"Can you fix a bug in an older version of Pine, please?"
When a bug is identified in an old release of Pine, there is a very strong
possibility that the associated code has been re-written to the point that
a fix will not apply to the current release. Hence, if we can't reproduce
the problem in the current version, our standard response will be to ask
you to upgrade.
Many Pine users, who may have seen this feature in other email systems (such as
those on a Local Area Network, where it is common), have askedif there is a way to confirm whether or not a message they
send over the Internet has been received, or even whether it has been read, by the recipient.
The answer is "perhaps" ... reasons against generation of return receipts include:
If a message cannot be delivered due a
technical problem -- such as connectivity interrupted, or mailhost
down or misconfigured -- the sender will almost always receive a diagnostic
message to that effect, which they can forward to their computing support staff
for interpretation and troubleshooting. The best solution to the "lack of
return-receipt" problem is therefore to include a line requesting
confirmation from the recipient that a message was received in that
- There is no Internet standard for email return receipts, thus the
functionality of delivery acknowledgment is unpredictable.
- Since the request for a return receipt generates (at least) one new outgoing
message for each one received, the increased message traffic could
easily overload some email-processing hosts and networks.
- On mailing lists (or any sort of one-to-many communication), one
sender requesting a return receipt, even inadvertently, could generate
a large number of delivery acknowledgment messages coming into their host and mailbox in rapid succession.
- If an outgoing message with a return-receipt request bears an invalid
return email address, or one which becomes unreachable due to connectivity problems,
the acknowledgment message from the recipient could not reach the sender and
would probably bounce back to the recipient's mailserver or INBOX.
- Some online services and gateway providers, especially outside the USA, still charge users
a per-message-fee for Internet email (inbound, outbound, or both), so
that sending them a return-receipt-requested message would cause them
to have to pay for an extra outbound message that they had no control
- Privacy considerations -- many recipients of Internet email may not wish
to divulge whether or not they have received or read a message, especially in the case of unwelcome solicitation messages.
Applies to Pine for Unix only
Users of Pine on a remote host may sometimes wish to transfer messages to their desktop computer. The process for this depends on the version of Pine you are
using and on how you connect from your PC to the host running Pine.
* Multiple messages can be exported to a single file by selecting them (if
enable-aggregate-command-set is checked in Pine's SETUP CONFIGURATION) and applying
the Export command to them. The sequence of the messages in the exported file
can be changed by sorting (press $ in the FOLDER INDEX view) the messages first.
- In Pine, go to the message, or select the message(s)* you wish to transfer.
- Export (press E) the message(s).
- If you are using Pine version 3.92 or later and are connecting to the
account on which you are running Pine using terminal-emulation communications software (such
as Procomm, Kermit, Telix, or MS Windows Terminal for IBM-compatibles; or
MicroPhone or ZTerm for Macintosh) and a modem,
you can simplify the process of downloading exported messages to your PC.
In Pine's SETUP CONFIG screen, go to the download-command line
and read the context-sensitive help to learn how to configure Pine to transfer
exported messages to your PC using a serial line transfer
protocol (which must be available both on the host on which you are running
Pine and from the communications software on your PC; check with your Internet account provider if in doubt) such as Xmodem, Zmodem,
or Kermit. With this configuration, you can eliminate the following steps.
- Otherwise, read on:
- Make note of the name you provide for the resulting file when prompted by the Export function. If you enter only a filename (for example:
export.msg), the file will
be saved to your Unix account's home directory. You can also provide a path including a subdirectory (it must already exist!), for example:
The following steps are not a function of Pine; contact your Internet account provider and/or consult the documentation/technical support for your PC software if you encounter problems or need further details.
- If you have FTP client software on your PC, you can now use it to transfer the file you just exported from the host on which you are running Pine to your
PC. Skip to the last numbered instruction.
(Note: If you can run FTP client software on your PC, and use the DOS or Microsoft Windows operating systems, you can probably
(check with your Internet access provider)
also run PC-Pine, which eliminates the need to transfer files between
your PC and the host on which you are running Pine, because PC-Pine runs on your PC.)
- Suspend (must be enabled in Pine's SETUP CONFIG screen with the option enable-suspend) or exit Pine.
