- 1 Installing
- 2 Basic setup
- 3 Using the mail command
- 4 Test functionality
- 5 Cronie default email client
- 6 Password management
- 7 Miscellaneous
- 8 Troubleshooting
The following is an example of a msmtp configuration (the file is based on the per-user example file located at
/usr/share/doc/msmtp/msmtprc-user.example; the system configuration file belongs at
/etc/msmtprc and its corresponding example file is located at
# Set default values for all following accounts. defaults auth on tls on tls_trust_file /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt logfile ~/.msmtp.log # Gmail account gmail host smtp.gmail.com port 587 from email@example.com user username password plain-text-password # A freemail service account freemail host smtp.freemail.example from firstname.lastname@example.org ... # Set a default account account default : gmail
The user configuration file must be explicitly readable/writeable by its owner or msmtp will fail:
$ chmod 600 ~/.msmtprc
To avoid saving the password in plain text in the configuration file, use passwordeval to launch an external program, or see the #Password management section below. This example using Gnu PG is commonly used to perform decryption of a password:
echo -e "password\n" | gpg --encrypt -o .msmtp-gmail.gpg # enter id (email...)
gpg --encrypt -o .msmtp-gmail.gpg -r <email> -. The ending dash is not a typo, rather it causes gpg to use stdin. After running that snippet of code, type in your password, press enter, and press Control-d so gpg can encrypt your password.
passwordeval "gpg --quiet --for-your-eyes-only --no-tty --decrypt ~/.msmtp-gmail.gpg"
Using the mail command
To send mails using the
mailx command. You will also need to provide a
sendmail-compatible MTA, either by installing (which symlinks
msmtp) or by editing
/etc/mail.rc to set the sendmail path:
.msmtprc file will need to be in the home of every user who wants to send mail or alternatively the system wide
/etc/msmtprc can be used.
msmtp also understands aliases. Add the following line to the defaults section of msmtprc or your local configuration file:
and create an aliases file in
# Example aliases file # Send root to Joe and Jane root: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org # Send everything else to admin default: email@example.com
The account option (
--account=,-a) tells which account to use as sender:
$ echo "hello there username." | msmtp -a default firstname.lastname@example.org
Or, with the addresses in a file:
To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: A test Hello there.
$ cat test.mail | msmtp -a default <username>@domain.com
Cronie default email client
cronie.service systemd unit:
[Service] ExecStart= ExecStart=/usr/bin/crond -n -m '/usr/bin/msmtp -t'
Then you must tell cronie or msmtp what your email address is, either by:
- Add to
aliases /etc/aliasesand create
your_username: email@example.com— OR —.
- Add a
MAILTOline to the crontab:
Passwords for msmtp can be stored in plaintext, encrypted files, or a keyring.
Storing passwords in GNOME Keyring is supported natively in msmtp. Setup the keyring as described on the linked wiki page and install . Then, store a password by running:
secret-tool store --label=msmtp host smtp.your.domain service smtp user yourusername
That's all, now msmtp should find the password automatically.
password directive may be omitted. In that case, if the account in question has
auth set to a legitimate value other than
off, invoking msmtp from an interactive shell will ask for the password before sending mail. msmtp will not prompt if it has been called by another type of application, such as Mutt. For such cases, the
can be used to call an external keyring tool like GnuPG.
To do this, set up GnuPG, including gpg-agent to avoid having to enter the password every time. Then, create an encrypted password file for msmtp, as follows. Create a secure directory with
700 permissions located on a tmpfs to avoid writing the unencrypted password to the disk. In that directory create a plain text file with the mail account password. Then, encrypt the file with your private key:
$ gpg --default-recipient-self -e /path/to/plain/password
Remove the plain text file and move the encrypted file to the final location, e.g.
passwordeval "gpg --quiet --for-your-eyes-only --no-tty --decrypt ~/.mail/.msmtp-credentials.gpg"
Normally this is sufficient for a GUI password prompt to appear when, for example, sending a message from Mutt. If gpg prompt for the passphrase cannot be issued, then start the gpg-agent before. A simple hack to start the agent is to execute a external command in your muttrc using the backtick
` command ` syntax. For example, you can put something like the following in your muttrc
set my_msmtp_pass=`gpg -d mypwfile.gpg`
Mutt will execute this when it starts, gpg-agent will cache your password, msmtp will be happy and you can send mail.
