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I have a VPS (virtual private server) running Debian Linux. When I login using PuTTY the console shows - "You have mail"

I have no idea on how to retrieve this email. Which software do I need to install? Which steps to follow?

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up vote 14 down vote accepted

Just type mail, it is the most basic way to read the mail. It should be installed by default on a Debian system, it comes from the mailutils package. Read the man page or type ? to figure out commands to use.

But there are better ways to read the mail. As noted earlier, mailx is an improved version. Even more user-friendly are mutt, cone and (al)pine. All of these are packaged by Debian and can be installed by apt-get

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I like mutt, thanks :) – Jan-Philip Gehrcke Mar 15 '13 at 15:45
(al)pine is cosy as pico or nano, so if you feel ok with the latters go with the first. – Hastur Jun 21 at 8:10

I find the mail program difficult to use. The mail is stored in a flat file, so I use vi /var/spool/mail/user and manage it there.

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mailx is present by default on most systems. Type mailx to invoke it. Read the manpages to understand how to navigate the mailx interface.

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don`t forget to read with CAT cat /var/mail/root cat /var/spool/mail/root – Haim Cohen Jun 16 at 7:25
This suggestion has been made before. Could you expand on what you are doing differently? – Burgi Jun 21 at 7:55

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