Here is a way to receive and read root mail locally with alpine on Debian Linux. Check it out!
1. Edit the file /etc/aliases and set root mail to go to your personal user account.
$ sudo vim /etc/aliases
When finished editing, run:
$ sudo newaliases
For example, I have root mail going to my user stmiller:
# /etc/aliases mailer-daemon: postmaster postmaster: root nobody: root hostmaster: root usenet: root news: root webmaster: root www: root ftp: root abuse: root noc: root security: root root: stmiller ~ ~ ~ ~ "/etc/aliases" 14L, 200C 1,1 All
2. Install alpine
$ sudo apt-get install alpine
3. Finally, read mail with alpine! For example I read local root mail on systems that are temporary, have no PTR (or no ability to set proper PTR records in DNS), cannot send out email, or systems that I just want to easily view local mail or check for cron errors.