Command-line e-mail sender
pmail is used to quickly send e-mail messages from command line.
Git repository: https://bitbucket.org/tomaszwaraksa/pmail
Sending e-mails from command-line? Easy!
Surely there are plenty of tools for that, to begin with mail and ssmtp on *x systems. Unfortunately, they’re not for the weak of heart. Just look here for the available options: https://tecadmin.net/ways-to-send-email-from-linux-command-line/
That’s a lot of typing for something simple. Admittedly, all those cat and < dev null are clever hacks, but honestly, they are also an utter waste of time and long-term memory. And, because of complexity, they often result in failure and frustration. Eventually, after a brief love story, you would stop using command line for sending e-mails. And it would be a terrible loss for humanity, given how much time is wasted watching Thunderbird e-mail client load.
So, is there a better way?
Lo and behold, I give you pmail. A nifty command-line e-mail sender, written in Python.
pmail is simple
With pmail sending an e-mail from command line is a breeze:
pmail firstname.lastname@example.org Hi! "Wasup?\n\nJohn"
Reminder mail to yourself? Easy:
pmail me "Shopping list" "Cat food\nWater\nBread\nCookies"
And it can be even simpler. If you want, you can send a message in interactive mode. Just type:
and the application will ask you to enter the recipient, subject and message body:
From: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: New design Body: Please find attached some ideas for Gmail.\n\nCheers,\n\nBob Attachments: ~/docs/gmail-commandline.pdf
No need of course to enter From: or To: prefixes. Our super-intelligent cloud-connected AI will figure this out for you. And, after years of tedious training our deep learning algos are now able to figure out that an empty line has to be transmitted between message subject and body! Oh my goodness!
To run pmail you need Python 3 interpreter on your computer. At minimum, Python version 3.5 is required. You can verify whether it’s available using the following commands:
python --version pip --version
If you happen to have both Python 2.* and Python 3.* on your machine, in all examples below you will rather use python3 and pip3 commands, so that the right Python version is used.
Installation from Python Package Index
The simplest way to is to install the application from PyPI repository, using the following command:
pip install pmail
On *ux system you need to run it with administrative privileges, to have pmail command globally available:
sudo pip install pmail
If it doesn’t work, it probably means you need to install Python 3 on your computer. Check https://www.python.org/downloads/ to find out how to install Python on your platform.
- Unzip the sources or clone the repository https://bitbucket.org/tomaszwaraksa/pmail.git
- Navigate to the folder with the sources
- Run pip install -e .
- If you’ll ever update the sources, just re-run the same command again
Before you can send your first e-mail, you need to provide some information about the SMTP server through which pmail will send your messages to the world. Just type:
The application will guide you through configuration steps, asking for:
SMTP host: SMTP port: Login: Password: Security: Sender name: Sender address:
You have to consult your e-mail provider for these values. Few tips:
- No need to prefix the SMTP host with anything, just the pure domain name, for example smtp.godaddy.com
- Login and Sender address are usually the same, just your e-mail address
- Security can be set to ssl, tls or none. Please, please, use tls whenever your e-mail provider supports it, which seems to be the norm these days.
Once you’re done entering configuration, pmail attempts to send a test message to verify whether the settings are correct. If the message has arrived into your mailbox, everything is fine and you can start using pmail!
If at any moment in future you’d like to change configuration, use the same command to change it.
Configuration is stored in ~/.pmail/configuration.json file, so you can edit it manually. The exception is login and password, which are stored as encrypted. To change these, you need to run pmail --configure like described above.
Sending e-mails in interactive mode
To send an e-mail, simply type:
The application will ask you to enter e-mail recipient, subject, body and eventual attachments. Just press ENTER to confirm each entry. Once you’ve entered the body, e-mail message will be sent and confirmation message displayed. If anything goes wrong, you will see the error message.
If you’ve forgotten to configure pmail as described above, no worries. The application will first guide you through configuration, then it will continue with sending the message.
