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formmail.pl with file attachment

Posted on 2001-07-15
Last Modified: 2007-12-19
Can anyone help with modifications to formmail.pl so that I can use a "file" (browse) type field to the web form.

The "user's" selected file would then be sent as an email attachment along with the other data contained in the form.


Question by:gfergus
  • 5
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Expert Comment

by:christopher sagayam
ID: 6284291

Expert Comment

ID: 6284610
I think he is talking about formmail.pl from matt's script archive.

A lot of people use this script...

but it doesn't use the cgi module, and I don't have an non cgi upload script handy, but could dig one up I guess.


Expert Comment

ID: 6284616
and then there's the matter of a non perl module mailer that can attach a file

I've seen one again, in this ta (maneshr)...but I don't think he even got all the bugs out, best to use MIME::Lite.

so...it is either a ton of code, or he uses modules...

formail.pl itself is too big because it doesn't use cgi.

might as well just start from scratch and make one script that does it all.

but on the other hand, you could always tack on the cgi and mime modules into the formail.pl
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Author Comment

ID: 6287362
Thanks for your comments.

I'm getting the idea that there may not be a script similar to Matt's Script Archive 'formail.pl' that can handle file attachments. Is this the case?

Please tell me about the 'non perl module' mailer that can attach a file. That may be what I'm after.

Keep in mind the script/module has to run on a UNIX box.

Also, is it a difficult task to edit formmail.pl to use MIME for attachments?

Also, where can I find out about MIME:Lite?


Expert Comment

ID: 6288081

matt's formmail.pl is a really cool script, because it should run on any computer with perl, because it uses NO modules...

this attacher is not totally non module

it uses the CGI module to upload the file and doesn't use MIME at all...

the mainthing this shows is that you can send an attachment via email without MIME:Lite

also, the uploading can be done without CGI, but I haven't found that script yet...

keep in mind, all of these things can be done in 10-15 lines IF you use CGI and MIME:Lite.

but first, run this attached script and HTML page


<TITLE>Email your Resume</TITLE>

<form ENCTYPE="multipart/form-data" method=post action="/cgi-bin/attach_cv_details.pl">
<table border=1 cellspacing=3 cellpadding=4>

<TD><input type=text name=name></TD>

<TD><input type=text name=age size=4></TD>

<TD><input type=text name=address size=30></TD>

<TD><B>Your CV <I>(in MS-Word format)</I></B></TD>
<TD><input type=file name=cv></TD>

<TD align=center colspan=2><input type=submit value="Send it!!"></TD>



use CGI;

$query=new CGI;

##  Read HTML form variables into PERL variables

print "Content-type: text/html\n\n";

##  Location of the uploaded file

##  The sender of this form and the receiver of this email.
##  The sender can be the user himself/herself.
##  In that case you will have to add an extra element to the HTML form.
my($from,$to) = ("user_sending_cv\@resume.com","sender\@server.com");

##  Compose the text message.
$message= qq{A CV has been submitted from the web.
Here are the details.

Name: $name
Age: $age
Address: $address

Also find below the attached CV.



die('Sender name not found') if (! $from);

##  Now that the file has been uploaded to the server...
##  ...send it out as an email attachment.
$mailprog ="/usr/lib/sendmail";
open(MAIL, "| $mailprog -t ");
print MAIL "To: $to\n";
print MAIL "From: $from\n";
print MAIL "Subject: CV submitted from the Web!\n";
print MAIL "MIME-Version: 1.0\n";
print MAIL "Content-type: Multipart/1;\n";
print MAIL "\tboundary=$boundary\n";
print MAIL "\n";
print MAIL "\n";
print MAIL "--$boundary\n";

##  Print out any message sent with the email
if ($message){
 print MAIL "Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII\n";
 print MAIL "Content-description: Mail message body\n";
 print MAIL "Content-transfer-encoding: 7BIT\n";
 print MAIL "\n";
 print MAIL $message."\n";
 print MAIL "--$boundary\n";

##  Process the uploaded CV/Resume file.
$tmp_uploaded_file=~ s/\\/\//g;

$filename = $dir_to_store."/".$tmp_uploaded_file[$#tmp_uploaded_file];

##  Allow upload of ONLY those files that have the extension .doc
if (!($tmp_uploaded_file[$#tmp_uploaded_file] =~ /\.doc$/i )){
 print "<Font color=red>Invalid file type!!</FONT>\n";

##  The file type is valid (extension is valid!!).
open(MYFILE,"> $filename") || die $!;
binmode MYFILE;
 print MYFILE $data;

