Receiving E-Mail locally


Set up my account to use sendmail and to use my own local account for messages.

Sendmail works. Sent a test message and, lo and behold, /var/mail/username (insert my account instead of username) and it contains the email message that I sent!


But the can't seem to find or read it! I deleted my mail preferences to start from scratch, but I can't get past the preferences screen without giving the darn thing a POP or IMAP account/information!!!

So, how do I get LOCAL mail working?


In what appears to be an interface oversight, (i.e. file a bug report in Mac OS X feedback) there's no way to start using for a given username without initially setting it up for either a POP or IMAP account. I just used a throwaway account with a service that offers free POP mail (,, and a few others -- do a Google search for "free POP3"), then deleted the account in once I had things working.

To get to look at your "local" email, go to the Accounts pane in Preferences and select the "Personal Mailboxes" account. Hit the "Edit Account" button and then 'Show Advanced Options." Make sure the "Include when checking for new mail" option is selected and that the incoming mail directory is set to "/var/mail".