How to change the mail FROM address in Red Hat Linux 6? I send a mail by using this script:


echo ${BODY}| mail -s ${SUBJECT} ${TO_ADDRESS} -- -r ${FROM_ADDRESS}

But the email address in the FROM field is always root@redhat.localdomain How to change the FROM address to something like myaddress@gmail.com

  • Try moving the -r ... to just after mail. Also, it depends on which mail client you are using. What does rpm -qf /usr/bin/mail say? – meuh May 26 '16 at 7:57
  • If you don't want mail to stop processing options, then don't put -- before -r. Also, you really should double-quote your variables, even if they are in curly-braces - curly braces are not a substitute for proper variable quoting, they are for disambiguating a var from surrounding text (e.g. ${foo}123 means the contents of $foo followed by 123 while $foo123 means the contents of variable $foo123). `"${SUBJECT}" and "${BODY}" especially need it as they contain unescaped space characters. but double-quote ALL of them, not just $SUBJECT and $BODY. – cas May 26 '16 at 9:22

You can specify any extra header you may need with -a

$echo "This is the main body of the mail" | mail -s "Some random subject" -a "From: some@domain.com" to@domain.com

Alternative Solution

In my version of mail, the following options work for controlling the source / reply addresses

  • the -a switch, for additional headers to apply, supplying a From: header on the command line that will be appended to the outgoing mail header
  • the $REPLYTO environment variable specifies a Reply-To: header

so the following sequence

export REPLYTO=to@example.com
mail -aFrom:from@example.com -s 'Testing'

The result, in my mail clients, is a mail from from@example.com, which any replies to will default to to@example.com

NOTE by @Rui F Ribeiro: only the root user is able to change the From field.

  • 2
    +1 for the post. I also suggest you adding to your answer that with this method, only the root user is able to change the From field. Mainly because developers often have a hard time understanding why with sendmail compatible APIs they are not able to change the From address, and while talking via a TCP based API/function, they can change it at will. – Rui F Ribeiro May 26 '16 at 8:48
  • @RuiFRibeiro Thanks for your suggestion. Updated the answer. You can update my answer for more details if you want. – Rahul May 26 '16 at 9:04

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