Terminal question: "You have mail."

thomasp

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 18, 2004
654
1
UK
I'm running OSX 10.4.5.

I launched Terminal today to see what my uptime was and saw this strange new line beneath the "Welcome to Darwin!" line (3rd line in window):

Terminal said:
You have mail.

I've got Apple Mail open, and I don't have any new mail in there, so what is this thing that's now appearing in Terminal, and how do I "read" the mail and then get rid of the message?


Thanks for the help :)
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
You'll be able to read it if you type mail like Mitthrawnuruodo suggested. This is a system level mail that's used for alerting users to things. I forget now but there are a couple of activities that you can do that will generate a mail message for the admin. It might be something related to system housekeeping. I thought it was sudo'ing from a non admin account, but that apparently isn't one if them.
 

thomasp

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 18, 2004
654
1
UK
Hmmm, they seem to be some random network messages. Anyone any clue what they mean?

Email 1 said:
ERROR: Update failed. Your network may be down or none of the mirrors listed in freshclam.conf is working.
Email 2 said:
ERROR: Mirrors are not fully synchronized. Please try again later.
ERROR: Update failed. Your network may be down or none of the mirrors listed in freshclam.conf is working.

Is it perfectly safe to delete these messages?
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Those messages are being sent by ClamXAV or some other implementation of Clam antivirus, right? Yes, basically. Delete them after you read them. They just mean what they say. As long as it's not consistently failing to get virus definition updates, you should be fine.
 

thomasp

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 18, 2004
654
1
UK
mkrishnan said:
Those messages are being sent by ClamXAV or some other implementation of Clam antivirus, right? Yes, basically. Delete them after you read them. They just mean what they say. As long as it's not consistently failing to get virus definition updates, you should be fine.
Yep, I'm running ClamXav. And I think those errors were caused when I forgot to turn off the proxy server settings when I came back from uni.


Cheers for the help :)
 

porg

macrumors member
Dec 3, 2008
37
0
Instructions on how to solve the issue

Synopsis

As Mitthrawnuruodo and mkrishnan already said, it is a system level email.
I also had this issue, and found out where to check for for it.
You can use the following guide.

Good luck!

porg

Instructions for Terminal.app (aka the command line shell)

Go to the directory (=folder) where the system level email files for all users are stored, and list them:

cd /private/var/mail/; ls -l

Display the email(s) for the user which you fill into <username>.
Either use your username (without the angle brackets) or use the character * (asterisk) if you want all emails from users listed:

cat <username> | less

Finally erase your mail file, in case you do not need it anymore.

sudo rm /private/var/mail/<username>