My goal is to monitor a web page for text and trigger an email to myself either if the text is found, or if it is not, whichever is easier. I know there are some packages out there already to do this, but I'm trying to learn a bit more command line in the process of figuring this out.

The use case is to search for text like "sale starting in" or something like that, so I get an alert when that text is no longer there.

I've done some digging and have the two commands I need, but want to be able to tie them together into a job that I can schedule in cron. A single shell command line would be preferred. I do have perl installed if a script is needed.

An example of a successful search is

curl -s -k http://www.scifi-review.net | grep stettin

result: the source code line with the pattern mach

An example of no result is

curl -s -k http://www.scifi-review.net | grep xxxxxxx

result: just goes back to command line

My email command (I installed an configured ssmtp)

echo "Subject: Test"| ssmtp [email protected]

I'm looking at doing something like this:

If Curl command has NO output, run the email command. (preferred)


If Curl command HAS output, run the email command.


1 Answer 1


Assuming you are using bash as your shell,

if [[ $(curl -s -k http://www.scifi-review.net | grep stettin) ]]; then echo "Subject: Test"| ssmtp [email protected]; fi

  • I figured out the false version if [[ $(curl -s -k http://www.scifi-review.net | grep xxxxxxxxx) ]]; then echo "there was a match"; else echo "Subject: Test-false"| ssmtp [email protected]; fi
    – Stettin
    Mar 9, 2018 at 20:59

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .