Nevis .forward Tips

Some tips associated with a mail forwarding file, either /a/mail/forward/$user or ~/.forward. You can use a forwarding file to forward mail to another account, or perform additional mail processing such as vacation messages.

(There are some more tips on mail-related files at Nevis.)

Here are some reasons why a /a/mail/forward/$user or ~/.forward file may not work.

  • If you have a /a/mail/forward/$user file (where $user is your account name), then a ~/.forward file will be ignored. Use one or the other, not both. It's better to use /a/mail/forward/$user, because if the server that contains your home directory goes down, your mail will still be forwarded properly.

  • The syntax of the file may be incorrect. There is no "man" page for forwarding files. However, the syntax of the addr_n option in a sendmail aliases file is the same as that of a line in a forwarding file.

  • If you choose to use a .forward file, it must be stored in your home directory. In particular, it must be stored in your directory as seen by the Linux cluster. Use echo $HOME to make sure you're putting the ~/.forward file in the correct place.

  • If the mail server can't mount your home directory, it can't see a ~/.forward file. If your workstation is off, or is disconnected from the network, then the mail server cannot use the file to forward or otherwise process your mail. Instead, it will just append your message to your Nevis mail INBOX.

    Again, using the file /a/mail/forward/$user will prevent this.

  • Check the permissions on your home directory (ls -ld $HOME). Did you, in a burst of generosity, enable group- or world-write permissions? Don't do this; not only will the mail server refuse to process any ~/.forward or ~/.procmailrc files in a directory with such permissions, but ssh will be inhibited as well.

    In this case, you should restore your home directory's correct permissions with:

    chmod 755 $HOME
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Topic revision: r2 - 2011-09-08 - WilliamSeligman
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