biff - a mail notification tool

Property Value
Distribution Debian 8 (Jessie)
Repository Debian Main amd64
Package name biff
Package version 0.17.pre20000412
Package release 5
Package architecture amd64
Package type deb
Installed size 100 B
Download size 13.99 KB
Official Mirror
biff is a small program that prints a message to your terminal
when new email arrives. Actually, the message is printed by
the comsat daemon, and biff just enables/disables the u+x
permission flag for the terminal, which comsat uses to determine
whether or not to write to your terminal.
biff is mainly of historic interest, since there are much better
alternatives (such as xlbiff and gbuffy) that are network-aware and
do not require a daemon. Although there are no known security
problems, running additional services is often considered risky.
By default, the biff service is disabled. To use biff email
notification, you must enable this service by running 'update-inetd
--enable biff' after the package is installed. You may also need
to modify the configuration of your mail transport agent to enable
comsat notification.


Package Version Architecture Repository
biff_0.17.pre20000412-5_i386.deb 0.17.pre20000412 i386 Debian Main
biff - - -


Name Value
libc6 >= 2.6.1-1
netbase -


Type URL
Binary Package biff_0.17.pre20000412-5_amd64.deb
Source Package biff

Install Howto

  1. Update the package index:
    # sudo apt-get update
  2. Install biff deb package:
    # sudo apt-get install biff




2007-09-28 - Dave Holland <>
biff (1:0.17.pre20000412-5) unstable; urgency=low
* fixed postrm nit when update-inetd not present (closes: 443143)
2007-09-03 - Dave Holland <>
biff (1:0.17.pre20000412-4) unstable; urgency=low
* changed suggested alternatives in package description (closes: 440388)
2006-07-26 - Dave Holland <>
biff (1:0.17.pre20000412-3) unstable; urgency=low
* removed bashism from debian/rules (closes: #379640)
* updated to Standards-Version 3.7.2
2005-08-15 - Dave Holland <>
biff (1:0.17.pre20000412-2) unstable; urgency=low
* postinst no longer creates /usr/doc symlink (closes: #322828)
* fixed some problems reports by lintian
2003-05-28 - Dave Holland <>
biff (1:0.17.pre20000412-1.3) unstable; urgency=low
* correctly handle old inetd.conf entries (closes: #194959)
2003-05-26 - Dave Holland <>
biff (1:0.17.pre20000412-1.2) unstable; urgency=low
* New maintainer (closes: #192668)
* Removed reference to "youbin" (closes: #190835)
* Check for existence of update-inetd before calling it.
(closes: #102780) (closes: #151078) (patch from Moshe Zadka)
* include time.h in comsat.c (closes: #124387)
(patch from Moshe Zadka)
* report mail from correct file (closes: #49936) (comsat now runs
as root.tty to allow this)
2002-06-20 - David Schleef <>
biff (1:0.17.pre20000412-1.1) unstable; urgency=low
* Check existence of update-inetd before calling it.
(Closes: #69343, #88919)
* debian/control:
- Update standards version.
- rewrite package description, discouraging its use
* debian/rules: add share/doc/biff -> doc/biff links (Lintian warning)
* comsat/comsat.c: include time.h for prototype of time() (Closes: #124387)
* Most of these changes came from moshez, see #69343
2000-04-26 - Martin Mitchell <>
biff (1:0.17.pre20000412-1) unstable; urgency=low
* New upstream release. (closes: #25828)
* Update to standards version 3.1.1.
1999-06-27 - Martin Mitchell <>
biff (1:0.10-3) unstable; urgency=low
* Remove problem check from comsat. (Closes: #37719)
* Compiled with newer libc6. (Closes: #39016, #37598)
1999-05-11 - Martin Mitchell <>
biff (1:0.10-2) unstable; urgency=low
* Update to standards version 2.5.1.
* Update copyright file. (#18067)
* Libc6.1 compile. (#35426)

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