Monday, June 3, 2013

Sending File Attachments from the Shell

There is bad news and more bad news on this subject.  The first bad news is there is no simple, standard, default tool that will allow you to do this on the commandline.  The second bad news is that the old standard way to do this seems to have been stopped as a security problem in Outlook.  Specifically, you used to be able to use the 'uuencode' tool piped to 'mail' to accomplish this, but Outlook no longer interprets that as an attachment (probably to fight the spread of viruses).

The old way of doing it
uuencode filename.csv filename.csv | mail -s 'Subject of email'
'uuencode' was a fairly common tool and was packaged for most Linux variants and was even installed by default on some.  Now we have to scavenge a bit, but the tool I have used most is 'mpack'.  It is packaged for both Debian and Ubuntu by the distribution, and you can find pre-rolled versions for Redhat/CentOS/etc.  Once you get it installed, using it is easy.

The new way of doing it
mpack -s 'Subject of email' filename.csv
Hopefully the target doesn't move again.

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