Sending e-mails super-fast
Once you’re used to pmail, you’ll probably use the super-fast full command-line mode. You can enter message recipient(s), subject and eventual attachments as command parameters, in this exact sequence:
pmail recipients subject body attachments
The same rules apply here as with interactive mode:
- Multiple recipients are separated with ;
- \n can be used to add linebreak to message body
- Message body is optional, press ENTER to send an empty message
- Attachments are optional, press ENTER to send a message without attachments
- Multiple attachments are separated with ;
You can provide only some of the input arguments, for example just the recipient or recipient and subject. In this case the application will ask you only about the remaining arguments. For example:
will assume your e-mail address as recipient of the message, and ask you about the message subject and body.
- wrap your parameters in quotation marks "" if they contain spaces. In interactive mode this is not required.
- If using multiple addresses or multiple attachments, wrap the whole list in quotation marks "". Again, in interactive mode this is not required.
pmail email@example.com Hi Sup? pmail firstname.lastname@example.org "Hi, how are you?" "Haven't heard from you in a while\n\nBob" pmail "email@example.com;firstname.lastname@example.org" Invitation "Hi, come over for a pint tomorrow!" pmail email@example.com "Do not open" "This is a dangerous attachment." ~/Docs/Memo.pdf pmail firstname.lastname@example.org "3 files" "Attached the three documents" "1.pdf;2.pdf;3.pdf"
To send a message to multiple recipients, enter multiple e-mail addresses separated by semicolon ; like shown below. When in command-line mode, wrap the addresses in quotation marks ""
To: email@example.com;firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com pmail "firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com;firstname.lastname@example.org" "Hello !" "Greetings from Bob"
Spaces and linebreaks
Use \n to indicate linebreaks in message body. When in command-line mode, wrap text containing spaces in quotation marks ""
To: email@example.com Subject: Hi John! Body: Hello, what's the story?\n\ncheers,\n\nSeamus\nVery Big Corporation Inc. pmail firstname.lastname@example.org "Hi John!" "Hello, what's the story?\n\ncheers,\n\nSeamus\nVery Big Corporation Inc."
will result in message body looking like this:
Hello, what's the story? cheers, Seamus Very Big Corporation Inc.
If you want to send any attachment, add -f parameter. In interactive mode you’ll be then asked to provide files to attach to the message, for example:
To: email@example.com Subject: Hi John! Body: Attached the memo you've requested, cheers! Attachments: ~/docs/memo.txt
In command-line mode simply specify the file path after body parameter:
pmail firstname.lastname@example.org "Hi John!" "Attached the memo you've requested, cheers!" "~/docs/memo.txt"
The following rules apply:
- If the file is in another directory than the current one, specify file path
- You can use relative file paths, for example ../docs/file.txt or subfolder of the current folder docs/file.txt
- Use ~ character to indicate your home folder. Our super-intelligent AI engine supports ~ even on Windows
- If you wish to send multiple files, separate them with semicolon ; and in command line mode don’t forget to wrap the whole parameter in double quotes """
To further boost your productivity, pmail allows defining aliases for frequently used e-mail addresses. Rather than typing:
pmail email@example.com Hi "Mayday, mayday, we're sinking!"
you’d rather wish to do:
pmail ceo Hi "Mayday, mayday, we're sinking!"
Two aliases are predefined and you can use them right away, to send e-mails to yourself. Just type me or self, and e-mail address which you’ve entered in configuration as yours, will be used as recipient.
To create your contact book, run p-mail with --contacts flag:
This will list all the existing contacts and ask you to either add new contacts or to delete the existing ones. Then follow the instructions on the screen to fill up your address book.
Once done, you can use contact names whenever sending e-mails, both in interactive mode as in power mode. You can freely mix contact names and e-mail addresses, for example:
To: ceo;hr;firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Hi Body: Everything all right?
or in command-line mode:
pmail "ceo;hr;email@example.com" Hi "Everything all right?"
Contacts are stored in ~/.pmail/configuration.json file. You can easily edit them manually using your preferred text editor which I bet is nano.
A few other options are available when running pmail:
--test Sends test message, the same as when editing configuration --version Displays version number and copyright information --help Displays quick help and syntax --silent If present when sending email in power mode, no output is sent to console
Copyright 2017, Dublin, Tomasz Waraksa
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the “Software”), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
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