depending on how your machine is configured, you might not have a use for the basic email reading command discussed in this chapter, mail. It is detailed here partly for historical completeness, and partly because it is an excellent utility for your use, if you have the opportunity.

The mail program is an email reading and sending program that works on email that is actually received and managed by your local machine. If all you've ever used is a POPmail or IMAP client, such as Eudora or Mailsmith, you're probably unfamiliar with the idea of your local machine being its own email server. Unix machines have, since the dawn of email, been part of the backbone by which email makes its way around the Internet. Configured properly, they don't need POPmail servers—they are POPmail (and IMAP) servers. Email gets around between them by way of the SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) and is delivered (with a few minor exceptions) directly from the sender's machine to the receiver's machine.


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