Sending binary files through the mail

You can mail binary files between Unix systems that have the tarmail or uuencode utilities installed. Use the which command to find out if it is available on your system. More on uuencode.

The tarmail command converts the binary file into a text file and then compresses it to reduce its size. It then mails the file to the address given. For example:

   tarmail "prog i promised u" a.out

This sends the file a.out to the person whose mail address is The quoted text is used as information for the Subject: field.

tarmail can be used to send several files in the same mail message. For example:

   tarmail "that prog" prog.c a.out

This "tars up" the files prog.c and a.out into the single mail message.

Once the mail message containing the file reaches its destination, the person can save the mail message to a file and then decode the file using the untarmail command. For example:

   untarmail fromjohn

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