More Mutt, Root Mail, No Mailbox Stuff

Leonard Chatagnier lenc5570 at
Wed Nov 21 21:59:01 UTC 2007

--- Marius Gedminas <marius at> wrote:

> On Wed, Nov 21, 2007 at 09:22:51AM -0800, Leonard
> Chatagnier wrote:
> > --- Marius Gedminas <marius at> wrote:
> > 
> > >.......
> >  After
> > > > bootup and logging into terminal, messages say
> I
> > > have
> Ouch.  Painful line wrapping.
I didn't feel anything; sorry couldn't help it.
> > > > mail(there should be as there were many
> messages
> > > from
> > > > the upgrade that root should get) so I open
> mutt
> > > and
> > > > the status bar at bottom say "no mailbox".
> > > However,
> > > > there are two such mailboxes in /var/mail and
> > > > /var/spool/mail.
> > > 
> > > What does echo $MAIL say for you?  Are you
> setting
> > > the MAIL variable in
> > > your .bashrc/.bash_profile?  Are you setting
> > > $spoolfile in your
> > > ~/.muttrc?
> > > 
> > Echo $MAIL says /var/spool/mail/lchata which is
> what I
> > had setup in Feisty.
> It looks correct (assuming your username is lchata).
You are absolutely correct in your assumption.
> > Never have looked at .bashrc as I
> > recall nor do I have a .bash_profile or a
> ~/.muttrc
> > according to cat and locate. There is an example
> file
> > of .bash_profile in /esr/share/doc/*etc. My
> ~/.muttrc
> Did you mean "~/.bashrc" here?
Yep, it's ~/.muttrc that I don't have.  Sorry for
> > has:
> > # Sets the Mail Environment Variable
> > export MAIL=var/spool/mail/lchata
> This is not correct.  You need a leading "/" in
> front of "var":
Ok, I know that and just missed it. It was the default
from ubuntu as I've never modified it, AFAIK. Explains
why I have to do mutt -f, he, he. However, mutt still
says no mailbox; maybe have to restart X. Yep, that
did it; one less distraction now.

>   export MAIL=/var/spool/mail/lchata
> although if you remove this line altogether, Ubuntu
> should set up $MAIL
> correctly by default.
> ...
> > I'm reading what you say(and have now read Muttrc
> > again) so how does one get root mail?
> Usually you set up /etc/aliases with
>     root: yourusername
Done a long time ago. OOoops, I checked again and
found it commented out as I had tried a new root entry
to test out root mail. It was
lchata at and had forget about
it. Explains why that name keeps showing up in bounced
root mail now. Getting closer but not yet there. Fixed
that and even after restarting X still got the
identically same bounce message in mutt. Where else
could I have put ""? It's not in
hosts, mailname or
> and run 'sudo newaliases' once, to redirect all
> root's mail to your user
> account.
AGhhhhha! That's what I couldn't remember even though
I've used it often lately. That fixed it; now getting
the root mail I sent. Thanks very much for walking me
throught it all again. However, why don't I see all
the gutsy install messages I expected to see. Is it
because the root:   username  was incorrect at the
time and they are lost forever?

> > Root mail is
> > the main issue as I use Yahoo web mail and have no
> > real need for multi user local mail delivery; just
> > root mail delivery.
> If you wish (and if you have a working MTA set up
> correctly to use your
> ISP's SMTP server as the relay host), you can make
> the alias forward
> root's mail to an external mailbox.
I'm now just local on postfix setup; changed since
first post.  However, I have lenc5570 at
setup at one time as relay host but must have missed
something because root mail just bounced. Really don't
know what I'm doing here.
> > Also, /var/log/mail.log has this
> > interesting item(revalent I think):
> > 
> > Nov 21 11:17:16 ubuntu postfix/qmgr[1883]:
> > 2E23C108017: to=<root at>, relay=none,
> > delay=9003, delays=9003/0.03/0/0, dsn=4.3.5,
> > status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended:
> Host
> > or domain name not found. Name service error for
> > type=A: Host not found).
> Why are you sending email to "root at"? 
> Your
> /etc/postfix/ file might have an incorrect
> domain set.
Yes it did. I had set this up in response to another
reply on the original thread. there was disagreement
on this between 2 op's but I tried it(see my response
to Peter Garett's reply. I'm still trying to get back
to all default confs on mailname, postfix and hosts.  
> > Anticipating your reply I have included my
> /etc/hosts:
> > 
> > chata at ubuntu:/var/log$ cat /etc/hosts
> > localhost
> >
> >    ubuntu
> > (Note: is not a real FQDN)
Ok, this is now:

lchata at ubuntu:/etc/rc2.d$ cat /etc/hosts localhost ubuntu ubuntu    ubuntu
and I'm not sure it's yet correct to default setup:
especially for

> Okay.  I'm not sure inventing a fake domain that
> looks like a real
> domain is a good idea (I usually use something like
> .home or .lan), but
> on the other hand you don't really need it to
> receive root's mail.
I agree in hindsight. But just for the sake of
downloading my web mail to read in muttt, what should
I use in /etc/hosts and in That would
enlighten me.

> My laptop's hostname is 'platonas' (it has no FQDN).
>  I have
>       platonas
> in my /etc/hosts (I'm skipping the localhost and
> those ipv6 entries),
> and these options in /etc/postfix/
>   append_dot_mydomain = no
>   myhostname = platonas
>   mydestination = platonas, localhost.localdomain,
> localhost
I had the same at one time except using ubuntu ipo
platonas. So, I guess it was correct all alone?

> (the rest are more or less defaults).
> According to a comment in /etc/aliases, the
> installer added the root
> alias for me by default.
> This is sufficient for me to receive root's mail in
> /var/spool/$username.
>Thanks for your capable help. I'm now getting root
mail when I send it but wonder if normal mail to root
sent by OS will show up in time and if the install
stuff is lost forever because of the incorrect setting
in etc/aliases during the install. that would be most
helpful now clearing up some minor issues. I
congradulate you as this issue has been going on for
about three similar threads now.  Many thanks,

Leonard Chatagnier
lenc5570 at

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