We have already known the importance of emails these days for information transfer. There are many free emails service providers which we used for use like Gmail, Zohomail, Sengrid…, which provides a web interface for sending and receiving emails. But this is not enough, sometimes we also required to send emails from system command line. This tutorial will show you 5 ways to send emails from the Linux command line. This is useful for sending email through our shell scripts, cronjobs etc.
1. Using ‘mail’ Command
Mail command is most popular command to send emails from Linux terminal. Use few of below examples to send an email.
mail -s "Test Subject" email@example.com < /dev/null
- -s is used for defining subject for email.
Also, you can send an attachment with this command. Use -a for mailx and -A for mailutils.
mail -a /opt/backup.sql -s "Backup File" firstname.lastname@example.org < /dev/null
-ais used for attachments. Use -A for debian based systems, which uses mailutils package.
Also, we can add comma separated emails to send the email to multiple recipients together
mail -s "Test Email" email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org < /dev/null
2. Using ‘SSMTP’ Command
sSMTP allows users to send emails from SMTP server from Linux command line. For example to send an email to user email@example.com use following command. Now type your subject of the email as below with keyword Subject. After that type your message to be sent to the user, After finishing your message press CTRL+d (^d) to send the email.
ssmtp firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Test SSMTP Email Email send test using SSMTP via SMTP server. ^d
3. Using ‘sendmail’ Command
Sendmail is a most popular SMTP server used in most of Linux/Unix distribution. Sendmail allows sending email from command line. Use below instructions to send email using ‘sendmail‘ command.
Created a file with email content:
cat /tmp/email.txt Subject: Terminal Email Send Email Content line 1 Email Content line 2
Subject: line will be used as subject for email.
Now send email using the following command.
4. Using ‘mutt’ command
Mutt is basically used for reading emails from Linux terminal from local user mailboxes, also useful to read emails from POP/IMAP servers. Mutt command is little similar to mail command. Use few of below examples to send an email.
mutt -s "Test Email" email@example.com < /dev/null
Send an email including an attachment
mutt -s "Test Email" -a /opt/backup.sql firstname.lastname@example.org < /dev/null
5. Using ‘telnet’ Command
As per my experience, all system administrators use telnet command to test remote port connectivity test or login to the server remotely. Most of the newbie in Linux doesn’t know that we can send email using telnet also, which is the better way to troubleshoot email sending problems. Below is an example of email sending.
Red marked text is the user input and remaining is the responses of that commands
telnet localhost smtpTrying 127.0.0.1... Connected to localhost.localdomain (127.0.0.1). Escape character is '^]'. 220 fbreveal.com ESMTP Sendmail 8.13.8/8.13.8; Tue, 22 Oct 2013 05:05:59 -0400 HELO yahoo.com250 tecadmin.net Hello tecadmin.net [127.0.0.1], pleased to meet you mail from: email@example.com 2.1.0 firstname.lastname@example.org... Sender ok rcpt to: email@example.com 2.1.5 firstname.lastname@example.org... Recipient ok data354 Enter mail, end with "." on a line by itself Hey This is test email only Thanks .250 2.0.0 r9M95xgc014513 Message accepted for delivery quit221 2.0.0 fbreveal.com closing connection Connection closed by foreign host.
Thank you for reading this guide. We will add more ways soon with this list. We also request you to help me with more commands which you know and not listed above.