describing my specific case; on our centOS 6.6 final servers , I've installed yum-cron, in order to schedule a check every night if there are updates from the active repositories.

I preferred to avoid the auto-installation, also following is the snippet of config file : /etc/sysconfig/yum-cron :

# Pass any given paramter to yum, as run in all the scripts invoked
# by this package.  Be aware that this is global, and yum is invoked in
# several modes by these scripts for which your own parameter might not
# be appropriate

# Don't install, just check (valid: yes|no)

# Check to see if you can reach the repos before updating (valid: yes|no)

At the beginning I've configured also the MAILTO parameter, in order to receive the notification email externally (eg.: phil@gmail.com), but some week later I've started thinking it was not a really good practice to send out via email information about installed packages, also I modified MAILTO parameter in order to keep these info inside the server, like this:

# by default MAILTO is unset, so crond mails the output by itself
# example:  MAILTO=root

The only remaining problem, is that it is not very handy to go check internal email everytime, without know if there are updates. For this reason I was thinking if it somebody knows a way to send an external notification to phil@gmail.com (eg: "user root @ server A received an internal email) without saying any other information

Thanks in advance for any suggestion


Check if the mailbox file for root (possibly /var/mail/root) is more recent than that of a file touched by the previous check. If so, generate a mail. Regardless, touch the last-checked file. Run this script from cron.



if [ $FILE_TO_CHECK -nt $LAST_RUN_FILE ]; then
  echo "file is newer, hooray"


Another option would be to collect the mail spools somewhere (e.g. via rsync) and then have a webpage or some other sort of dashboard showing that collected information.

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