Sending Email from mailx Command in Linux Using Gmail’s SMTP

The mailx or mail command in Linux is still providing service for guys like me, especially when we need to send email automatically by script. gmail is great. Now, how to use gmail’s smtp in mailx/mail? gmail is a little special since gmail’s smtp server requires tls authorization. The good news is that mailx supports it. Let’s look at how to use it.

First, find out Fixforx’s profile directory in the home directory (I believe most of the users on Linux use Firefox. If you are not using Firefox, what you need to do is try it ;) . It has a format like this:


yyyyyyyy is a random string that’s different for different users. You can easily find it out by looking into the directory ~/.mozilla/firefox.

There are two ways to do this: using all-in-one command or putting configurations into profile. The all-in-one-command way needs no other configurations except the command line itself, while the way using configuration has a clearer command.

All-in-one command

This is an all-in-one command that sends email to $TO_EMAIL_ADDRESS

mailx -v -s "$EMAIL_SUBJECT"-S smtp-use-starttls
-S ssl-verify=ignore
-S smtp-auth=login
-S smtp=smtp:// from="$FROM_EMAIL_ADDRESS($FRIENDLY_NAME)"-S smtp-auth-user=$FROM_EMAIL_ADDRESS
-S smtp-auth-password=$EMAIL_ACCOUNT_PASSWORD
-S ssl-verify=ignore
-S nss-config-dir=~/.mozilla/firefox/yyyyyyyy.default/

Replace the $XXX with the value that is actually used. The meaning is obvious. And remember to change yyyyyyyy to the string that’s part of the Firefox profile directory.

This command will ask for the email content. Type in the mail content and after finishing the email, use “Ctrl+d” to tell mailx you have finished. Then this mail will be sent out through gmail’s smtp server. You can also use pipe like this:

echo "The mail content"| mail -v -s ...

Use configuration file

There are too many options in the above command? Yes… I must confess so. We can write most of them into mailx/mail’s configuration file ~/.mailrc

set smtp-use-starttls
set nss-config-dir=~/.mozilla/firefox/yyyyyyyy.default/set ssl-verify=ignore
set smtp=smtp:// smtp-auth=login
set smtp-auth-user=$FROM_EMAIL_ADDRESS
set smtp-auth-password=$EMAIL_ACCOUNT_PASSWORD

Change the $YYYY and yyyyyyyy to the right value for you. When sending mails, use this command:


Then, time to enjoy it!



如果没有使用firefox的话,可以尝试搜索 find /etc -name "cert*.db" ,结果例如:/etc/pki/nssdb/


set from=[email protected](MyName)
set smtp-auth-user=[email protected]
set smtp-auth-password=*****
set smtp-auth=login
set ssl-verify=ignore
set nss-config-dir=/etc/pki/nssdb/

Sending Email from mailx Command in Linux Using Gmail’s SMTP,古老的榕树,