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Send messages and files over Telegram from the command-line.

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Telegram-send is a command-line tool to send messages and files over Telegram to your account or to a channel. It provides a simple interface that can be easily called from other programs.

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To send a message:

telegram-send "hello, world"

To send a file:

telegram-send --file document.pdf

To send an image with an optional caption:

telegram-send --image photo.jpg --caption "The Moon at night"


Install telegram-send system-wide with pip:

sudo pip3 install telegram-send

Or if you want to install it for a single user:

pip3 install telegram-send

If installed for a single user you need to add ~/.local/bin to their path:

echo 'PATH="$HOME/.local/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.profile

(This will be in effect on the next login, do a . ~/.profile for the impatient.)

And finally configure it with telegram-send --configure if you want to send to your account, or with telegram-send --configure-channel to send to a channel.

Use the --config option to use multiple configurations. For example to set up sending to a channel in a non-default configuration: telegram-send --config channel.conf --configure-channel. Then always specify the config file to use it: telegram-send --config channel.conf "hello".


Here are some examples to get a taste of what is possible with telegram-send.

alert on completion of shell commands

Receive an alert when long-running commands finish with the tg alias, based on Ubuntu’s built-in alert. Put the following in your ~/.bashrc:

alias tg='telegram-send "$([ $? = 0 ] && echo "" || echo "error: ") $(history|tail -n1|sed -e '\''s/^\s*[0-9]\+\s*//;s/[;&|]\s*tg$//'\'')"'

And then use it like sleep 10: tg.

periodic messages with cron

We can combine telegram-send with cron to periodically send messages. Here we will set up a cron job to send the Astronomy Picture of the Day to the astropod channel.

Create a bot by talking to the BotFather, create a public channel and add your bot as administrator to the channel. You will need to explicitly search for your bot’s username when adding it. Then run telegram-send --configure-channel --config astropod.conf. We will use the script that gets the daily picture and calls telegram-send to post it to the channel.

We create a cron job /etc/cron.d/astropod with the content:


# m h dom mon dow user  command
0 1 * * * telegram ~/ --config ~/astropod.conf

Make sure the file ends with a newline. Cron will then execute the script every day at 1:00 as the user telegram. Join the astropod channel to see the result.

supervisor process state notifications

Supervisor controls and monitors processes. It can start processes at boot, restart them if they fail and also report on their status. Supervisor-alert is a simple plugin for supervisor that sends messages on process state updates to an arbitrary program. Using it with telegram-send (by using the --telegram option), you can receive notifications whenever one of your processes exits.


sudo telegram-send --clean
sudo pip3 uninstall telegram-send

Or if you installed it for a single user:

telegram-send --clean
pip3 uninstall telegram-send

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