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Python script to send HTML email from command line
This is a sample email taken from
and used to test the GMail actions support.
<script type="application/ld+json">
"@context": "",
"@type": "EmailMessage",
"description": "Check this out",
"action": {
"@type": "ViewAction",
"url": ""
This a test for a Go-To action in Gmail.
# Simple script used to send an HTML file as an HTML formatted email,
# using Gmail's SMTP service. Used for testing HTML emails.
# The core message-sending code is taken from the docs:
# The code for correctly authenticating against Gmail comes from:
import smtplib
import argparse
from getpass import getpass
from email.mime.multipart import MIMEMultipart
from email.mime.text import MIMEText
def parse_args():
Parse script input arguments.
Returns the parsed args, having validated that the input
file can be read, and that there is a valid Username.
parser = get_parser()
args = parser.parse_args()
# artificially adding this to args, so that
# it can be passed around easily
args.html = open(args.html_filename).read()
# we have to have a valid Gmail account in order to access the SMTP service
if args.username is None:
args.username = raw_input('Gmail username: ')
return args
def get_parser():
""" Return the parser used to interpret the script arguments."""
usage = (
"Script to send an HTML file as an HTML email, using Google's SMTP server."
"\n1. Send the contents of test_file.html to fred"
"\n$ test_file.html"
"\n2. Send the mail to both fred and bob"
"\n$ test_file.html"
"\n3. Use as the Gmail authenticating account"
"\n$ test_file.html -u"
"\n4. Override the default test mail subject line"
"\n$ test_file.html -t 'Test email'"
"\n5. Turn on SMTP debugging"
"\n$ test_file.html -d"
epilog = "NB This script requires a Gmail account."
parser = argparse.ArgumentParser(description=usage, epilog=epilog,
# maintains raw formatting, instead of wrapping lines automatically
parser.add_argument('recipients', help='The recipient email addresses (space delimited)', nargs='+')
parser.add_argument('html_filename', help='The HTML file to use as the email body content')
parser.add_argument('-s', '--sender',
help='The sender email address (defaults to <>)',
parser.add_argument('-u', '--username',
help=('A valid Gmail user account (used to authenticate against Google\'s SMTP service). '
'If this argument is not supplied, the user will be prompted to type it in.')
parser.add_argument('-t', '--title',
help='The test email subject line (defaults to "Test email")',
default="Test email"
parser.add_argument('-p', '--plain',
help=('The test email plain text content. This script is designed primarily for the '
'testing of HTML emails, so this text is really just a placeholder, for completeness. '
'The default is "This is a test email (plain text)."'),
default="This is a test email (plain text)"
parser.add_argument('-d', '--debug', action='store_true',
help=('Use this option to turn on DEBUG for the SMTP server interaction.')
return parser
def print_args(args):
"""Print out the input arguments."""
print 'Sending test email to: %s' % args.recipients
print 'Sending test email from: %s' % args.sender
print 'Using Gmail account: %s' % args.username
def create_message(args):
""" Create the email message container from the input args."""
# Create message container - the correct MIME type is multipart/alternative.
msg = MIMEMultipart('alternative')
msg['Subject'] = args.title
msg['From'] = args.sender
msg['To'] = ','.join(args.recipients)
# Record the MIME types of both parts - text/plain and text/html.
part1 = MIMEText(args.plain, 'plain')
part2 = MIMEText(args.html, 'html')
# Attach parts into message container.
# According to RFC 2046, the last part of a multipart message, in this case
# the HTML message, is best and preferred.
return msg
def main():
args = parse_args()
msg = create_message(args)
smtpserver = smtplib.SMTP("", 587)
# getpass() prompts the user for their password (so it never appears in plain text)
smtpserver.login(args.username, getpass())
# sendmail function takes 3 arguments: sender's address, recipient's address
# and message to send - here it is sent as one string.
smtpserver.sendmail(args.sender, args.recipients, msg.as_string())
print "Message sent to '%s'." % args.recipients
except smtplib.SMTPAuthenticationError as e:
print "Unable to send message: %s" % e
if __name__ == "__main__":

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commented Aug 28, 2015

Thanks for sharing!

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