In CS courses, instructors and teaching assistant(s) will often
communicate with you by e-mail. Although you may be able to read your
mail via a web browser or other graphical program, you'll want to know
how to use a mail program that can be run in a plain text terminal.
The mail program
elm is such a program.
The first time you start up elm, it will prompt you asking whether it can create a few directories it needs. Just type <RETURN> to each of those prompts.
Your Account ------------ username <-- your home directory / Mail <-- new directory
Once started, elm will show you the messages in your main mailbox.
You can scroll through messages with the arrow keys and read a message
<Return>. The letters that correspond
to basic commands are listed at the bottom of the screen. Note that
these commands just require typing the letter...do not press
<Return> after doing so. For example, to send a
message just press
m...to reply to a message,
r. Press ? for a list of
Often times you will want to save messages into different mailboxes
(elm calls these folders, but they are just files, not
directories). For example, you may want to have folders to store
messages from friends, this course, etc. To do so, use the save command,
s. When prompted, type in a folder name beginning with an equal
sign. For example, save a message to folder
Save message to: =misc
The equal sign just tells elm to put the folder in your Mail directory.
Your Account ------------ username <-- your home directory / Mail | misc <-- new file (mail folder)
When you are done using elm, use q to quit. If any messages were marked for deletion, either because you deleted them explicitly or you saved them to another folder, it will prompt you if you want them deleted, as in:
Delete message? (y/n)
It will also ask you if you want to move messages you've read into the received folder, as in:
Move read messages to "received" folder? (y/n)
In general, you won't want to move them.
Finally, if you want to start up elm reading messages from some folder other than your main mailbox. You can use,
And it will only display messages that were saved to theelm -f =misc