Specify the from user when sending email using the mail command

Does anyone know how to change the from user when sending email using the mail command? I have looked through the man page and can not see how to do this.

We are running Redhat Linux 5.


http://www.mindspill.org/962 seems to have a solution.


echo "This is the main body of the mail" | mail -s "Subject of the Email" recipent_address@example.com -- -f from_user@example.com

You can specify any extra header you may need with -a

$mail -s "Some random subject" -a "From: some@mail.tld" to@mail.tld

mail -r from@from.from -R from@from.com

-r = from-addr -R = reply-to addr

The author has indicated his version of mail doesn't support this flag. But if you have a version that does this works fine.

When sending over SMTP, the mail man page advises to set the from variable, in this way (Tested on CentOS 6):

mail -s Subject -S from=sender@example.com recipient@example.com

You could also attach a file using the -a option:

mail -s Subject -S from=sender@example.com -a path_to_attachement recipient@example.com

None of these worked for me (Ubuntu 12.04) but finally with trial & error I got:

echo 'my message blabla\nSecond line (optional of course)' | 
mail -s "Your message title"
-r 'Your full name<yourSenderAdress@yourDomain.abc>'

(all in one line, there is no space in "-Sreplyto")

I got this mail command from:

apt-get install mailutils

You can append sendmail options to the end of the mail command by first adding --. -f is the command on sendmail to set the from address. So you can do this:

mail recipient@foo.com -- -f sender@bar.com

Here's a solution.

The second easiest solution after -r (which is to specify a From: header and separate it from the body by a newline like this

 $mail -s "Subject" destination@example.com
 From: Joel <joel@example.com>


works in only a few mail versions, don't know what version redhat carries).

PS: Most versions of mail suck!

None of the above worked for me. And it took me long to figure it out, hopefully this helps the next guy.

I'm using Ubuntu 12.04 LTS with mailutils v2.1.

I found this solutions somewhere on the net, don't know where, can't find it again:


Full Command used:

cat /root/Reports/ServerName-Report-$DATE.txt | mail -s "Server-Name-Report-$DATE" myemailadress@mydomain.com -aFrom:Servername-Server@mydomain.com

echo "This is the main body of the mail" | mail -s "Subject of the Email" recipent_address@example.com -- -f from_user@example.com -F "Elvis Presley"


echo "This is the main body of the mail" | mail -s "Subject of the Email" recipent_address@example.com -aFrom:"Elvis Presley<from_user@example.com>"

Most people need to change two values when trying to correctly forge the from address on an email. First is the from address and the second is the orig-to address. Many of the solutions offered online only change one of these values.

If as root, I try a simple mail command to send myself an email it might look like this. echo "test" | mail -s "a test" me@noone.com

And the associated logs: Feb 6 09:02:51 myserver postfix/qmgr[28875]: B10322269D: from=<root@myserver.com>, size=437, nrcpt=1 (queue active) Feb 6 09:02:52 myserver postfix/smtp[19848]: B10322269D: to=<me@noone.com>, relay=myMTA[x.x.x.x]:25, delay=0.34, delays=0.1/0/0.11/0.13, dsn=2.0.0, status=sent (250 Ok 0000014b5f678593-a0e399ef-a801-4655-ad6b-19864a220f38-000000)

Trying to change the from address with -- echo "test" | mail -s "a test" me@noone.com -- dude@thisguy.com

This changes the orig-to value but not the from value: Feb 6 09:09:09 myserver postfix/qmgr[28875]: 6BD362269D: from=<root@myserver.com>, size=474, nrcpt=2 (queue active) Feb 6 09:09:09 myserver postfix/smtp[20505]: 6BD362269D: to=<me@noone>, orig_to=<dude@thisguy.com>, relay=myMTA[x.x.x.x]:25, delay=0.31, delays=0.06/0/0.09/0.15, dsn=2.0.0, status=sent (250 Ok 0000014b5f6d48e2-a98b70be-fb02-44e0-8eb3-e4f5b1820265-000000)

Next trying it with a -r and a -- to adjust the from and orig-to. echo "test" | mail -s "a test" -r dude@comeguy.com me@noone.com -- dude@someguy.com

And the logs: Feb 6 09:17:11 myserver postfix/qmgr[28875]: E3B972264C: from=<dude@someguy.com>, size=459, nrcpt=2 (queue active) Feb 6 09:17:11 myserver postfix/smtp[21559]: E3B972264C: to=<me@noone.com>, orig_to=<dude@someguy.com>, relay=myMTA[x.x.x.x]:25, delay=1.1, delays=0.56/0.24/0.11/0.17, dsn=2.0.0, status=sent (250 Ok 0000014b5f74a2c0-c06709f0-4e8d-4d7e-9abf-dbcea2bee2ea-000000)

This is how it's working for me. Hope this helps someone.

This works on Centos7

echo "This is the main body of the mail" | mail -s "Subject of the Email" -r seneder_address@whatever.com recipent_address@example.com

Here's an answer from 2018, on Debian 9 stretch.

Note the -e for echo to allow newline characters, and -r for mailx to show a name along with an outgoing email address:

$ echo -e "testing email via yourisp.com from command line\n\nsent on: $(date)" | mailx -r "Foghorn Leghorn <sender@yourisp.com>" -s "test cli email $(date)" -- recipient@somedomain.com

Hope this helps!

on CentOs5: -r from@me.omg

Thanks to all example providers, some worked for some not. Below is another simple example format that worked for me.

echo "Sample body" | mail -s "Test email" from=sender-addrs@example.com recepient-addres@example.com

I faced the same issue. But i solved the problem just be setting geko field in /ect/passwd field. Postfix by default send the mail from user login. Lets suppose you want to change from field to Alert. You just need to edit /ect/passwd file in any editor you like.

  1. vim /ect/passwd


  1. Restart postfix.

Now check the result.

  1. echo "This is the main body of the mail" | mail -s "Subject of the Email" user@domain.com

Now in recipient. From will be shown as Alerts as you have specified in geko field. Hope this solution works for you.

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