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Josee Bourget-Thuma
Frequent Advisor


My system is not generating any mail for the individual users. How does this work and how do I get the mail to start again?

Newbie Josee...
Failure is not an option.
Pedro Sousa
Honored Contributor

Re: /var/mail

Hi Josee.
It should be working.
First check if the access permissions are correct.
it should have mode 755 and group ID "mail":
drwxrwxr-x 2 bin mail 1024 May 24 15:00 /var/mail
then you can test it by sending a mail to a user:

check the dir again.
good luck
Rob Smith
Respected Contributor

Re: /var/mail

Hi, is the sendmail daemon running?

ps -ef | grep sendmail

You should see something like:

root 1361 1 0 May 18 ? 0:05 sendmail: accepting connections on port 25

If you don't then do a more on /etc/mail/ and use the command in that file to restart to daemon. Should be something like:

/usr/sbin/sendmail -bd -q30m

Hope this helps.


Learn the rules so you can break them properly.
Andrew Maslin
Frequent Advisor

Re: /var/mail

Hi. Similar to one of the earlier posts about the /var/mail directory itself, is there already a mail file for that user in the directory? I found out (the hard way by accidentally changing the permissions) that permissions need to be set to 660 (with group set to "mail") on the individual files in order for mail to be delivered.

Also, Pedro had one typo in his message - permissions on the /var/mail directory should be 775, not 755 (the example he showed is correct).

Josee Bourget-Thuma
Frequent Advisor

Re: /var/mail

Thanks to all of you for the tips but I'm still not getting any mail.

I even made sure I had the latest patch of sendmail for my 11.00 OS.

Any other ideas?
Thanks a lot!
Failure is not an option.
Tyrone Muscat
Occasional Visitor

Re: /var/mail

A note on sendmail:

If the system load is high above 8. Sendmail refuses to send or recieve mail. This parameter can be changed in /etc/mail/
Josee Bourget-Thuma
Frequent Advisor

Re: /var/mail


Both QueueLA and RefuseLA are not set; commented out.
This is the default from HP.
Anyone else?

Failure is not an option.

Re: /var/mail

Hi Jossee,

Are the users local on this system or are they on some other NIS client system. Just curious, cause after all these suggestions the mail is not working .

What happens, as root on this system you type mail userid. type in some text , hit return then a period (like .)

- KS

Christopher Caldwell
Honored Contributor

Re: /var/mail

Two telnet windows:

Do this (in order)
Window 1:
tail -f /var/adm/syslog/mail.log

Window 2:
As root
sendmail -v -d0.1 -d11.1 < /dev/null

substitute a local, fully qualified e-mail address for
This command says
run sendmail
-v verbose
-d0.1 print version information
-d11.1 trace delivery

Post the results of both the tail and the sendmail diagnostic.