I have Mail client installed on my Ubuntu server. I know how to send email from terminal and I know how to read email, if I get it. But - how can I enter in Mail client if I don't have any new mail. To be more understandable - I want to enter the part where can I see commands like alias, alt, copy, cd, ch, dec, delete ... Or maybe - how can I find (read) all sent mails?

UPDATE: I use Mail (GNU Mailutils 2.99.99). If I have a new mail and write "mail" then it opens a program where I can read an email (with inserting a number written before name and subject). I can also type "?" to get more help, where I can see many options (write, save, send, delete ...). This is ok. But - if I don't have any email waiting for me and if I write "mail" in terminal, I get only message "No mail for xxxx". It stays in Linux terminal, but I'm sure, it can open a Mail program somehow.

  • not sure, which Mail client you have installed, maybe mutt? Than you would have to enter mutt into the command line.
    – Bruni
    Oct 27, 2016 at 15:05
  • Please be a little more specific on what you did, what happened and what your expectation was. Also which email client do you use, how you use it, where your emails are stored etc pp Oct 27, 2016 at 16:26
  • His email client is the mail program which is provided by mailutils from the default Ubuntu repositories.
    – karel
    May 7, 2017 at 2:37

1 Answer 1


To show the messages sent to the username which you logged in with from the terminal simply type mail however mail needs to be configured in order to receive messages from local users. The easiest way to configure mail is to install sendmail with sudo apt-get sendmail and the sendmail program will work for 3 to 5 minutes when it is being installed and it will configure mail automatically.

Then type mail to start the program and after the ? prompt type the number of a message to read it in the terminal. It can take a few minutes to get a notification that you have received a new message after it is sent.

The way to indicate the end of a message when composing a message in mail is to type a newline at the end of the message containing only the . character and press Enter.

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