Colorado State University

Basic Elm Commands

Adapted from the man page on elm

What is Elm?

Elm is an interactive mailer program that supersedes mail and mailx.

There are three main ways to use the elm mailer:

  1. One way to use the mailer is to specify a list of addresses on the command line when the mailer is invoked. This allows the sending of a single message to the specified recipients with all the options usually available in the elm system itself. For example, the command
          elm -s testing joe 
    would initiate the sending of a message to the mail alias joe with the subject testing indicated and would put you into an editor for you to enter the text of the message. If the subject flag and argument were not present, you would be prompted for a message subject.

  2. The second way, most commonly used when transmitting files and such, is to specify the subject of the message and the recipients using the command line and to redirect a file as standard input. For example, the command
          elm -s testing joe < test.c 
    would mail a copy of the file test.c to the mail alias joe, with the subject testing indicated. The subject flag and argument are optional.

  3. The third way, elm is invoked with neither subject nor addresses specified on the command line and without standard input redirected. You can then read any messages in your incoming mailbox (or specified folder), reply to messages in the mailbox, mail messages, etc.

Elm Syntax

      elm [ -achkKmrwz ] [ -f alternate-mailbox ] [ -d debug-level ]

      elm [ -s subject ] list of aliases or addresses

Elm Options

The options include the following:
-c Checkalias expand the following aliases and return
-h or ? Help give a list of starting options
-i Include include prepared file in edit buffer for sending
-s Subject specify subject for message to mail
-z Zero don't enter elm if no mail is pending

Be sure to learn and use appropriate Email Etiquette