msmtp, a free tool to send email from Terminal

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I fully expected that my article on mailsend would lead to several “Why don’t you use use XYZ instead?” replies, and it did. Suggestions included Ruby, Python, iPhone push notifications, and configuring postfix/sendmail.

But one suggestion was to use msmtp, and that turned out to be the golden nugget.

What makes msmtp so great, especially compared to mailsend, is that it completely eliminates the need to store your Gmail password in a plain text file on your computer. msmtp uses the Mac OS X Keychain instead. The other big advantage is that mailsend required several command line arguments every time, which makes it very likely that someone (i.e. “me”) is going to screw it up. Once msmtp is configured, I can use the venerable “/usr/bin/Mail” to send email from the command line, and /usr/bin/Mail is nearly idiot proof. (Note I said “nearly” — this is not a challenge!)

In short: msmtp was what I was looking for when I found mailsend.

Although configuring msmtp took about 30 minutes, it was well worth it, and now that you have these handy instructions, it should take you even less time than it took me. (You can also get mstmp from Rudix or MacPorts but I still like building my own whenever possible. You might not share my neuroses, however.)

Read on for a complete walk-through.

TUAWmsmtp, a free tool to send email from Terminal originally appeared on The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) on Tue, 04 May 2010 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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