Linux Mail command Send email from Command Line utility

Sending email from Linux command line would he more helpful when we are trying to automate from programs / applications. Linux Mail command will help us in send email command line utility. Let’s see in detailed information about mail utility. 

Linux Mail command is dependent on sendmail / postfix email services, because without any mail services email can’t be routed.

Advantages Linux Mail Command Line utility

  • Easy to Automate Tasks
  • Complex tasks can also be achieved along with programs
  • Send emails in bulk can be possible

Install mail utilities

#yum install mailx*

$apt-get install mailutils

Sending simple Email message from Command line

To send an email from command line simply use Linux mail command as mentioned below

[root@ArkitServer ~]# mail -s "Testing Message" <<< "Testing Email"
[root@ArkitServer ~]# echo "Testing Email" | mail -s "Testing Message"

Here -s to provide email subject 

File content as Email body

Now situation is file has content i would like to send an file content as email body using mail command. Below command send’s email and email body as /etc/passwd content

[root@ArkitServer ~]# mail -s "Email Subject" < /etc/passwd


[root@localhost ~]# cat anaconda-ks.cfg | mail -s "Kickstart content"

Specify CC (Carbon Copy) and BCC (Blind Copy) recipients

A simple example to send CC and BCC

-c  Email Address

-b  Email Address

[root@localhost ~]# echo "Email Body" | mail -s "Testing Email" -c -b

Custom From Address

specify from custom email address. When you send an email from command it will take logged in user@serverName but we can specify required address

[root@localhost ~]# echo "Email Body Message" | mail -s "subject" -r

Sending Email to multiple recipients

We can send email to multiple recipients using single mail command. specify multiple email addresses using comma separated.

[root@localhost ~]# mail -s "Testing Email subject", < anaconda-ks.cfg

Send attachment to email

Linux mail command will not allow sending email attachments directly we required to use uuencode command to send attachment

yum install sharutils*
uuencode file.txt | mail -s "Email As Attachment" < EmailBody.txt


Linux command to read email in Inbox

[root@localhost ~]# mail
Heirloom Mail version 12.5 7/5/10. Type ? for help.
"/var/spool/mail/root": 1 message 1 new
>N 1 root Fri Mar 17 21:40 18/630 "Testing Email"
& 1
Message 1:
From root@localhost.localdomain Fri Mar 17 21:40:03 2017
Return-Path: <root@localhost.localdomain>
X-Original-To: root@localhost
Delivered-To: root@localhost.localdomain
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2017 21:40:03 +0530
To: root@localhost.localdomain
Subject: Testing Email
User-Agent: Heirloom mailx 12.5 7/5/10
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
From: root@localhost.localdomain (root)
Status: R

Testing Body

& q
Held 1 message in /var/spool/mail/root

Mail command controls to manage mailbox

  • :n All new messages.
  • 😮 All old messages (any not in state read or new).
  • :u All unread messages.
  • :d All deleted messages (for the undelete command).
  • :r All read messages.
  • :f All `flagged’ messages.
  • :a All answered messages (cf. the markanswered variable).
  • :t All messages marked as draft.
  • :k All `killed’ messages.
  • :j All messages classified as junk.
  • . The current message.
  • , That is the message with the Message-ID given in the `In-Reply-To:’
  • – The next previous undeleted message, or the next previous deleted message for the undelete command. In sorted/threaded mode, the next previous such message in the sorted/threaded order.
  • + The next undeleted message, or the next deleted message for the undelete command. In sorted/threaded mode, the next such message in the sorted/threaded order.
  • ^ The first undeleted message, or the first deleted message for the undelete command. In sorted/threaded mode, the first such message in the sorted/threaded order.
  • $ In sorted/threaded mode


Linux Mail Command is very useful to integrate with shell scripts to automate many tasks.

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Thanks for your wonderful Support and Encouragement

Ravi Kumar Ankam

My Name is ARK. Expert in grasping any new technology, Interested in Sharing the knowledge. Learn more & Earn More

1 Response

  1. Murteza says:

    Mail from terminal is a game changer for many companies an dmaybe even individuals. Thanks for the article.

    I have a request that is not related to “Linuc mail command” article and that is adding Grouvi share button among other social media buttons.
    Thanks for the article once again.

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