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AIX Version 4.3 Commands Reference, Volume 3

msh Command


Creates a Message Handler (MH) shell.


msh [ File ] [ -prompt String ] [ -notopcur | -topcur ]


The msh command creates an MH shell for use with messages that are packed in a file. By default, this command looks for the msgbox file in the current directory. Within the MH shell, you can use the following MH commands:

ali         burst          comp        dist
folder         forw           inc         mark
mhmail         msgchk         next        packf
pick           prev           refile      repl
rmm            scan           send        show
sortm          whatnow        whom 

These commands operate with limited functionality in the MH shell. To see how a command operates in the MH shell, enter the command name followed by the -help flag. Entering help or a ? (question mark) displays a list of the MH commands you can use.

To leave the msh shell, press the Ctrl-D key sequence or enter quit.


-help Lists the command syntax, available switches (toggles), and version information.
Note: For MH, the name of this flag must be fully spelled out.
-notopcur Makes the current message track the center line of the vmh scan window when the msh command is started using the vmh command. This flag is the default.
-prompt String Prompts for the msh commands with the specified string.
-topcur Makes the current message track the top line of the vmh scan window when the msh command is started using the vmh command.

Profile Entries

The following entries are found in the UserMhDirectory/.mh_profile file:

fileproc: Specifies the program used to refile messages.
Msg-Protect: Sets the protection level for your new message files.
Path: Specifies the user's MH directory.
showproc: Specifies the program used to show messages.


  1. To start an msh shell, enter:
    If the msgbox file exists in the current directory, the system responds with a message similar to the following:
    Reading ./msgbox, currently at message 1 of 10
    Then, the system prompt appears as follows:
    In this example, the current message is message 1 in the msgbox file. You can now enter a modified subset of MH commands.
  2. To start an msh shell to manipulate the messages stored in the meetings file, enter:
    msh meetings


$HOME/.mh_profile Specifies the user's MH profile.
/etc/mh/mtstailor Contains the MH tailor file.
/usr/bin/msh Contains the msh command.

Related Information

The ali command, burst command, comp command, dist command, folder command, forw command, inc command, mark command, mhmail command, msgchk command, next command, packf command, pick command, prev command, refile command, repl command, rmm command, scan command, send command, show command, sortm command, vmh command, whatnow command, whom command.

The mh_alias file format, mh_profile file format.

Mail Overview in AIX Version 4.3 System User's Guide: Communications and Networks.

Peek, Jerry. MH and xmh: E-mail for Users and Programmers. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly & Associates, 1992.

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