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Old 06-11-2008, 02:28 PM
Dmitry Butskoy
Default /bin/mail replacement (next generation of mailx)

I would like to propose upgrade the "mailx" package (cmdline /bin/mail
interface) to the newer source from the Heirloom project:
http://heirloom.sourceforge.net/mailx.html . The new source is derived
from the old one and is fully compatible with it.

Such a replacement (from old bsd mailx-8.1.x to the Heirloom's
mailx-12.x) is already done in OpenSuse and Slackware.

Initially, the project was named as "nail". Since the version of 12.x it
was renamed to the ordinary name of "mailx", (because the original
mailx-8.x no more developed). Under the name of "nail" it is already in
Fedora. I continue to maintain it as "nail", while the original
mailx-8.x is used.

Mailx-12.x adds a lot of useful functionality to the "cmdline mail
command", which seems to be expected long years ago. Without it, some
tasks can be performed only by TUI or even GUI applications, which makes
impossible to automate things by scripts.

My initial motivation to add nail/mailx to Fedora was inspired by the
time of switching to Dovecot IMAP server and recommendation to switch
from mailbox to Maildir format. The current /bin/mail do not work with
Maildir, hence it cannot be used for reading mail from cmdline at all
(until you still use mailbox format). Besides the Maildir support (which
looks like a strong requirement for the upgrading), there are such
features as MIME support, encodings, attachments, POP3/IMAP, direct
SMTP, SSL etc., see http://heirloom.sourceforge.net/mailx.html

Note, that SSL support can be provided either by OpenSSL or by NSS. The
use of NSS matches the recent requirements of Fedora's "Security

Any comments?

Dmitry Butskoy

fedora-devel-list mailing list

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