How To Use Gmail Account To Relay Email From a Shell Prompt

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July 6, 2012 by Al

from nixcraft

by Vivek Gite on April 5, 2009 Last updated April 22, 2009
(A couple of slight edits have been made)

You can use gmail as a smart host to send all messages from your Linux / UNIX desktop systems. You need to use a simple program called ssmtp. It accepts a mail stream on standard input with recipients specified on the command line and synchronously forwards the message to the mail transfer agent of a mailhub for the mailhub MTA to process. Failed messages are placed in dead.letter in the sender’s home directory.
Install ssmtp

Type the following command under CentOS / RHEL / Red Hat / Fedora Linux:
# yum install ssmtp
Type the following command under Debian / Ubuntu Linux:
# apt-get update && apt-get install ssmtp
Configure gmail as a smarthost

Open /etc/ssmtp/ssmtp.conf, enter:
# vi /etc/ssmtp/ssmtp.conf
Update file with the following settings:

AuthUser=vivek@gmail.com
AuthPass=Your-Gmail-Password
FromLineOverride=YES
mailhub=smtp.gmail.com:587
UseSTARTTLS=YES

Also, make sure you disable Sendmail:
# service sendmail stop
# chkconfig sendmail off
# mkdir /root/.bakup
# mv /usr/sbin/sendmail /root/.bakup
# ln -s /usr/sbin/ssmtp /usr/sbin/sendmail
Now, you can use mail / mailx command to send email messages. You can also write a shell script to backup your files and email to somewhere else (see below). You can test settings using following syntax:
$ echo “This is a test” | mail -s “Test” vivek@nixcraft.co.in
A note about sSMTP

sSMTP works well for desktop systems, but it is not a replacement for Sendmail / Postfix / Exim / Qmail for email server environment. This software is perfect for a single user system.nan

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