Linux biff command

Updated: 11/06/2021 by Computer Hope
biff command

On Unix-like operating systems, 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 [ y | n ]


y Allow mail notification for the terminal.
n Disable notification for the terminal.


biff y

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

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