Howto Forward root’s mail to your inbox

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If you want to read these system messages, you can always do sudo mutt -f /var/mail/root if you are familiar with mutt. However, an easier and more efficient way to check this mail would be to have it forwarded to your user's local inbox, and then read it with your favorite email reader.

Note:- Replace username with your account name.

First, you need a mailbox, preferably with all of root's old mail already in it.

cd /var/mail

sudo cp root username

sudo chown username username

sudo chgrp username mail

That creates a mailbox for your username with the appropriate user and group permissions. The contents of the mailbox are a copy of root's mailbox.

Now you need to forward all of root's incoming mail to your inbox.

sudo gedit /root/.forward

Enter the following line save and exit the file


Now, you will receive any mail sent to root. To make things more convenient, let's set up Evolution to read the mail.

Change the permissions of /var/mail directory if you get any permission errors in Thunderbird or Evolution mail client

sudo chmod 777 /var/mail

Open up Evolution. In Tools -> Settings -> Mail Accounts, click Add. Enter your Full Name if you wish, and your local mail address username@localhost, then click Forward.

For server type, select "Standard Unix mbox spool or directory." For Path, enter /var/mail/username , then click Forward.

The options on the next screen are optional.

On the next screen, select Sendmail for the Server Type, then click Forward. Name the account however you wish. Use username@localhost, Local Mail, or something similar. Now you're finished.

To test, compose a mail to root@localhost and send it. Then click Send/Receive. You should see the new mail pop up in your inbox.

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4 Responses

  1. Hell, would you not just edit /etc/aliases and set?:

    root: myUser

  2. uk hosting says:

    hey thanks for the brilliant post! The resource will hlp me that for sure. Will there be any update on this post BTW? I have added you and have subscribed.

  3. joe says:

    an even easier way would just be to remove the alias and read the mail as root in the first place…

  4. rd1381 says:

    i think this is wrong
    sudo chgrp username mail
    the right one is ?
    sudo chgrp mail username

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