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E-mail MIME attachments from the command line UNIX
From time to time I need to send an E-mail with MIME attachments from the command line while logged on via an SSH connection. Thanks to Google, I found a shell script to do just that, and it only requires one modification (detailed below) to work on Mac OS X 10.3. (10.2 users must also install a perl package.) The original script is by Dave Wotton. My modified Mac OS X version is also available for download.

The shell script requires that your Mac be configured as a mail server that can send mail using the sendmail command (Mac OS X 10.3 uses postfix, but it still has a sendmail command for compatibility purposes). The script also requires perl with the MIME::Base64 package installed. This package comes with Mac OS X 10.3 (10.2.x users must install it, though). The one modification I made to the script is to change the /usr/bin/sendmail command to /usr/sbin/sendmail, the correct path on Mac OS X.

Here is how to make it work.
  1. Download the script.
  2. Save it to a directory in your path with an appropriate name (i.e., mail_files).
  3. Make the file executable by entering:
    % chmod u=rwx,go=rx mail_files
If you are using Mac OS X 10.3, you are done! Skip the rest of the steps, and see the example at the end.

Installing the MIME::Base64 package on Mac OS X 10.2.x
  1. Download the MIME::Base64 package from CPAN.
  2. Go to the directory where you downloaded the file. Decompress and unpack with the command:
    % tar -zxvf MIME-Base64-3.00.tar.gz
  3. Go to the new MIME-Base64-3.00 directory:
    % cd MIME-Base64-3.00
  4. Build a makefile, compile the package, and install it in the default location:
    % perl Makefile.PL
    % make
    % sudo make install
You are done. You can delete the MIME-Base64-3.00 directory if you like.

Using the Script

If you just installed the script into a directory in your path, be sure to enter the rehash command to make sure that your shell knows it is there. Enter the mail_files command with no arguments for a short description of the options. Here is an example of how to use the command:
% mail_files -t recipient@email.address -s subject -b attachedFileName
Enter your message text
here in as many lines as necessary
with control-D at the end.
Edit the script for a detailed description of all the options in the comments. E-mail away!
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E-mail MIME attachments from the command line | 5 comments | Create New Account
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Mutt can also do that.
Authored by: improbability on Feb 18, '04 02:24:02PM
Maybe overkill but mutt also can do this. And allow you to edit the mime filename/content-type. fink has version 1.4

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E-mail MIME attachments from the command line
Authored by: 47ronin on Feb 18, '04 05:36:19PM
you could just do this:
uuencode filename.sit filename.sit | mail -s "subject"
Just replace the words above as needed! That will allow you to send a binary file over the built-in mailserver in OSX in just one line in the Terminal.

[ Reply to This | # ]
E-mail MIME attachments from the command line
Authored by: chitay on Apr 13, '04 04:42:21PM

this idea worked great using 'do shell script' in an applescript I'm working on - thanks! Just wondering if there's a way to use this to send multiple attachments. I need the script to e-mail 2 separate text file to a user (can't cat the two files into one - user is easily confused :-/ ) thanks for the help.

[ Reply to This | # ]
E-mail MIME attachments from the command line
Authored by: easco on Feb 18, '04 08:54:28PM

No need to use Perl to do the encoding. The openssl command will encode base 64 for you just fine.

% openssl enc -base64 -in <somefile> -out <destination>

I believe that openssl is included by default so you can skip the download-and-install-a-PERL-module step.

[ Reply to This | # ]
E-mail MIME attachments from the command line
Authored by: googoo on Feb 19, '04 09:45:52AM

Thanks! I replaced the Perl part of the Base64 conversion section in the script with the following command, and it works like a charm.

openssl enc -base64 -in $F

(Of course, this command only works in the context of the script.)


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