- Depending on how your Unix account environment is set up, you may be able or required to perform the remaining steps by making choices from a menu; or by entering commands at the Unix prompt, as shown below. In either case,
check with your Unix
account provider for details on the procedure if you encounter problems.
- For the following transfer, you need to choose a serial line transfer
protocol that must be available both on the host on which you are running Pine and from the communications software on your PC. Common ones
are Xmodem, Ymodem, Kermit, and Zmodem. Assuming you are using Zmodem:
- At the Unix prompt, type:
where filename is the name you gave the file when you exported your
message(s) from Pine.
- Many file transfer sending commands, including sz, have a variety of command-line options; among the more useful being those that assure that the "carriage returns" in text files are preserved as intended when the file arrives on your PC, depending on its operating system.
man command at the Unix prompt
(where command is your chosen file sending command) to learn about them.
- The Unix host is now sending the file. Depending on your PC software, you
must now initiate the download sequence to receive the file; or, a strong feature of the Zmodem protocol, your PC communications software may recognize that a file is being sent and initiate receiving using Zmodem automatically.
- After the transfer, you may wish to delete the exported file from
your Unix account to eliminate duplication and save disk space.
This is actually not a function of Pine itself, but is often asked by Pine
users, thus we cover this question here.
Many users migrate from one Internet account to another as they graduate from
college, switch Internet Service Providers, and so on. Others maintain multiple
Internet accounts, receive email messages in all or several of them, but want
to manage and respond to all their email from one of them.
In those situations, you
may want to have your email automatically forwarded from one account to
Let's says you currently have this email address at your university:
but you are graduating and will lose that account in another few weeks.
Thus, you sign up with an Internet Service Provider for a personal account, where your email address is:
email@example.com You decide that, rather than logging into
both accounts during the time period you have both to check your email, you
want to receive all your messages in your new elsewhere.net account,
and respond to them from there, especially to inform those who still send
email to your here.edu account that they should start sending email
only to your new address.
If your here.edu account is on a Unix host, you can
accomplish this automatic forwarding by creating a file named
- note the dot at the beginning of the filename! - in your home
directory in that account. This file should contain the email address to
which you want all your email forwarded, in this case:
-- nothing more and nothing less.
After creating the .forward file, send yourself a message to your
firstname.lastname@example.org address, then check whether it arrived in your
email@example.com email INBOX.
Note: establishing this
.forward file only forwards messages arriving from now on, not those already
in your account.
For achieving that, see the next Question and Answer below.
ask the technical support staff for your here.edu account for
assistance on how to forward email from it to another address.
- are not sure whether your here.edu account is on a
- if it is, do not know how to create a file in your Unix account's home directory
- believe that your systems administrator may have provided other means of
enabling message forwarding
- are sure that your here.edu account is not on a
To copy messages you already have saved in PINE to
another account, you can use one of these methods:
They are listed in order of probable preference based on safety and practicality, but
each has its advantages, disadvantages, and specific requirements, so you should evaluate carefully
which one might work best in your particular situation. It is best to do
this while you still have access to both accounts, and the technical support
people of the organizations providing them, for a while.
which method (except for the first one) you choose, you should be able to access both accounts simultaneously to monitor the operation's progress. In particular, do not delete any messages before you have assured yourself that their transfer has completed, and that they are accessible, as expected.
Before using either of the next two methods, be sure that
- Store messages on personal computer using PC-Pine
Note: for this method to work, the messages in your present account - the one from which you wish to transfer messages to another account - must be
stored on an IMAP server.
If in doubt, contact your local computing support people.
This method has the advantage that you do not already have
to have your "other" account established; however, that account should be one that
will allow you to use PC-Pine. If you already have the "other" account, also
see the method Save directly to folders in other account using IMAP for an alternative; it also works using PC-Pine.
If you have your own personal computer, install PC-Pine on it. After installing, check enable-aggregate-command-set in PC-Pine's SETUP CONFIGURATION screen,
and read that feature's context-sensitive help, as you will use it for transferring your messages.
Then, create folder collection
definitions for the IMAP server on which your messages are stored, and for
your PC's hard disk and/or floppy disk. For the syntax on defining these folder collections, see PC-Pine's context-sensitive help for folder-collections in the SETUP CONFIGURATION screen for versions up to and including 3.96.
