Its a long shot..

Paul Civati paul at
Thu Apr 6 13:47:16 BST 2000

Gary Brewer <gary at> wrote:

> I was wondering if anyone could help me. I was looking at
> /var/mail/username the other day and was wondering, how do
> programs like pine and pop3 daemons know the beginning an end
> of any email. Is there a comman start and end
> character that I can't see? Most emails begin with From ....

That's standard UNIX mbox format for mail, '^From ' is what seperates
the mailboxes, sad but true.  MMDF uses ^A^A^A^A (four control-A
characters) on a line on their own.  Other mailbox formats use
file per message (eg. qmail).

> but this cannot always be the case because you can write From
> ... in the body of a message!

It gets a > stuck in front of it.

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