Ishmail(1) Electronic Mail


ishmail - start the H&L Electronic Mail application


ishmail [standard_X11_flags] [name1 [name2 . . . nameN]] [ & ]


ishmail starts H&L Electronic Mail, a graphical user interface (GUI) to the sendmail mail delivery subsystem. You can use Ishmail to receive, read, compose, and organize electronic mail messages containing standard 7-bit ASCII text information, as well as the specially formatted information provided by MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension), including Rich Text, audio, video, image (facsimile) and application information.

Interacting with mail objects in Ishmail is simple and intuitive. In general, you select an object or multiple objects (mail folder, mail message, alias name, and so forth), then select a command from one of the menus to perform some action on the selected object (open, close, compose, read, reply, forward, resend, save, delete, print, and so forth).

Ishmail has three primary window interfaces, the Main window, the Composition window, and the Reading window. Each window contains pull-down, tear-off, and cascading menus from which you select options that perform various command functions in the window.

The Main window is displayed upon startup. From the Main window, you choose options to manage your mail folders and files, read and compose mail messages, reply to, forward, and resend messages, and customize your mail environment.

The Composition window is displayed when you select the compose, reply, forward, or resend command from the Main window or from a Reading window. The Composition window menus contain options for specifying an alternate editor, previewing the formatted output of messages containing Rich Text attributes, and including and attaching external files to mail messages. You can have multiple Composition windows open simultaneously.

The Reading window is displayed when you select the read command from the Main window. The Reading window menus contain options for reading the next or previous message, saving a message, printing a message, deleting a message, and other functions. While in the Reading window, you can also display and print MIME-encoded inclusions and attachments via external viewing and printing software that Ishmail launches when you select a MIME-encoded body part. You can "pin" multiple Reading windows to the screen.

Each of Ishmail's primary windows contains an Options menu in which you specify parameters for customizing the "look and feel" of the particular window. Customization options include changing display fonts and font sizes, adding shortcut buttons for commonly performed functions, specifying sort parameters, word-wrapping, and so forth.


ishmail accepts the standard X client command line arguments. Warning messages are displayed on the command line if unrecognized option flags are used.

X client option flags
The standard X client option flags. For more information about these option flags, see the X User's Guide. (See also X User's Reference for additional information about X command line options.)

name1, name2 ... nameN
The names of the mail folders you wish to open during Ishmail startup. These names are relative to the directory in which the command is being run. To make Ishmail look for them in your folder directory, add `+' or `=' before the name.

When the program starts, these folders and the default In-box, or "system folder," are opened and presented in Ishmail's main window.

The standard flag to the UNIX shell indicating that the program should run in the background.

Ishmail catches and ignores all signals, except SIGKILL(9) and SIGTERM(15). If a SIGTERM is caught the program attempts to clean up and exit gracefully. If a SIGKILL is caught the program exits immediately, losing un-saved changes to mail folders. SIGKILL should be used only as a last resort for termination.

See Also

X(1), sendmail(1M), mail(1)

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Contents of Ishmail User's Guide