UNIX mailx Command to send Email with Example


Mailx is an intelligent mail processing system with good features to send and receive email available on Unix OS.

In this article, I will cover basics of mailx command with example.  We will use Heirloom mailx utility. Use yum info mailx to check if mailx available on your Unix system.

bash-4.1# yum info mailx
Loaded plugins: refresh-packagekit, ulninfo
Installed Packages
Name : mailx
Arch : x86_64
Version : 12.4
Release : 8.el6_6
Size : 452 k
Repo : installed
From repo : public_ol6_latest
Summary : Enhanced implementation of the mailx command
URL : http://heirloom.sourceforge.net/mailx.html
License : BSD with advertising and MPLv1.1

You can use below command to install it.

yum install heirloom-mailx

Refer http://heirloom.sourceforge.net/mailx.html  for detail information about this utility. You can also refer UNIX man mailx page. Below are minimum required options you should know to use it in a practical world.

Below is syntax,

mailx [-s subject] [-a attachment ] [-c cc-addr] [-b bcc-addr] [-r from-addr] [-h hops] [-A account] [-S variable[=value]] to-addr


  • -s – subject of an email. Mention it in double quotes if it contains space
  • -a – attach the given filename to message
  • -b – send blind carbon copies to list of users
  • -c – send carbon copies to list of users
  • -r – set the from address
  • -v – Verbose mode.  The details of delivery are displayed on the user’s terminal.

Example 1: – Simple mail with subject and body

Just log in to Unix console and run below command and hit enter. Then enter the message body and click on Ctrl+D to complete message. It displays EOT and exist the message body and sends the mail.

mailx -s "Test Email" [email protected]
How are you?
This is a test email.

You can also use ‘|’ pipe to pass message body to mailx command as shown below.

 echo "Hi How are you" | mailx -s "Test Email" [email protected]

Below is email received.

mailx sample received email

Example 2: – mail with no message body

mailx -s "Test Email" [email protected] < /dev/null

Example 3: – mail with file content as message body

mailx -s "Test Email" [email protected] < filename

Example 4: – mail with file as attachment

mailx -s "Test Email" -a filename [email protected]

Example 5: – mail with CC and BCC

mailx -s "Test Email" -c [email protected] -b [email protected] [email protected]


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