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How to send email from the Linux command line

There are several ways to send email from the Linux command line. Some are very simple and others more complicated, but offer some very useful features. The choice depends on what you want to do -– whether you want to get a quick message off to a co-worker or send a more complicated message with an attachment to a large group of people. Here’s a look at some of the options:


The easiest way to send a simple message from the Linux command line is to use the mail command. Maybe you need to remind your boss that you’re leaving a little early that day. You could use a command like this one:

$ echo "Reminder: Leaving at 4 PM today" | mail -s "early departure" myboss

Another option is to grab your message text from a file that contains the content you want to send:

$ mail -s "Reminder:Leaving early" myboss < reason4leaving

In both cases, the -s options allows you to provide a subject line for your message.


Using sendmail, you can send a quick message (with no subject) using a command like this (replacing “recip” with your intended recipient:

$ echo "leaving now" | sendmail recip

You can send just a subject line (with no message content) with a command like this:

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