I send email from my server like this:

echo "This is the body of the email" | mail -s "This is the subject line" user@example.com

Noted that I replace user@example.com with a real email address. And it works. Just I need to know, where this nickname comes from?

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I use ubuntu 14.04 on the server and I want to know how can I change that name?

2 Answers 2


Don't use mail, there are better command-line MUAs, such as mailx (package bsd-mailx) or mutt.

mailx will do what you want with the -r flag:

echo Test. | mailx -r "Joe Sender <sender@domain.com>" -s Test recipient@domain.com

You can likewise specify a display name for the recipient, by the way.

The nickname shown in for instance gmail.com comes from the part of the From field that is outside <sender@domain.com>, so in this example it would be Joe Sender.

  • Great .. thank you .. upvote. Just in reality my problem is this. if you have some free time, please take a look at it.
    – stack
    Dec 23, 2017 at 14:48
  • This does not work. When I send an email to my google mail account, it only shows the address sender@domain.com but not the "Joe Sender"...
    – bzero
    Aug 27, 2020 at 8:43

Using mail, you can set the username using the proper syntax, such as echo "Test" | mail -a "From: Someone <someone@example.com>" other@example.com.

  • 1
    Thanks! This is the only solution that works from all mentioned solutions...
    – bzero
    Aug 27, 2020 at 8:45

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