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Why I get this message " You have new mail in /var/spool/mail/root " ?

+3 votes

Why I get this message " You have new mail in /var/spool/mail/root " in CentOs?

My queries are the following -
1. Why this is generated ?
2. How to disable this ?
3. Is this system generated ?
4. Is this message gain any importance ?

posted Dec 19, 2013 by Nithin Kp

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4. Is this message gain any importance ?

No one else can decide what is important to you. But it can be things like 'your hard disk is about to fail'.

3 Answers

+3 votes

Try the following

Why I get this message " You have new mail in /var/spool/mail/root " in CentOs?
because you have new mail (many a times messages contain output of cron jobs, or a system security report by logwatch, or similar junk)

1. Why this is generated?
because you have new mail

2. How to disable this?
you should not or edit /ect/aliases to forward any mails to a SMTP server which may need a whitelisting there

3. Is this system generated?

4. Is this message gain any importance?
yes because you get logwatch and whatever system-mails like smartd telling you a harddisk may die or a software raid notifies you about a failed disk and such things

answer Dec 19, 2013 by anonymous
+3 votes

Basically, this is just a "You've got mail" notification.

Most likely these are system generated logs or errors being mailed to root. When logged into root type "mail" to see them.

Importance wise, it depends on what you perceive as important. I myself like to know what is going on with my system so I leave them on, while others do not.

Disabling them would involve either, disabling postfix all together (or any other mailserver), this would prevent all system mail.

Or, if you are using this as an email server, disabling other things such as logwatch, and any other script which may mail root,

Lastly another option is creating a dumby user for all mail directed at root to go by setting up aliases in /etc/aliases (Basically at end: root: dumbyuser) and then running newaliases.

Hope this helps...

answer Dec 19, 2013 by anonymous
Just one doubt - sorry for this silly doubt..
What is a dumby user ??
I thk he is saying dummy user
+1 vote
1. Why this is generated ?

Because root has mail in his mailbox.

2. How to disable this ?

You can disable the message with biff n (IIRC). You can also redirect root's (future) mail to a user mailbox by modifying /etc/aliases and running newaliases when done. (That will not do anything with mail already delivered to root.)

3. Is this system generated ?

The message is system-generated. The mail is very likely output from various system jobs, like cron jobs or other daemons. In theory a person could have send a message to root but that's not very common.

4. Is this message gain any importance ?

The only way to know is by reading the messages! Some of them may simply be informational, others may be important.

answer Dec 19, 2013 by anonymous
man bash; "Shell Variables"

 Specifies how often (in seconds) bash checks for mail. The default is 60 seconds. When it is time to check for mail, the shell does so before displaying the primary prompt. If this variable is unset, or set to a value that is not a number greater than or equal to zero, the shell disables mail checking.
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