I need to see the email output from my jobs. How do I automatically forward email from MSI systems to my email address?

We recommend forwarding your MSI email (from username@msi.umn.edu), which will contain your job messages, to your central University email or some other email which you read. There are two methods to set up email forwarding, outlined below.

Method 1: Setup email forwarding from the command line

First SSH into the MSI login machine using the command:

ssh username@login.msi.umn.edu

Create a file called .forward in your home directory. Note that this file name begins with a dot (.) and is normally not visible. On the first line of this file place your preferred email address (for example uname@umn.edu). 

The file needs to be in your home directory (you can change to this directory with the command cd ~) on login.msi.umn.edu. Once you have put the file in place, change the file permissions to make it readable to the mail system using the command:

chmod 600 .forward

Though it is not recommended, you can check your MSI email over an SSH connection to login.msi.umn.edu using a command line email client such as pine or mutt.

If you work on any MSI system with a different home directory you will need to create a similar .forward  file in your home directory on that system to forward the associated email.

Method 2: Set up email forwarding using a web form

Email forwarding can be set up using the web form located here. The web form also gives the option to set an automatic response message, such as a vacation alert message.

Note: Setting up email forwarding using the webform will forward your primary MSI email. If you receive email from any special MSI system you may need to setup a separate forwarding scheme for that system using the command line as described above.


Warning: There may be a time delay between when email reaches the MSI server and when it is forwarded to the specified account. Also, the MSI email server will not forward emails to the same address they were sent from.


Keywords: email forwarding, vacation
These instructions verified correct on April 14, 2014.
Please contact help@msi.umn.edu if any problems are encountered.