How to send mail from the command line?

How to send mail from the command line?

Asked By: Olivier Lalonde


I have never tried it but there is a mail command that can send mail. See man mail.

To test local email:

echo message | mail username@localhost
Answered By: dv3500ea

Try to install The Mutt E-mail Client. Other option is using emacs with gnus. Others options available too… IMHO, you should use more details in your questions, or several different answers to your question you will receive 🙂

Answered By: crncosta

If you try to send e-mail from a system, whitch does not run an own e-mail-server (i. e. desktop system), you need to install something like nullmailer or esmtp, which forward your local mail to a “real” mail server.

As command line tools you can install mail or mailx (packages mailutils, heirloom-mailx or bsd-mailx). If you need attachments try biabam.

Answered By: ddeimeke
  1. Install ssmtp Install ssmtp:

    sudo apt-get install ssmtp
  2. Edit the ssmtp config file:

    gksu gedit /etc/ssmtp/ssmtp.conf
  3. Append the following text:
  4. Run ssmtp and provide the recipient email address:

  5. Provide the message details as follows:

    Subject: Sent from a terminal!
    Your content goes here. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing.
    (Notice the blank space between the subject and the body.)
  6. Press Ctrl + D to send.

You can also put the text in file and send it as follows:

ssmtp < filename.txt
Answered By: Sid

mpack is excellent commandline way of sending file attachments.

apt-get install mpack


mpack -s "file you wanted" ./data.pdf
Answered By: BozoJoe

Most of the time you shouldn’t need to configure an SMTP server you can simply use mail from the commandline (if it’s not already present, install with sudo apt-get install mailutils). (Or if you’re on a server where sendmail is configured, etc)

marco@dagobah:~$ mail -v
Subject: Hello World!
This is an email to myself.

Hope all is well.

You terminate messages with a single . on line. That’s when mail will prompt you for Cc: enter the information (or leave blank) and mail will then print out additional information on what it is attempting to do, as well as detailing the processing of connecting, transmitting, and receiving data from the mail server.

Answered By: Marco Ceppi
apt-get install sendemail


sendemail -f -t -u subject -m "message" -s -o tls=yes -xu -xp gmailpassword 

If you don’t want to specify your password in the command line (generally not a good thing to do), you can omit that parameter and sendemail will prompt you for the password… and display it on the screen, but at least it won’t be in your command line history.

Answered By: jet
sudo apt-get install sharutils mailutils
uuencode filename filename | mail

where filename is the same: it stands for input file and remote file.

Answered By: nisse

You can try this:

mail -s "Attached file" <<EOF                 

~| uuencode $HOME/filename.txt filename.txt


It works with GNU Mailutils, check the website for more information.

Answered By: Sharad

Install the package sendmail then type

sendmail -t receiver@example 

then write your email
then press Ctrl+D

Answered By: MhdSyrwan

You need an MTA to send mail. For this, use postfix:

sudo apt-get install postfix

To send email:

echo "test message" | mailx -s 'test subject'


Answered By: One Zero

You can send an email from the command line with TelNet or NetCat.

Everything is explained here.

hanoo@hp_laptop% nc 25
220 hp_laptop.localdomain ESMTP Postfix
EHLO man
250 hp_laptop.localdomain
250 2.1.0 Ok
250 2.1.5 Ok
354 End data with <CR><LF>.<CR><LF>
This is the body of my mail,
this is the second line...
250 2.0.0 Ok: queued as 9C12E7F404
Answered By: hanoo
mail -s "subjet" -a "attchedfile_name"


cat "afile" | mail -s "subject"
Answered By: user142345


sudo apt-get install ssmtp
sudo -H gedit /etc/ssmtp/ssmtp.conf

The following needs to be added there:

# The user that gets all the mails (UID < 1000, usually the admin)

# The mail server (where the mail is sent to), both port 465 or 587 should be acceptable
# See also

# The address where the mail appears to come from for user authentication.

# Use SSL/TLS before starting negotiation

# Username/Password

# Email 'From header's can override the default domain?


sudo -H gedit /etc/ssmtp/revaliases

Enter there:

Enable “less secure apps” on Gmail:

Test it by running the following on terminal:

echo "Body of mail is abc" | mail -s "Subject is xyz" ""`
Answered By: Aquarius_Girl

You can use cURL. Take a file like this:

From: Sunday <>
To: Monday <>
Subject: Tuesday


and send it:

--upload-file a.txt 

Answered By: Zombo

I want to add another quite simple yet interesting way to do, provided by AWS (link)

So, you need to prepare this text file, save it as input.txt. Please remember to change the values:

  • Replace with your sending domain.

  • Replace Base64EncodedSMTPUserName with your base64-encoded SMTP username.

  • Replace Base64EncodedSMTPPassword with your base64-encoded SMTP password.

  • Replace with the email address you are sending from. This identity must be verified.

  • Replace with the destination email address. If your Amazon SES account is still in the sandbox, this address must be verified.

    RCPT TO:
    From: Sender Name <>
    Subject: Amazon SES SMTP Test
    This message was sent using the Amazon SES SMTP interface.
  • To send using explicit SSL over port 587 – Enter the following command:

    openssl s_client -crlf -quiet -starttls smtp -connect smtp-server-endpoint:587 < input.txt
  • To send using implicit SSL over port 465 – Enter the following command:

    openssl s_client -crlf -quiet -connect smtp-server-endpoint:465 < input.txt

Impatient SMTP servers

If you face Client host rejected: Improper use of SMTP command pipelining errors, try waiting for the responses:

openssl s_client -crlf -quiet -starttls smtp -connect < 
        echo "EHLO foo.tld"
        sleep 2
        echo "AUTH LOGIN"
        sleep 2
        echo "Base64EncodedSMTPUserName"
        sleep 2
        echo "Base64EncodedSMTPPassword"
        sleep 2
        echo "MAIL FROM:"
        sleep 2
        echo "RCPT TO:"
        sleep 2
        echo "DATA"
        sleep 2
        echo "Sender Name <>"
        echo ""
        echo "Subject: Test"
        echo ""
        echo "Lorem Ipsum"
        echo "."
        echo "QUIT"
Answered By: thenewasker
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