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Send Gmail With Perl

I don't want to run an MTA on my desktop. MTAs are known vectors for hackers looking for buffer overflows, so leave it the the mail admin or Google to handle it.

But you want the ability to send mail from the command line. It's just so convenient!

cat | mail -s "The script in question"

Beyond that, well, Google has that GMail thing down. Down so well, it's out of Beta. Finally! Large quotas, high availability, POP and IMAP (IMAP is the best!)

Perl to the rescue!

I saw a blog post about sending Gmail email with Perl, using Net::SMTP::TLS. I then decided to write a program that behaves nearly like the mail command line program. (I added a -t flag for Getopt::Long completeness, rather than trying to fish an email address out of @ARGV.)


# usage: cat foo | -subject "subject line" -to

use Modern::Perl ;
use Net::SMTP::TLS ;
use Getopt::Long ;
use IO::Interactive qw{ interactive } ;
use subs qw{ send_mail get_credentials } ;

my %msg ;
my $to = '' ;
my $cc = '' ;
my $bcc = '' ;
my $header = '' ;
my $subject = '' ;
my $body = '' ;

GetOptions( 'header=s' => \$header,
'subject=s' => \$subject,
'to=s' => \$to,
'cc=s' => \$cc,
'bcc=s' => \$bcc,
) ;

while ( my $line = <STDIN> ) { $body .= $line ; }

$msg{ body } = $body ;
$msg{ subject } = $subject ;
$msg{ to } = $to ;
$msg{ bcc } = $bcc ;
$msg{ cc } = $cc ;
$msg{ header } = $header ;

send_mail %msg ;

exit ;

sub get_credentials {
#this is the point where my setup sucks
my %creds ;
$creds{ username } = 'NO' ;
$creds{ password } = 'A Thousand Times NO' ;
return %creds ;

sub send_mail {
my %msg = @_ ;
my %creds = get_credentials ;
my $mailer = new Net::SMTP::TLS(
Hello => '',
Port => 587,
User => $creds{ username } ,
Password=> $creds{ password } ,
$mailer->to( $msg{to} ) ;
$mailer->cc( $msg{cc} ) if $msg{cc} =~ /\w/ ;
$mailer->bcc( $msg{bcc} ) if $msg{bcc} =~ /\w/ ;
$mailer->datasend( "Subject: $msg{subject} \n" );
$mailer->datasend( "\n" );
$mailer->datasend( $msg{body} );

I still do not have the store username and password in a secured config file part done. That's the part waiting for the Google Talk script, the Google status script, the Twitter stuff, etc. If you have ideas, I'd be glad to hear 'em.


  1. Try the following maybe?

    use Term::ReadPassword;

    sub get_credentials {
    #this is the point where my setup sucks
    my %creds ;
    $creds{ username } = '' ;
    # $creds{ password } = 'ORLY' ;
    $creds{password} = read_password('Password: ');
    return %creds ;

  2. I get that. To an extent, it is wise and good. But 1) I have crontab tweet for me, and have some otherwise automated tweeting and status upgrading, and 2) even when I tweet from the web page, the web browser remembers who I am, so having to re-password with every tweet is a backwards step.

    That being said, that is the only true solution to the saved password problem. The only winning move is not to play.

  3. hrmmmmmm

    no actual code to show atm but....

    run it as a deamon, and the crontab just executes the handoff of whatever data you need..

    Then the only time you'd need to type your password would be at deamon startup.... this of course makes the assumption it's on a machine that rarely needs to be rebooted.