Linux biff command

Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

About biff

biff is a program that notifies you at the command line when new mail arrives, and tell you who it is from.

The program is named after a dog that belonged to one of the developers of BSD 4.0 at the University of California, Berkeley. (Biff was well-known for barking at the person delivering the mail.)

biff syntax

biff [ y | n ]



Allow mail notification for the terminal.


Disable notification for the terminal.

biff examples

biff y

Enables mail alerts. This command will display no output, but when you have new mail, it will alert you at the terminal.

mail — Read, compose, and manage mail.
pine — A client for using mail and newsgroups.