sendEmail, A light and simple command line mailer

I’ve been working on backing up my home directory automatically, generally when I automate a process I like to get an email notification of completion and perhaps a log file as proof. Ubuntu doesn’t seem to have a command line mailer installed by default and many of the apps in the repos have heavy dependencies (such as exim or postfix). I don’t plan on running a mail server, and these programs add a level of complexity that just isn’t necessary (not to mention I’m just not ready to mess with them). I found a small script that does exactly what I need, sendEmail. It’s only dependency is perl and that should already be installed on your system.

sendEmail -f [from address] -t [to address] [another to address] -u [‘subject’] -m [‘body’] -a [attachment] -s [your SMTP server]

As the example above shows, you simply call the script, specify your from address, specify the to address (one or many), define a subject and body (if you are including spaces in the subject or body wrap them in quotes), attach a file if you like, and then give it the address of your SMTP server (which was provided to you by your ISP). It’s just that simple and it just works.

I couldn’t locate sendEmail in the Fedora repos (Ubuntu has it in the Universe repo) but it’s VERY easy to install yourself. Download the official release from to your home directory, then enter the commands below.

Note: At the time of this writing the current version is 1.54 and the downloaded filename is sendEmail-v1.54.tar.gz. The filename may change later so you’ll have to adjust the commands below accordingly. You will need the root password to install this script to the locations below.

Open a terminal window and go to your home folder (or the location of the downloaded file)

su -c ‘tar -xzvf sendEmail-v1.54.tar.gz -C /usr/lib/’
su -c ‘ln -s /usr/lib/sendEmail-v1.54/sendEmail /usr/bin/’

The first command will extract the files to /usr/lib/sendEmail-v1.54/. The second command just creates a symbolic link in /usr/bin/ that will allow you to call sendEmail from the command line. For those interested, su -c switches user to root, executes the command following the -c and then returns you to your normal user level. I tend to use this method so I don’t forget to log out of the root account and accidentally break something.

Tags: , , , ,

One Response to “sendEmail, A light and simple command line mailer”

  1. Javier says:

    I used FC6 and I don’t see a clear and simple command line option so I was looking exactly for the the solution you present.

    The best part is that is Perl.

    Thank you.

Leave a Reply