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I have had an Ubuntu Server (12.04.2) running for quite some time. It runs a variety of Server apps, including hosting my personal website. I was playing around with WooCommerce on WordPress the other day, and wanted to figure out how to get the email notifications to work. In my endeavors, I installed (and uninstalled; well, apt-get purge'ed) both sendmail and postfix.

After I was done playing, and uninstalling everything I had installed (since I could not get either to work), I noticed that a prompt telling me that I had mail would pop-up every time I logged onto the system. First I thought, oh, I just need to mark 2000 mails as read. I did that (thankfully there are ways to do this without going through 8+ months of mail that I didn't even know I had). But now the prompt loves to tell me that I have 'No mail.'

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How can I get rid of this Prompt? It drives me crazy. I went many, many months without it, and I don't need it or the mail that it wants to tell me I have. Even Better, Can I turn off the local mail system entirely?

Thanks for your help. :0)

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Edit the pam_mail line in the appropriate PAM configuration file. For local logins, this is /etc/pam.d/login. For ssh, it is /etc/pam.d/sshd. Note that this affects all users. By default it uses standard, which does print a message if you have no mail. You can change it to quiet to only print if you do have mail. See the pam_mail manpage for full details.

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Unfortunatly, this is not working for me. I used sudoedit /etc/pam.d/login and changed 'standard' to 'quiet' on the pam_mail line, saved and then logged out, no dice. Even tried a reboot, still no dice. Any reason this should be? After reading through the man page for pam_mail, it seems that the option I really want is 'nopen', but This does not seem to work either. :0( – Luis Flores III Jul 11 '13 at 15:18
Okay, I figured it out. /etc/pam.d/login is only respected when logging in via /bin/login, or in other words when logging in locally. since my system is headless, and I ssh into it using sshd, I had to edit the same pam_mail line only in /etc/pam.d/sshd This answer on Server Fault pointed me in the right direction. It seems that PAM is very flexible. Thanks for your help. :0) – Luis Flores III Jul 11 '13 at 16:06
Ah - you didn't say that you were using ssh, so I wrongly assumed you meant a local login. I've edited my answer to include both alternatives. – Robie Basak Jul 11 '13 at 17:17
Yeah at the time, I didn't think it would have made a difference. :0) – Luis Flores III Jul 11 '13 at 19:34

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