(In PC-Pine 4, from the MAIN MENU, go to SETUP collectionList, then choose
In the folder collection(s) on your PC, you can create folders for saving messages to first, or you can do that "on the fly" while saving messages to your PC from the IMAP server later - just enter the name of the folder you want on your PC, and then confirm when prompted for its creation. Then, for each folder on the
IMAP server, Select the messages to transfer, then Apply-Save them to a folder
in (one of) the folder collection(s) on your PC.
Don't be suprised - especially if you are using a modem connection from your
PC to do this - if saving messages to folders on your PC takes much longer than moving messages among folders using Unix PINE on the same account, since
the messages have to be transported from the IMAP server to your PC.
Later, if you wish, you can
transfer the messages from your PC to your other account if it supports IMAP server-based storage.
- Save directly to folders in other account using IMAP
Note: enable-aggregate-command-set in your SETUP CONFIGURATION screen must be checked for this method to work. Read that feature's context-sensitive help if you are not familiar with it. This method requires that your other account allow you to store messages on an IMAP server (check with that account's provider if in doubt).
Save the messages from each PINE folder in your current account to a folder on your other account's IMAP server, using Select, Apply and Save. For the syntax on defining the folder (collection) for your other account so you can save messages to them with PINE, see PINE's context-sensitive help for folder-collections in the SETUP CONFIGURATION screen for versions up to and including 3.96.
(In PINE 4, see the context-sensitive help for the COLLECTION LIST screen.)
When accessing the folder in your other account to save to, you may be
prompted for that account's username (if you did not specify it in your folder
(collection) definition already) and password. Don't be suprised if saving messages to folders in your other account takes longer than moving messages among folders in the same account on which you are currently using PINE, since
the messages have to be transported across the Internet to the other account's IMAP server.
- Copy mail folders via FTP or rcp or portable storage medium
Transfer the file(s) containing the mail folder(s) to the other
account using FTP (File
Transfer Protocol) or rcp (remote file copy), or save them to a portable medium such as floppy disks, removable hard disks, or backup tapes;
see also 3.3 How do I transfer messages from Pine on a Unix host to my PC?.
If you have questions about how to use FTP or rcp after consulting these utilities' documentation (man ftp or
man rcp at the Unix prompt), where your mail folder files are located, or how to save mail folder files to a portable storage medium,
contact your local computing support people.
However, using the mail folders thus transferred with an email client in your other account
will only work if the email client you are using with your other account supports the same mail folder format used with PINE. To use the FTP transfer method, you will also have to be able to FTP
"into" your other account (preferrably the area where mail folders are stored), which is often not the case with POP (Post Office Protocol) accounts; check with the account
provider if in doubt. To use the rcp transfer method, both accounts need to
be on Unix hosts, and you need to have shell access on both.
As an alternative to transferring the mail folder files
directly, which will not work if they are stored on a host you cannot directly
log into (which is often the case at least for your INBOX), you can Select, Apply (enable-aggregate-command-set in your SETUP CONFIGURATION screen must be checked) and Export messages from folders to files and then transfer those files; however, this will at least temporarily increase your storage
capacity requirements - a consideration if your PINE account has a storage quota.
- you know the correct email address of your other account;
- your other account can receive email messages at this time - you may want to send one or two test messages to it and check for their arrival before proceeding; and
- your other account has enough storage space for the messages you intend to forward to it, since they will likely be quite large either in size or in number.
- Send folders as attachments to email messages
Note: For this method to work, your PINE mail folders have to be stored on the
same host as the one on which PINE is running; on Unix hosts, this is
typically your ~/mail/ directory. Increasingly, message folders
are instead stored on a dedicated IMAP server. In that case, this method won't work for you.
If in doubt about the location
of your mail folders,
contact your local computing support people.
You also should be comfortable with the process of sending
attachments with PINE email messages.
Since each PINE mail folder is stored as a file, you can attach one or more of those files to a PINE email message and send that to your other account.
you can then save each attachment (file containing a PINE message folder) back to disk. However, using the mail folders thus transferred with an email client in your other account
will only work if the email client you are using with your other account supports the same mail folder format used with PINE.