##  Print the header for that attachment.
print MAIL "Content-type: application/octet-stream; name=\"$filename\"; type=Unk
print MAIL "Content-transfer-encoding: BASE64\n";
print MAIL "Content-disposition: attachment\n";
print MAIL "\n";

##  Open the actual file and read its contents.
undef $/;
open(F, $filename) || die("Cannot read $filename: $!\n");
binmode F;
#$body = encode_base64(<F>);  ##  Use base64 for encoding the contents
$body = my_encode_base64(<F>);  ##  Use base64 for encoding the contents
close F;

##  Send out the contents!!
print MAIL $body;
print MAIL "\n";
print MAIL "--$boundary\n";

print "<P><B>Your resume has been E-mailed as an attachment.!!</B><br>\n";
##  Indicate end of all attachments.
print MAIL "--$boundary--\n";

sub my_encode_base64 ($;$){
 my $res = "";
 my $eol = $_[1];
 $eol = "\n" unless defined $eol;
 pos($_[0]) = 0;                          # ensure start at the beginning
 while ($_[0] =~ /(.{1,45})/gs) {
   $res .= substr(pack('u', $1), 1);
 $res =~ tr|` -_|AA-Za-z0-9+/|;               # `# help emacs
 # fix padding at the end
 my $padding = (3 - length($_[0]) % 3) % 3;
 $res =~ s/.{$padding}$/'=' x $padding/e if $padding;
 # break encoded string into lines of no more than 76 characters each
 if (length $eol) {
   $res =~ s/(.{1,76})/$1$eol/g;

if that works well enough for you, I can combine it with a non-module upload script and it might work with formmail.pl

if not,

then you can do something like

use CGI ':standard';
use MIME::Lite;


###assumed attachment field is called filef


open OUT, "attachfile.dat"  
####filename & path is in $fh, you will need to get just the filename (not in this example)
print OUTF $buffer;

close OUT;

foreach(keys %values)
$msg.=$_ . "\t=\t" . $values{$_} . "\n";

my $mail = MIME::Lite->new(
Type=>'multipart/mixed') or warn "creation prob $!";
attach $mail(Type=>'TEXT',Data=>$msg) or warn "can't attach msg $!";
attach $mail(Type=>'BINARY',
Path=>'path/filename.ext',Filename=>'filename.ext') or warn "can't put file $!";
$mail->send() or warn "can't send $!";

That is just an example, and needs a little fleshing out.

but you can see how much shorter that is.


Author Comment

ID: 6288811
Thanks Bob

It looks great. I'll set it up tonight and see how it goes.

I'll let you know ASAP.


Author Comment

ID: 6291189
Hi Bob

Had some problem with the html/script. The html worked ok but the broswer reported 'Internal server error 500' and displayed the path to the perl script in the address bar. There was no email sent and I could not find the 'uploaded' file on the server. I checked the existing formmail.pl script/html and it works with email OK (but does not include a function to upload files).

I have the necessary permission to edit then upload the scripts but I am limited to ftp access. The cgi scripts are contained in a directory called '/cgi' and the html lives in a directory called '/web'. There was no directory called '/tmp' and I was not permmited to create one in '/' but I could create '/web/tmp'. I used 'web/tmp' as the location for the uploaded file.

Maybe I need to find or setup a directory (such as /tmp) that has the correct permissions to allow writing a new file? I found a directory '/files' , maybe I could use '/files' for the upload directory...

I only have ftp access to the UNIX server. However I probably could request a simple change to a system, directory or file permission/security setting.

Please desribe the code I can use to debug the perl script. For example, a piece of code that would write out the current variables and display them in a html page, returned to the original html request.

By what process does the user's file get uploaded to the UNIX server? Is it a function of the html form field of type 'file' or is it required that the perl script read in the user's file-path from the form-field type 'file' and then conduct a simple ftp function to upload the file?
Is there a system setting or process block that restricts uploading of a file to the UNIX web server?
Could you write a simple script\html  to confirm that the upload function is available?

It seems to me I am asking a lot from you. If you can help I am willing to help you in return with an increase in points awarded or whatever you may suggest, thanks.


Author Comment

ID: 6291204
Also to help me understand what's happening, a couple more questions....

In the script, what is the function of:
and what is the significance of the number 19990614 ?

Where in the script, is the file uploaded?

In the HTML, what is the function of:
in the form header and how does it work?



Accepted Solution

bebonham earned 100 total points
ID: 6302826

maneshr's script writes mime..

this is a MIME content seperator.

the file would be uploaded to the current working directory.

the ENCTYPE tells the browser to send a file, and not just the filename...it is a requirement for uploading and the FILE input type.


Author Comment

ID: 6625788
Thanks for all your help!

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