How can I read mail attachments under Unix?


Pine (/usr/local/bin/pine) and the CDE mail tool (Workspace Menu -> Programs -> Mailer) should be able to deal with any attachment you receive and automatically launch the correct application to read the attachment. If you receive an attachment which one of these mailers cannot handle please forward the entire mail message to root, including the message headers (i.e. not just the attachment alone).

If you are using another mail reader such as the Openwindows Mailtool there may be an option to save the attachment to a file, after which you should be able to view the attachment using one of the applications listed below.

If all else fails save the entire mail message to a file, then execute:

/usr/local/bin/metamail -y < filename

Metamail will either launch the appropriate application or give you the option to save the attachment to a file. If metamail cannot extract the attachment please forward the entire mail message including headers to root.


View Only
PCFileViewer will allow you to view a Microsoft document. Usage: /usr/local/bin/sdtpcv filename Note that it does not have a print or edit feature.

View and Print
Qvpunix will allow you to view a Microsoft document and includes an option to print on any of the department printers. Usage: /usr/local/bin/qvpunix filename

View, Print and Edit
Windows Under Unix
If you need to compose or edit a Microsoft document you have the ability to run Windows NT in a window of your Unix workstation. To start it use /usr/local/bin/winnt. Log in using your department username and password. Proceed as usual to use any of the Microsoft Office applications. Your Unix home directory is automatically mounted as the H: drive. See the FAQ on Windows under Unix for more information.


Staroffice is a set of applications for Unix that are very close to the Microsoft Office applications. They are able to read and manipulate Microsoft files. To run Staroffice 5.2 for the first time, do the following:

  • cd /usr/local/pkg/staroffice/program
  • ./setup
  • In the "Installation program for StarOffice 5.2 "click Next"
  • In the Important Information window "click Next"
  • In the Software License Agreement window "click Accept"
  • If you have StarOffice 5.1 previously installed then the "Import Personal Data window pops up" /home/user/office51 click Next
  • In the Select Intallation Type window "select Standard Workstation Installation and click Next"
  • In the Select Installation Directory window "Use the default and click Next"
  • Click "Yes" after being asked to create ~/office52 directory
  • In the Start Copying window "click Complete"
  • In the Java Setup window "click OK"
  • Click OK on the Adabas Installation warning
  • Click OK to the StarOffice was added to the CDE Frontpanel
  • In the "Installation completed window" click Complete