ZMail self help page, since no one is supporting ZMail anymore

What to do when ZMail starts showing "Bus error" and crashing:

Exhibited behavior:
        ZMail (MediaMail Pro 3.2S.3, purchased from SGI years ago, running on all versions of Irix from 6.2 through 6.5.13f) will occasionally and rarely crash, dump a core file, echo the error: "MediaMail: Bus error" and leave a lock file in /var/mail/{User_Id}.lock (if the user was using ZMail to read his or her inbox).
        I have run into this several times over the years and keep re-diagnosing it. SGI Cases: 0977366 and 0928668 both deal with this, but I think the notes for those cases should be updated to reflect the following new information.
        The problem is a known bug or programming deficiency in ZMail (aka: MediaMail) where the inclusion of a newline followed by the text string "From" (that is "^From" in regular expression speak) where it occurs in the body of an email message, causes ZMail to either split the message improperly (in the case of forwarded emails that have the rest of the message headers intact) or error with "Bus error" and dump core (in the case that the word "From" simply starts a new line of text in the body of the email and there are no other message header lines around the offending "From" occurance).
        Since it is unlikely that this will be fixed (Netmanage has sunset the ZMail product line), I suggest a work around:

        Then use another email agent (elm, pine, mailx, etc) to find the offending message and delete it, or move it aside... OR
        Use a text editor to edit the mailbox (if it is the inbox, stop sendmail daemon first, then vi /var/mail/$LOGNAME, then restart sendmail) and go to the bottom, then reverse search for "^From" repeatadly until you find one that is NOT located in the headers of a message, and insert a character between the newline and the F (I use a "- " to clearly separate). Save the edited inbox file and try re-reading with ZMail again. It should work now.

ZMail has some trouble understanding newer MIME types. If anyone has tips for how to get ZMail to "do the right thing" with mail messages from AOL 6 and AOL 7 clients, and mail messages with embedded HTML, I'd love to hear them.

For a short while, ZMail would misinterpret two digit dates that were smaller than the current date as 101 (a strange version of a Y2K bug) - but that seems to have gone away now with no fix, so I do not fully understand the bug.

Author: Scott Nolan, Email address: snolan at (How to send me email)
Last updated: November 1st, 2001