- Bounce messages
Among those listed here, this method should work most independently of your other account's and email software's attributes. However, use this method judiciously, as forwarding many email messages at once consumes considerable system and network resources.
Note: in your PINE SETUP CONFIGURATION screen,
enable-aggregate-command-set and enable-bounce-cmd must be checked, and fcc-on-bounce
should not be checked, for this method.
- Go to the PINE folder from which you want to forward messages.
- Select (;) the messages you wish to forward.
- Choose Apply, then Bounce.
- At the BOUNCE (redirect) N messages to : prompt, enter, or choose from your addressbook, the email address of your other account. Confirm at the Send N messages? prompt.
- The messages should all appear in the INBOX of your other account. You may want to move them to other folders in your other account before repeating this procedure with other
folders in the account from which you are forwarding, unless you don't mind
messages you had saved from different folders all being together in your INBOX,
from where you may have to sort them out into different folders again.
When transferring your PINE message folders to another account, you may also wish to transfer your PINE addressbook. You can do this by attaching the
addressbook file to an email message, and saving that attachment from the received message in your other account, as described for message folder files in Send folders as attachments to email messages
; or copying it to your other account or PC, as described for message folder files in Copy mail folders via FTP or rcp or portable storage medium. The addressbook for Unix PINE is
by default stored in your ~/.addressbook file. If you will need to use
the PINE addressbook with another email client, see 6.5 How do I convert from Pine Address Book to/from the equivalents in Eudora, Netscape, Pegasus, ... ? .
This varies depending on what format your folders are stored in. With the
default Berkeley format, the last session to open a folder will get full
access to the folder and the previous session(s) will be changed to
read-only access. When a folder is read-only, you will not see any further
updates to that folder until it is reopened with full access. Currently
the INBOX cannot be reopened without exiting and restarting Pine. With the
Tenex format, any number of sessions can simultaneously have full access
to a folder, with the exception that expunging is disabled. See
"What is a
Tenex mailbox and why should I use it?" for more information.
The message "Folder Format Invalidated (consult an expert), aborted" means
that Pine was reading your mail folder, and at the point in which it
expected a start-of-message header line, it found something else.
The ``format invalidated'' condition can happen in one of three ways:
1. bad data exists at the beginning of the folder.
2. data was appended to the folder after Pine initially read it, and
the new data did not begin with a start-of-message-header.
3. the folder was modified without Pine being aware of it.
All three problems are generally caused by software external to Pine.
Condition (1) can be determined by whether or not the problem repeats
itself after restarting Pine. If restarting Pine does not make the problem
go away, then you need to look at the actual file for the folder and see
what is wrong with the very first line. In particular, make sure that
there are no blank lines at the beginning of the file and that the first
character of the folder file is a capital ``F'' , the second an ``r'', the
third an ``o'', etc. In the case of an INBOX, you may want to rename the
folder so that new mail can be delivered while repairs on the corrupt
folder are being done.
Condition (2) may be caused by a mail delivery process (e.g. /bin/mail)
which writes some characters other than ``From '' at the beginning of the
Condition (3) is caused by another program manipulating the mail folder
without following the normal folder locking protocols. This is a general
problem on UNIX.
Conditions (2) and (3) have also been known to occur when accessing
folders via NFS, if the information returned by the stat() and read()
system calls do not correspond with each other as a result of NFS
Restarting Pine on that folder always clears conditions (2) and (3). If
the problem is chronic, it may be worth an investigation to determine its
cause. Usually, it is due to the misbehavior of some external software.
The reason why Pine gives up with conditions (2) and (3) is that it does
not want to risk damaging user data by guessing what is right. Pine never
writes to the folder unless it is absolutely sure it knows what it is
There are some steps which can be taken to reduce the risk of these
conditions coming up. Some of these steps may require the assistance of
your system administrator (or whomever it was that built and installed Pine
on your system):
- Use IMAP instead of NFS to access remote folders. Problems with
locking over NFS are perhaps the single most important cause of
user difficulties. Using IMAP eliminates this class of problem.
- Consider enabling the mbox driver in Pine. If the mbox driver is
enabled, mail is transferred from the /usr/spool/mail mail into a
file called mbox in your home directory, if mbox exists. The home
directory mbox file is then your INBOX. This has the advantage
that Pine and the mail delivery system are less often in
contention for the INBOX, and never both trying to update it.
