Thursday, July 24, 2008

Creating an Evolution e-mail from the command line and python

Evolution is intended as a GUI e-mail client, so the scripting options are limited. Also, it looks like you cannot autosend e-mail from a script, there's so script command equivalent to the 'send' button.

But that's a good thing; I can autosend from nail when I want to. So a script will compose the e-mail, which will sit on my desktop until I review it and click to send it. Nice.

shell command source

This command creates a window with To:, From:, Subject:, and Body filled in. 'From:' is already known by Evolution, the rest is parsed from the following command:


Another (easier) way:
evolution""\&subject="This Is The Subject"\&body="This is the body of the message"\&attach=Desktop/test_file.xml
  • evolution - Launches Evolution's e-mail composer and To: line
  • ?cc="" - CC: Line
  • \&subject="Subject" or ?subject="Subject" - Subject line
  • \&body="Body" - Body of the e-mail is everything after this line
  • \&attach=/path/file - Files to attach
  • %20 - Space
  • %0D%0A - CR/LF (new line)
  • %09 - Tab

python command

Python 2.x has it's own smtp module for creating e-mail, it's far more useful in most circumstances. But in this case, we want the composed evolution window.

import os
body_string = 'This is the body of the e-mail message'
body_string = body_string.replace(' ','%20')
os.popen('evolution\&body=' + body_string)
  • import os - Use python's os module
  • body_string = 'This is the body of the e-mail message' - The body in normal text
  • body_string = body_string.replace(' ','%20') - Encode the spaces (evolution will decode them). Tabs, newlines, and other reserved strings need to be encoded.
  • os.popen('evolution\&body=' + body_string) - The 'os.popen(cmd)' executes shell cmd. Note that cmd is just a python string, and you can use all the string tools on it, like adding body_string.
>>> import os
>>> to = ''
>>> cc = '""'
>>> subject = '"This is the subject"'
>>> body = '"This is the body"'
>>> attachment = 'Desktop/rss_test.xml'
>>> os.popen('evolution mailto:'+to+'?cc='+cc+'\&subject='+subject+'\&body='+body+'\&attachment='+attachment)

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