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Using Mail.app with sendmail in 10.1.1 UNIX
OK, so I was getting a UNIX account in Mail.app to pick up the mail in /var/mail/geoff when it was first set up, then it would fail to pick any more up after that.

If you have had a similar problem, read the rest of the article for the solution...

When you create such an account, you can enter a dir in the Account Directory field in Account Options, or leave it blank. If you entered something, you get a file in ~/Library/Mail name whatever you entered - it is called UNIX:@ if you left it blank. The file has permissions 600 (read & write for you, zilch for anyone else). This file is the problem.

Before creating a UNIX mail account, navigate to ~/Library/Mail and create a new directory there with the name you want to give your mail directory and set its permissions, viz:
cd ~/Library/Mail
mkdir mail_via_sendmail
chmod 700 mail_via_sendmail
permissions 700 is the equivalent for directories of 600 for files. Directories need to be executable for that user (or group or whatever) to be able to enter them. The finder GUI (yeugh!) takes care of this distinction for you.

In the GUI, this corresponds to (in the Finder):
  • click home, then Library then Mail
  • select File - New Folder
  • give the folder a good name (try and avoid spaces - not sure if the Mail.app is clever enough to deal with that - use_underscores_where_you_would_normally_use_a_space)
  • select the new folder and choose File - Show Info
  • select Privileges in the dropdown menu
  • set Owner: to Read & Write, Group: to None and Everyone: to None
Then, setup your mail account as usual:
  • choose UNIX Account
  • enter a good description (Mail from sendmail or somesuch)
  • enter the email address you want people to see for you
  • enter your full name
  • enter your SMTP server (the server you send outgoing mail through - can be local, on your network or at your ISP - mine is post.demon.co.uk at my ISP)
  • check the use authentication box
  • enter your username at the SMTP server (your mail account username)
  • enter your password for the SMTP server (you mail account password)
  • switch to the Account Options tab
  • make sure both check boses are ticked
  • leave the Incoming Mail field as it is unless you have a good reason for changing it (eg: you asked sendmail to deliver incoming mail elsewhere)
  • enter the full pathname of the directory we created earlier, ie: ~/Library/Mail/mail_via_sendamail
  • click OK
Voila - that should now work every time (assuming you have sendmail working - search here with keyword sendmail to get tips on how to do that)!!

Good luck!
Regards,
---
Geoff - Mac, *NIX, perl, hack!!
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