Setup Command Line Email and Email Alerts


Once you’ve got your server up and running the last thing you want to be doing is logging onto it every 5 minutes to check everything is ok. I instead want my server to be able to email me for any important events.

Whilst you can install and configure a fully featured email system you really don’t need to do so if all you want to do is send emails and not receive them too. I use msmtp which is a simple Mail Transfer Agent (MTA).

It’s easy enough to install:

sudo apt-get install msmtp msmtp-mta

Then you need a configuration file at /etc/msmtprc. Set it up with the following:

sudo touch /etc/msmtprc
sudo chmod 600 /etc/msmtprc

Then edit the file however you like with the following:

# A system wide configuration is optional.
# If it exists, it usually defines a default account.
# This allows msmtp to be used like /usr/sbin/sendmail.
account default

# The SMTP smarthost.
auth on
host smtp.gmail.com
port 587
user [email protected]
from [email protected]
password senderpassword
tls on
tls_starttls on
tls_trust_file /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt

# Alias file for local emails
aliases /etc/aliases

# Syslog logging with facility LOG_MAIL instead of the default LOG_USER.
syslog LOG_MAIL

Now your system can send mail using the sendmail command or msmtp.
In order to receive emails directed at root or postmaster or localuser, you also need to add an alias file at /etc/aliases with the following contents:

root: [email protected]
default: [email protected]

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