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Re: checking for new mail
We used to deliver mail to user home directories instead of /var/mail,
but found the advantages weren't worth the hassle, and switched back.
Under our old scheme, mail was delivered to $HOME/../PObox/$USER.
We didn't put it directly in $HOME, so people wouldn't accidentally nuke it
or create a directory of that name or whatever.
We maintained a sorted file mapping user name to mailbox filename,
and the router used this to deliver local mail. We also
maintained a forest of symlinks in /var/mail
(/var/mail/$USER -> .../PObox/$USER), so user programs continued to work.
We had modified the mail readers to use the nfslock() routines
to do mailbox locking.
It worked reasonably well. We decided to go back to a single mailbox
- we didn't want to recompile every #$%^&* mail reader
to use the local locking protocol;
- home directories often fill up, delaying mail delivery
and driving users into a frenzy.
We bought a sun IPC with a 1Gb disk, and put all mailboxes on it.
There is no user access to this machine. It runs zmailer,
popd, imapd, and not much else.
It's easy to administer, and works like a charm.
Dept. of Computer Science, University of Toronto