An alternative is to place passwords in
~/.netrc, a file that can act as a common pool for msmtp, OfflineIMAP, and associated tools.
Using msmtp offline
Although msmtp is great, it requires that you be online to use it. This isn't ideal for people on laptops with intermittent connections to the Internet or dialup users. Several scripts have been written to remedy this fact, collectively called msmtpqueue.
The scripts are installed under
/usr/share/doc/msmtp/msmtpqueue. You might want to copy the scripts to a convenient location on your computer, (
/usr/local/bin is a good choice).
Finally, change your MUA to use msmtp-enqueue.sh instead of msmtp when sending e-mail. By default, queued messages will be stored in
~/.msmtpqueue. To change this location, change the
QUEUEDIR=$HOME/.msmtpqueue line in the scripts (or delete the line, and export the QUEUEDIR variable in
.bash_profile like so:
When you want to send any mail that you've created and queued up run:
/usr/local/bin to your PATH can save you some keystrokes if you're doing it manually. The README file that comes with the scripts has some handy information, reading it is recommended.
Vim syntax highlighting
The msmtp source distribution includes an
msmtprc syntax-highlighting script for Vim, which is available at
/usr/share/vim/vimfiles/syntax/msmtp.vim. The filetype is not detected automatically. The easiest way to enable it is by adding a modeline at the top or bottom of the file(s), i.e.:
Send mail with PHP using msmtp
Look for sendmail_path option in your
php.ini and edit like this:
sendmail_path = "/usr/bin/msmtp -C /path/to/your/config -t"
Note that you can not use a user configuration file (ie: one under ~/) if you plan on using msmtp as a sendmail replacement with php or something similar. In that case just create /etc/msmtprc, and remove your user configuration (or not if you plan on using it for something else). Also make sure it's readable by whatever you're using it with (php, django, etc...)
From the msmtp manual: Accounts defined in the user configuration file override accounts from the system configuration file. The user configuration file must have no more permissions than user read/write
So it's impossible to have a conf file under ~/ and have it still be readable by the php user.
To test it place this file in your php enabled server or using php-cli.
<?php mail("firstname.lastname@example.org", "Test email from PHP", "msmtp as sendmail for PHP"); ?>
Issues with TLS
If you see the following message:
msmtp: TLS certificate verification failed: the certificate hasn't got a known issuer
it probably means your tls_trust_file is not right.
Just follow the fine manual. It explains you how to find out the server certificate issuer of a given smtp server. Then you can explore the
/usr/share/ca-certificates/ directory to find out if by any chance, the certificate you need is there. If not, you will have to get the certificate on your own. If you are using your own certificate, you can make msmtp trust it by adding the following to your ~/.msmtprc:
tls_fingerprint <SHA1 (recommended) or MD5 fingerprint of the certificate>
If you are trying to send mail through GMail and are receiving this error, have a look at this thread or just use the second GMail example above.
If you are completely desperate, but are 100% sure you are communicating with the right server, you can always temporarily disable the cert check:
$ msmtp --tls-certcheck off
If you see the following message:
msmtp: TLS handshake failed: the operation timed out
You may be affected by this bug. Recompile with "--with-ssl=openssl" (msmtp is compiled with GnuTLS by default).
Server sent empty reply
If you get a "server sent empty reply" error, this probably means the mail server doesn't allow STARTTLS over port 587, but requires the nonstandard SSL/TLS over port 465.
To let msmtp use SSL/TLS over port 465, add the following line to
Issues with GSSAPI
If you get the following error
GNU SASL: GSSAPI error in client while negotiating security context in gss_init_sec_context() in SASL library. This is most likely due insufficient credentials or malicious interactions.
Try changing your auth setting to plain, instead of gssapi in your .msmtprc file :