I remember Debian automatically sending mail to users (to report a failed sudo authentication attempt, for example). On Ubuntu is mail of some kind automatically set up? I created a cron job, and nothing is appearing in /var/spool/mail. If there's a standard/obvious way to set up mail in Ubuntu, what is it?
You can set up
postfix to do local mail delivery only.
sudo apt-get install postfix
After a moment, you'll be prompted to make some choices about how you want postfix installed. (If you make a mistake, you can get back here with
sudo dpkg-reconfigure postfix).
When prompted, choose "Local only" as your general configuration. When prompted for a system mail name, you can enter your machine's hostname (e.g.
gribble), its fully qualified domain name (e.g.
localhost. I suggest choosing the former or the latter.
With that done, do
sudo postconf -e "home_mailbox = Maildir/" to tell postfix where to place users' mail. This appends
home_mailbox = Maildir/ to the end of
sudo service postfix reload to tell postfix to reload the configuration file.
Now you can install a mail client that understands how to read mail out of your maildir, such as mutt:
sudo apt-get install mutt
To configure mutt, create a file
~/.muttrc with something like the following in it:
set mbox_type=Maildir set folder="~/Maildir" set mask="!^\\.[^.]" set mbox="~/Maildir" set spoolfile="~/Maildir"
mutt and it will probably complain about your maildir not being there. This is fine -- postfix will create it as soon as we get some email.
In mutt, press m to compose an email. At the bottom of the screen, you'll be prompted for a recipient (you should be able to type user@hostname or just a user name) and subject, then your editor will pop up so you can type an email. Write something, save, exit, and press y to send. The user you sent to should have a Maildir appear in their home directory -- they can then use mutt (after creating a similar .muttrc) to read it!