Files that affect your mail

The default mail setup at Nevis works for most users. However, if you'd like finer control over your e-mail, mail notifications, mail forwarding, spam processing, mail filtering, or are trying to fix a mail problem, the following information can be useful.

In the descriptions below, $user is the name of your Nevis Linux cluster login account.


This is the file that contains the contents of your INBOX. On the mail server, it's located in /mail/inbox/$user, but the above path makes the file visible on other the other systems on the cluster via automount.


This is the default location of your IMAP mail files. On the mail server, this path is /mail/folders/$user, but the above path makes the file visible on other the other systems on the cluster via automount.


This file contains the list of IMAP folders that you see in your mail reader. For the most part, you don't have to change the contents of this file; you can drag, drop, create, (un)subscribe, etc., using your mail program. But every once in a while, it's easier to edit this text file than it is to manually click on lots of different folders.

/a/mail/forward/$user or ~/.forward

The forwarding file controls how your e-mail is forwarded, and can also be used to automatically send vacation messages.

There are two places where you can put your forwarding instructions: /a/mail/forward/$user or ~/.forward. The latter name is the standard location for a forwarding file, and it's supported at Nevis. The former location is preferred, however, since the file will remain available to the mail server if your home directory becomes unavailable; e.g., if your group's server goes down.

If you have both files /a/mail/forward/$user and ~/.forward, only the lines in the former will be interpreted. The latter will be ignored.

/a/mail/procmailrc/$user or ~/.procmailrc

See the Procmail page for details.


For the most part, you can ignore the contents of your ~/.spamassassin/ directory, which is automatically created for you the first time you receive mail at Nevis. The one file that you might want to look at is ~/.spamassassin/user_prefs, which allows you to control the functionality of SpamAssassin.

Your mail reader may also offer spam-filtering options. See this page on configuring SpamAssassin for why this is not the best option.

This topic: Main > Computing > Mail > Mail-relatedFiles
Topic revision: r18 - 2019-09-30 - WilliamSeligman
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