Pine only empties the /usr/spool/mail file, it never tries
- Be careful not to run other programs that modify your folders
while you are running Pine. Such programs may change the folder
out from under Pine, and lead Pine to conclude that there is a
problem with its view of the file.
The message "locked, will override in _xxx_ seconds" occurs when Pine has
discovered that some other mail program claims to be accessing your mail
folder (i.e. _folder_.lock exists). This is a very low-level lock used by
programs such as the system mailer in delivering mail, and by certain
programs such as mail, elm, babyl, mm, etc. Supposedly, this lock is only
to be acquired and held for a very short period of time (less than a
Pine starts with 285 seconds, retries every second, and issues that message
every 15 seconds. The total period of time, 5 minutes, is the time that it
will keep on trying before it concludes that the lock is false -- that is,
that whatever program locked the folder forgot to unlock it (perhaps it
crashed) -- and Pine will go ahead and claim the lock for itself.
This is not due to a conflict between two copies of Pine, since Pine
interlocks against itself in a higher-level fashion.
On some systems with 14 character filename limits, attempting to
open a folder with a 14 character name (e.g. saved-messages) will trigger
this sequence. Folder names should be limited to 9 characters or less on
So-called "attached-to-ansi" printing relies on the communication software
you are using to interpret certain special character sequences that tell
it to divert the incoming stream of characters to your printer, and then
back to your screen. Perhaps 99% of "pine printing problems" are either
due to PC or Mac communications software that doesn't understand ANSI
escape sequences for printing, or (in the dialin case) software flow-
We didn't understand how big a problem software flow control was
until 3.90 came out... we changed pine to intercept flow control
characters so that users would not see Pine "wedge" mysteriously if a
mis-type or noise generated a control-S, but that did bad things when
printers, modems, or comm software was depending on s/w flow control.
So in 3.91 we added the "preserve-start-stop-characters" feature, so that
Pine could be configured to respect s/w flow control characters (if the
operating system did) for those folks who needed them. Enabling this feature
should make Pine 3.91 behave the same way as earlier versions.
Then we discovered that some operating systems don't enable software flow
control by default. So starting in 3.92, the "preserve-start-stop-characters"
feature does more than "not ignoring" them, it will try to force
the OS to pay attention to them.
So here's the sequence of things to try if you have pine printing
1. Check For Software Flow-Control Problems
A. Try enabling "preserve-start-stop-characters" (requires 3.91 or later)
B. If that doesn't help, verify that the OS is enabling s/w flow
control; if it isn't, you can either change that in a global
.login script, or as a worst case, wrap pine in a script that does
it. By the way, on our AIX systems, we had to execute "stty -ixon"
followed by "stty ixon" --no one here knows why the first stty
is needed. (Note that explicitly enabling s/w flow control in the OS
will not be needed in 3.92 or later).
C. If neither of the above apply, double-check that you actually have
*some* kind of flow control enabled on your system, either hardware
2. Check Your Comm Software For Ansi Printing Capability
A. After ruling out s/w flow control problems, if printing still
doesn't work, the odds are that the PC or Mac comm s/w is at fault.
I don't know how to determine this other than via trial-and-error
B. The "ansiprt" utility included in the pine distribution can also
be used for testing. It simply sends the specified text file to
user's terminal device, bracketed with the ANSI escape sequences
for print diversion. This is just what Pine does as well (although
some versions of ansiprt offer a few options not available via Pine.)
3. Possible Other Printing Problems
A. Printing via Pine's "attached-to-ansi" facility to a postscript-only
printer. Pine does not yet have the ability to encapsulate text
into postscript, ala "enscript", so the custom print option using
enscript and ansiprt will be needed in that case.
B. Other printer-specific configuration problems. For example,
whether or not the printer needs a trailing formfeed to eject the
last page, or a control-D, or non-Unix newline conventions, etc.
Many of these problem will also require using the custom print
command option and "ansiprt".
This section was formerly part of the document Secrets of Pine.
Versions before Pine 3.9 were capable of reading Internet newsgroups
(Usenet), but the ability to post messages to these newsgroups, or
subscribe to them, was added in Pine 3.90.
