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Linux Pocket Guide, 2nd Edition by Daniel J. Barrett

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mail — stdin  stdout  - file  -- opt  --help  --version

Synopsis

mail [options] recipient

The mail program (equivalently, Mail)[20] is a quick, simple email client. Most people want a more powerful program for regular use, but for quick messages from the command line or in scripts, mail is really handy.

To send a quick message:

$ mail smith@example.com
Subject: my subject
I'm typing a message.
To end it, I type a period by itself on a line.

.
Cc: jones@example.com
$

To send a quick message using a single command, use a pipeline:

$ echo "Hello world" | mail -s "subject" smith@example.com

To mail a file using a single command, you can use redirection or a pipeline:

$ mail -s "my subject" smith@example.com < filename
$ cat filename | mail -s "my subject" smith@example.com

Notice how easily you can send the output of a pipeline as an email message; this is useful in scripts.

Useful options

-s subject

Set the subject line of an outgoing message.

-v

Verbose mode: print messages about mail delivery.

-c addresses

CC the message to the given addresses, a comma-separated list.

-b addresses

BCC the message to the given addresses, a comma-separated list.

[20] On older Unix systems, Mail and mail were rather different programs, but on Linux they are the same: /usr/bin/Mail is a symbolic link to the mail command.

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