I want to send a fixed email reminder from my email address every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to a bunch of people.

How do I go about setting this up using crontab?

I have an email account on the mail server where I will setup the cron job, but the outgoing mails will be to gmail and hotmail accounts.

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    Try running echo 'test' | mail -s 'test' user@example.com (substitute the email address for something valid) from the terminal - if it works, you might use it as a basic method for sending notifications. There's a problem with gmail not providing whitelisting though, so you can't be sure it won't be filtered by spam filters. For the crontab part, you might package commands into a script and call it up from crontab or simply do 10 10 * * * echo 'message' | /usr/bin/mail -s 'subject' user@example.com. Aug 14, 2013 at 12:53

2 Answers 2


First, see this post to see how you can send an email from terminal. Once you solved this problem and you can send emails from terminal, the following method should work to setup cron job to send emails.

Edit the crontab entries using crontab -e command (by default this will edit the current logged-in users crontab) and add the following line:

0 0 * * 1,3,5 $HOME/scripts/send_email.sh >> $HOME/tmp/out 2>&1

Now you should create send_email.sh script. Something like this:


recipients="user0@domain.com user1@domain.com user2@domain.com"

cat $HOME/email_message | mail -s $subject $recipients

$HOME/email_message is the message (file) you want to send.

Don't forget to grant execute access for the script:

chmod +x $HOME/scripts/send_email.sh

If the recipe given in the links above for sending email from the terminal does not work for you right away, then setting up the right postfix configuration can be a pain. See sendEmail http://caspian.dotconf.net/menu/Software/SendEmail/ for a quick alternative solution.

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    Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. Oct 26, 2013 at 2:46

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