It is possible that your system manager has configured Pine so that
everyone on the system automatically has access to news. You can check
this by looking for a news folder collection at the end of your FOLDER
LIST for versions up to and including 3.96
(in version 4, COLLECTION LIST)
- if it's not there, you will need to tell Pine the name of
your local news server. Here are the steps:
One difference between news and (personal) mail folders: while you can
mark News messages Deleted, just like with mail, you may not actually
eXpunge them from the newsgroup folder, since the messages reside on a shared server. Instead, you may "eXclude" them
from your own view, using the "X" command. You can restore them to the FOLDER INDEX display with the "& Unexclude" command. (See also
3.10.1 How do I mark all messages in a newsgroup as "read" or "deleted"?)
- Choose the "Setup" command from the MAIN MENU.
- Select "Config".
- Use the down-arrow-key to select the option "nntp-server".
- Press "A" to Add a value to this option. Type in the name of the
news server for your site, then press RETURN. You will need to get
this information from your local computing/network support staff.
A typical news
server name would be: "news.nowhere.edu" (this one if fictional).
- Exit SETUP CONFIGURATION, save your modifications; you are returned to the MAIN MENU.
- Press "Q" to quit Pine; then restart Pine. This is necessary to
have the above configuration change take effect.
- After restarting Pine, choose the FOLDER LIST screen by pressing "L" from the MAIN MENU.
- Select "News-collection" (you can press SPACE to move to the news-
collection, which will be the last item in the FOLDER LIST (COLLECTION LIST in Pine 4) screen.)
- Press RETURN if you see: [ Select Here to See Expanded List ].
If you have used a different newsreader previously, you probably
already have a news subscription file with your favorite news groups
listed. If not, you need to add some...
- Press "A" to Add more news groups to your news subscription file.
If you know the name of the group you wish to subscribe to, enter it
at the prompt and press RETURN; otherwise, press the "To All Grps" key.
Select the desired group and press RETURN. Repeat to add more groups.
- Once you have newsgroups displayed in the FOLDER LIST, you may select
them just like mail folders.
In order to remain compatible with
other news readers, Pine uses the same news subscription file (".newsrc" in
the Unix version).
However, this file can record very little message state information. The
"Deleted" flag is the only message status flag that is preserved between
PC-Pine users, take note! PC-Pine will normally look for your news
configuration file (NEWSRC) first in your PC home directory (typically
C:\NEWSRC) and if it doesn't find it there will look in the same
directory where your PINERC file is. You may set the "newsrc-path"
variable (PC-Pine only) to specify a different path if you prefer.
This may be helpful for compatibility with other PC news readers.
When you reply to a news message, Pine will ask if you want to post the
reply to the listed Newsgroups. When the current folder is a newsgroup and
you enter the Composer, Pine will ask if you want to post to the current
newsgroup. Even if you say "no", you may manually enter a newsgroup name,
after exposing that header in the Composer by pressing Control-R. (There
is also an optional feature (compose-sets-newsgroup-without-confirm) you can set in SETUP CONFIGURATION to suppress this prompt if you'd like Pine to
assume that you want to Post whenever invoking the composer while reading
a newsgroup folder.)
Here are some additional hints about using Pine for newsreading:
If you are searching for newsgroups in subject areas of your interest,
check the directories of USENET newsgroups.
- In most cases, the only thing you will need to do to enable news
reading/posting is to set the "nntp-server" variable, as described
above. For some configurations, such as reading news from the same
machine Pine is running on, you will also need to set the
"news-collections" variable (in Pine versions before 4.00); use the context-sensitive help in the
SETUP CONFIGURATION screen to see an example of this case.
- You may specify a list of hosts for the nntp-server variable. In the
absence of an explicit news-collection setting, the first nntp-server
listed will be used for reading news. Any other hosts listed will be
used for posting messages if the first host is unavailable.
- If posting to news groups seems slow, especially if you are using
PC-Pine over a slow dialup link, set the "news-post-without-validation"
feature via the SETUP CONFIGURATION screen. This will suppress immediate
validation of each newsgroup name appearing in a message you are about
- If you don't want your subscribed newsgroups to be displayed in
alphabetical order, you may set the "news-read-in-newsrc-order"
feature and then manually edit your newsrc file to the order you prefer.
