Forwarding yer mail

make a backup copy of .qmail before you start doing any of this. If you don't know how, go find a geek to help guide you through this process.

Forwarding your mail with qmail is fun and easy. You can forward your mail to any number of addresses you feel like, but watch out for forwarding loops. A forwarding loop occurs when you forward your mail from computer A to computer B and computer B sends it back to A. Of course loops can be more convoluted than that and involve more computers. This is a bad thing and your sysadmin will be displeased with you if you create one.

To forward your mail, you need to edit your .qmail file. When you open it up, you should see, at the bottom of the file, a line indicating you should make all your changes below that line. So cursor down there and add

| forward <address>
where you replace <address> with the email address you want to forward your mail to.

If you do it this way, a copy will be sent to that address (and any additional ones you specify on the following lines using the same syntax), but still archived at you ella account. If you want to not keep a copy locally, then you need to tinker further, otherwise, you're done.

There are a couple of lines of text in yer .qmail file warning you not mess with a particular line, or else you won't receive email. Well, in this case, you've decided that you don't want to receive email locally, so messing with that line is exactly what you want to do. the line in question looks something like

/var/mail/<your login name>
  You may notice that every other line in .qmail, with the exception of the ones you added, begin with a #   (called a "pound sign"). A pound sign tells th qmail program to ignore that line. That's why lines that begin with the pound sign have normal english text on them, because they are ignored by the program that reads the file. Now, you want to get rid of the /var/mail/<your login name>  line, but you probably want it back later (most likely you're not forwarding your email forever). So instead of deleting it, you can just tell the program to ignore it by putting a pound sign ("#") (without the quotes or parenthesis) at the beginning of that line. Later, when you decide to stop forwarding your mail or decide that you do want to keep a copy locally, you can just remove the pound sign and mail will resume going to your mailbox.

Stopping Forwarding
Do not delete your .qmail file!   If you do, you will not only stop forwarding your mail, you will stop receiving it altogether. This is a bad thing.

The first thing you want to do is verify whether or not you are receiving mail locally. There should be a line in your .qmail file that looks something like:

/var/mail/<your login name>
(where "<your login name>" is replaced with your actual login name). This line is probably surrounded with various warnings telling you nnot to mess with it. Our goal now is to discover whether or not you did, in fact, mess with it. If that line has a pound sign (a pound sign looks like "#" (without the quotes of course)) as the first charecter in the line, then you definitely messed with it. what that pound sign did was tell ella to ignore the whole line. The reason it was there was to stop you from receiving copies of your mail locally. Well, since you're not forwarding your mail anymore, you want to receive it locally, so it would be a good idea to ella to not ignore that line anymore. You want to delete the pound sign, and only the pound sign, from the start of that line (only that line!). When the pound sign is deleted, you mail will begin, once again, to be delivered to your inbox where you can read it with pine. Mail that did not get to your ella inbox while that line was commented out will not appear when the line is restored. Any mail that was lost is gone forever (unless it exists on the server you forwarded it to)

Now that we've made sure mail is coming in locally, we want to stop sending copies of it to another location. You created a line at the bottom of your .qmail file that looks something like:

| forward <address>
(where "<address>" is the email address that yer mail went to while you were forwarding it). You want qmail to stop paying attention to that line. There are two ways to do this. One is to just delete that line (and only that line!). If you think that you will never forward mail to that particular address again, then this is the best way. If you think you'll be forwarding your mial to that address again next winter break or summer or whenever, then you want to comment out the line. If you put a pound sign (a "pound sign" looks like "#" (only without the quotes)) at the start of the line, qmail will ignore it and your mail won't get forwarded. But the next time, when you want to forward your mail again, all you have to do is remove the pound sign and away it goes again to the address you specified.

of course, if you paid attention to the first step at the tippy-top of this file, you have a backup of your .qmail lying around from before you started to forward your mail. Take a look at it and make sure it looks reasonably like the file i've described. if it does, just restore it (make a copy of your current, forwarding, .qmail first (use a different name for the file (duh. but it's the sort of thing i always forget))) and yer set.

Somebody email me a copy of their working .qmail file so I can make examples. Thanks.