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Lab46 Mail With Pine


Once you login to your account on you can start Pine.
At the system command prompt (lab46:~$) type pine <Enter>.

Lab46:~$ pine

The first time starting pine you will be asked to enter your password, this is the same password used to login to system.

Note: If you get a message about invalid password exit pine by typing ^C C then Q to exit. When you are back at the command line run a script called fixmail this will correct a known problem. When back at the command promt enter pine again.

Once it accepts your password you will be asked if you want pine to remember your password, if you answer no it will ask for your password each time you start pine.

Pine's main menu appears on the screen and displays a list of Pine's main commands. Each command is preceded by a letter or symbol and this is the key you press to select the command. You can use uppercase or lowercase letters, and you do not need to press Enter to enable the command. You can use the command on the main menu to read on-line help, compose and send a message, look at an index of your mail messages, open and maintain your mail folders, update your Address book, configure or update Pine, and quit Pine. Pine's main menu looks similar to the following:

  ALPINE 1.10(962)   MAIN MENU            Folder: INBOX             3 Messages +

              ?     HELP               -  Get help using Alpine
	      C     COMPOSE MESSAGE    -  Compose and send a message

              I     MESSAGE INDEX      -  View messages in current folder

	      L     FOLDER LIST        -  Select a folder to view

	      A     ADDRESS BOOK       -  Update address book

	      S     SETUP              -  Configure Alpine Options

              Q     QUIT               -  Leave the Alpine program

                   Copyright 2006-2008 University of Washington

? Help                     P PrevCmd                 R RelNotes
O OTHER CMDS > [ListFldrs] N NextCmd                 K KBLock

Quitting Pine:

When you finish working with Pine, issue the Quit command to leave the Pine program. From Pine's main menu screen, type Q to quit.

Composing a message in Pine:

To compose a message in Pine, you must be in the Compose Message screen. From Pine's main menu screen, press C (Compose). In order to return to the Main Menu type M from any sub menu. The Compose Message screen looks similar to the following:

To      :
Cc      :
Subject :
----- Message Text -----

^G Get Help  ^X Send      ^R Rich Hdr  ^Y PrvPg/Top ^K Cut Line  ^O Postpone
^C Cancel    ^D Del Char  ^J Attach    ^V NxtPg/End ^U UnDel Line^T To AddrBk

The commands at the bottom of the screen are preceded by the caret (^) symbol. Remember, the caret (^) symbol represents the Ctrl key. This means you must hold down the Ctrl key while pressing the command letter. For example, in the Compose Message screen you would hold down the Ctrl key and then press G (Get Help) to view additional commands. You can use the directional arrow keys to move around the screen, or you can press ^N (Next line) to move to the next line and ^P (Previous line) to move to the previous line.

  1. Press C (Compose) to display the Compose Message screen.
  2. At the To: field, type (his e-mail address) and press Enter.
  3. At the Cc: field, press Enter.
  4. At the Attachment: field, press Enter.
  5. At the Subject: field, type Test and press Enter.
  6. Below the Message Text line, type This is a test.

After you compose a message, you are ready to send it. The Send command (^X) is displayed at the bottom of the screen. Press ^X (remember that the caret (^) symbol means that you hold down the Ctrl key) to send your mail message. The message prompt Send message? appears on your screen. You must type y and press Enter to confirm the send. The message is sent and a copy is saved to your sent-mail folder. Undeliverable messages are returned to your account. You can also re-send messages by using the F (Forward) command. If you press ^X and then change your mind about sending the mail, following the Send message? prompt, press n (no). The mail message will not be sent and you can continue with your work.

Hints for writing messages

To: Following the To: field, type the e-mail address of the intended recipient.
If you are sending a mail message to more than one person, you can type the
address of each recipient, but you must separate each address with a comma.
When you finish, press Enter.
Note: If you are sending mail to someone who shares the same site address
(e.g.,, all you need to type is the person's user ID
Cc: Use the Cc: field when you want to send carbon copies of a mail message.
Type the e-mail address of each person to whom you would like to send a
copy of your message. Remember to separate each address with a comma. If
you do not want to send carbon copies, simply press Enter to by-pass the
Cc: field.
Attachment: This is an advanced Pine feature that allows you to attach files, including
word processing documents and spreadsheets that you have uploaded, to your
account. If you do not want to attach a file to your message, press Enter
to by-pass the Attachment: field. For additional information, move to the
Attachment: field and press ^G (Get Help).
Subject: Following the Subject: field, type a one-line description of your mail
Message Text: Following the Message Text line, type your message. To move around the
screen use the directional arrow keys. To delete characters, use the
Backspace or Delete key. To delete a line, press ^K.

Listing incoming messages:

Pine stores all the messages you receive (including those you send to yourself) in your INBOX folder. These messages remain in the INBOX folder until you decide to delete them or save them to some other folder. To view the messages in your INBOX folders, from the Pine main menu, press I (Folder Index). An Inbox folder similar to the following will appear on your screen.

The selected message is highlighted. The first column displays the status of the message, for example, N indicates that it is an unread message, + indicates that the message was sent directly to you (it is not a copy), A indicates that you have replied to the message and D indicates that you have marked the message for deletion. The remaining columns display the message number, the date the message was sent, the sender, the size, and the subject. To store messages in a folder other than your Inbox, refer to the section titled “Moving Between Folders.”

Viewing a message:

To view a message: - From the Folder Index screen, use the directional arrow keys to highlight the message you want to view. - Press V or > or Enter (ViewMsg) to read the currently selected message. To view the next message, press N (NextMsg). To return to the Folder Index, press I (Index).

Replying to a message:

You can reply to a message you have selected in the Folder Index screen, or you can reply to a message you are viewing. To reply to a message press R (Reply). You will receive a message asking you whether or not you would like to include the original message in your reply. Also, if the original message was sent to more than one person, you will be asked if you would like to reply to all the recipients. Answer y (yes) or n (no) and then type in your reply, press ^x to send.

Auto-forwarding incoming messages:

You can configure Pine to automatically forward incoming e-mail messages by creating a file named .forward in your home folder (/home/<your username>/). The .forward file simply has the e-mail address you wish to forward to on the first line, and nothing else.

A very simple way of creating your .forward file would be:

Lab46:~$cd ~ && echo > .forward

Where is the e-mail address you wish to forward to.

And the contents of the resulting .forward file would be:
documentation/pine.txt · Last modified: 2010/12/17 19:27 by bh011695