- Remember that when you get "Empty List" for news folders in your
FOLDER LIST, you need to use the "A Add" command to subscribe to the
news groups of interest to you. Unfortunately, you need to do this
one-at-a-time right now.
- New feature in version 3.91: For those who miss having messages marked
with an "N" in the Folder Index, try the "news-approximates-new-status"
feature. Read the help text that goes with it, though, so you don't
get surprised when some messages you've seen before show an N again...
Q&A submitted by: Timothy J. Luoma <firstname.lastname@example.org>
First, you need to make sure that you have access to all the commands
From the Main Menu, choose `S'etup and then `C'onfigure,
then make sure that there are `X' marks next to these
To mark all messages as ``read'' or ``deleted'':
Press and release each of the following:
; = Select
a = all
a = apply
* = flag
which will bring you to the ``FLAG MAINTENANCE'' screen (if you do NOT have
set in SETUP CONFIGURATION, select ^T To Flag Details to reach it now):
Set desired flags for current message below. An 'X' means set
it, and a ' ' means to unset it. Choose "Exit" when finished.
Set Flag Name
[ ] Important
[ ] Answered
[ ] Deleted
? Help E Exit Flags P Prev - PrevPage Y prYnt
X [Set/Unset] N Next Spc NextPage W WhereIs
Using the arrow keys, move down to ``New'' and press `X' until it looks like
Set Flag Name
[ ] Important
[ ] New
[ ] Answered
[ ] Deleted
NOTE: if you want to DELETE all the messages, the process is the same EXCEPT
at this point you should use the arrow keys to move down to ``Deleted'' and
press `X' until it looks like this:
Set Flag Name
[ ] Important
[ ] New
[ ] Answered
TO EXIT: Press `E' for EXIT FLAGS as seen at the bottom menu.
POWER TIP: To select and DELETE all the messages in a mailbox or newsgroup,:
Press and release each of the following:
; = Select
a = all
a = apply
d = delete
By default, Pine automatically checks for new mail every 2.5 minutes. (You can change this time interval with the mail-check-interval option in the
SETUP CONFIGURATION screen.)
viewing the FOLDER INDEX, you can force Pine to check for new mail by
pressing ^L, or if on the last item in the Index, by pressing "N".
The eXpunge command will also force a new-mail check. If you would
like to have some visual indication of when Pine is checking for new mail,
set the enable-mail-check-cue feature and watch for an asterisk
to flash in the upper-left-hand corner of the screen. (Two asterisks
mean that Pine is check-pointing --saving state changes in-- your INBOX.)
If some control characters don't work in Pine (or Pico), it is probably
because the communication or operating system software you are using
is intercepting those characters before they get to Pine. Some that
are more likely to be intercepted include ^C, ^J, ^O, ^^, and ^_ .
If you are unable to reconfigure your communication software to
correct this, a work-around is to press the ESCAPE key twice followed
by the desired control key. For example, ^C would be simulated by
pressing "ESC ESC C" and "^^" would be "ESC ESC ^".
Q&A submitted by: Timothy J. Luoma <email@example.com>
(From the PINE source code:)
Yes, but there's really no need to do so. PINE will only
keep a certain amount of them around, usually 4. The
files are rather small and do no harm.
You can prevent the files from being created by using the
-d flag as follows:
The files are useful for figuring out what a user
did when he complains that something went wrong. It's
important to keep a bunch around, usually 4, so that the
debug file in question will still be around when the problem
gets investigated. Users tend to go in and out of Pine a
few times and there is one file for each pine invocation.
If n=0, no debug files will be created.
You can change the level of debugging done with numbers 1-9:
1 logs only highest level events and errors
2 logs events like file writes
4 logs each command
7 logs details of command execution
(7 is highest to run any production)
9 logs gross details of command execution
For systems administrators and advanced users, see also
7.14 Where is the .pine-debug setting set at compile-time?.
From the Pine 4.01 Release Notes:
Beginning with version 4.00, Pine supports enhanced functionality for
sites using the standard Unix mailbox format or the MMDF mailbox
format. It does this by creating a "pseudo-message" at the
beginning of the folder which holds the following values:
These values are essential for the correct operation of modern IMAP and
POP servers (which use persistent unique identifiers, or UIDs), but Pine
also needs them to support capabilities such as being able to mark
messages as Answered when the Reply has been postponed, and (on systems
where Unix or MMDF folder formats are not standard), the ability to create
a folder in one of these formats. (Without the pseudo message to identify
the mailbox format type, the folder would be empty and Pine would not know
the desired format type for subsequent use.)
- unique identifier validity stamp
- last assigned unique identifer
- any keyword flags assigned to the mailbox
One disadvantage of this scheme is that mailers that are not built on top
of the University of Washington's
message access subroutine libraries will not "hide" the pseudo
message from users. Another disadvantage of having these pseudo
messages is that, when found in folders used to receive new messages, some
mail notification tools may be confused and behave incorrectly. There are
several solutions to this problem. For example, some sites have modified
the notification tools to ignore mailboxes whose length corresponds to the
pseudo message. However, these pseudo messages may be deemed undesirable
at sites where IMAP or POP are not used, and where it is more important to
support other unmodified mail tools than to permit Pine to be able to mark
messages as Answered when the Reply is postponed. Accordingly, Pine 4.01
offers a new feature to "quell-folder-internal-msg".
Note that this feature only relates to mailboxes in standard Unix or
This feature, introduced in Pine 4.01, determines whether or not Pine will create
"pseudo messages" in folders that are in standard Unix or
Pine will normally create these pseudo messages when they are not already
present in a standard Unix or MMDF folder. Their purpose is to record
certain mailbox state data needed for correct IMAP and POP server
operation, and also for Pine to be able to mark messages as Answered when
the Reply has been postponed.
Sites which do not use IMAP/POP for remote mail access, and which need to
support mail tools that are adversely affected by the presence of the
pseudo-messages (e.g. some mail notification tools) may enable this
feature to tell Pine not to create them. Note that Pine's
capability will be adversely affected if this is done.
Note too that, even if this feature is enabled, Pine will not remove
pseudo-messages when it encounters them (e.g. those created by UW's imapd
or ipopd servers.) This feature has no effect on folders that are not in
standard Unix or MMDF format, as pseudo-messages are not needed in the
other formats to record mailbox state information.
Some of the Pine commands you may read or hear about have to be
explicitly enabled in the SETUP CONFIGURATION screen, which is accessed from
Pine's MAIN MENU, to be functional. For example, to be able to use the "Bounce" command, the
following feature has to be checked:
and to be able to use the "Select"/"Apply" operations, you must first check:
Also note: The key menu at the bottom of the message composer does not show
all of the available commands. Use "^G Get Help" for a complete list.
In Pine's message composer, with the cursor in the message headers area,
press Ctrl-R ("rich headers"). Then read the context-sensitive help screens
for the Bcc: and Lcc: fields.
Versions of PC-Pine prior to 4.00 cannot be
used with a POP (Post Office Protocol) server. With Unix Pine, and with
PC-Pine 4.00, you can
access a POP server in "online" mode. That is, Pine will start
a POP3 session and keep it open until the mailbox is closed. Due to the nature of the POP3 protocol, Pine will not see any new mail which arrives during the POP3 session.
To access the message INBOX on a POP3 server, use the folder definition syntax:
or, especially useful if your POP account user-id is different from the one
in your Pine configuration:
where pop3server is the hostname of the POP3 server, and popuserid your user-id for your POP account. However,
this method accesses the POP server in
quasi-online mode, not in offline mode, which POP was designed for. Accessing
the inbox on a POP3 server with Pine does not preserve changes to message
flags (New, Answered, Deleted, etc.) between sessions.
As an alternative, a program such as fetchmail (which supercedes
popclient) can be used to download email from
a POP server to a local Unix account, where it can then be accessed with Pine.
fetchmail can be obtained from:
For a more detailed comparison of the POP and IMAP protocols, and discussion of the various message access modes (online, offline, disconnected), see
Message Access Paradigms and Protocols at the URL:
and RFC 1733: Distributed Electronic Mail Models in IMAP4.
Pine does not support the old POP2 protocol, and there are no plans to do so.
Pine® Information Center
Modified: September 23, 1998