Pony, the express way to send email in Ruby


Ruby no longer has to be jealous of PHP's mail() function, which can send an email in a single command.

Pony.mail(:to => 'you@example.com', :from => 'me@example.com', :subject => 'hi', :body => 'Hello there.')
Pony.mail(:to => 'you@example.com', :html_body => '<h1>Hello there!</h1>', :body => "In case you can't read html, Hello there.")
Pony.mail(:to => 'you@example.com', :cc => 'him@example.com', :from => 'me@example.com', :subject => 'hi', :body => 'Howsit!')

Any option key may be omitted except for :to. For a complete list of options, see List Of Options section below.


Pony uses /usr/sbin/sendmail to send mail if it is available, otherwise it uses SMTP to localhost.

This can be over-ridden if you specify a via option:

Pony.mail(:to => 'you@example.com', :via => :smtp) # sends via SMTP

Pony.mail(:to => 'you@example.com', :via => :sendmail) # sends via sendmail

You can also specify options for SMTP:

Pony.mail(:to => 'you@example.com', :via => :smtp, :via_options => {
  :address        => 'smtp.yourserver.com',
  :port           => '25',
  :user_name      => 'user',
  :password       => 'password',
  :authentication => :plain, # :plain, :login, :cram_md5, no auth by default
  :domain         => "localhost.localdomain" # the HELO domain provided by the client to the server

Gmail example (with TLS/SSL)

Pony.mail(:to => 'you@example.com', :via => :smtp, :via_options => {
  :address              => 'smtp.gmail.com',
  :port                 => '587',
  :enable_starttls_auto => true,
  :user_name            => 'user',
  :password             => 'password',
  :authentication       => :plain, # :plain, :login, :cram_md5, no auth by default
  :domain               => "localhost.localdomain" # the HELO domain provided by the client to the server

And options for Sendmail:

Pony.mail(:to => 'you@example.com', :via => :smtp, :via_options => {
  :location  => '/path/to/sendmail' # this defaults to 'which sendmail' or '/usr/sbin/sendmail' if 'which' fails
  :arguments => '-t' # -t and -i are the defaults


You can attach a file or two with the :attachments option:

Pony.mail(..., :attachments => {"foo.zip" => File.read("path/to/foo.zip"), "hello.txt" => "hello!"})

Note: An attachment's mime-type is set based on the filename (as dictated by the ruby gem mime-types). So 'foo.pdf' has a mime-type of 'application/pdf'

Custom Headers

Pony allows you to specify custom mail headers

  :to => 'me@example.com', 
  :headers => { "List-ID" => "...", "X-My-Custom-Header" => "what a cool custom header" }

List Of Options

Options passed pretty much directly to Mail

body # the plain text body
html_body # for sending html-formatted email
charset # In case you need to send in utf-8 or similar
attachments # see Attachments section above
headers # see Custom headers section above

Other options

via # :smtp or :sendmail, see Transport section above
via_options # specify transport options, see Transport section above

Set default options

Default options can be set so that they don't have to be repeated. The default options you set will be overriden by any options you pass in to Pony.mail()

Pony.options = { :from => 'noreply@example.com', :via => :smtp, :via_options => { :host => 'smtp.yourserver.com' } }
Pony.mail(:to => 'foo@bar') # Sends mail to foo@bar from noreply@example.com using smtp 
Pony.mail(:from => 'pony@example.com', :to => 'foo@bar') # Sends mail to foo@bar from pony@example.com using smtp


If you need help using Pony, or it looks like you've found a bug, we have a google group setup at: ponyrb@googlegroups.com.

External Dependencies

mail > 2.0

Note: these requirements are specified in the gemspec as well. Also, you may need smtp_tls if you want to send via tls/ssl and are using ruby < 1.8.7


Maintained by Ben Prew

Written by Adam Wiggins

Patches contributed by: Arun Thampi, Hiroshi Saito, Jesse Cooke, Mathieu Martin, Neil Mock, Nickolas Means, Othmane Benkirane, Rick Olson Stephen Celis, Thomas Hurst, Kalin Harvey Carl Hörberg

Released under the MIT License: www.opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.php

homepage: github.com/benprew/pony mailing list: ponyrb@googlegroups.com



  • Remove limitations on :via, and let mail handle it (this means you can say things like :via => test)

  • Add reply-to option and a bundler file


  • Add default options


  • Convert to using Mail as the mail-generation backend, instead of TMail


  • provide the ability to set custom mail headers with something like:

Pony.mail(:headers => => “…”)

  • provide the ability to set the Message-Id from Pony.mail


  • merge in kalin's fixes to use tmail.destinations instead of trying to parse tmail.to, tmail.cc and tmail.bcc. New specs to test functionality


  • Fix bug that was allowing nil :bcc and :cc options to be passed to smtp


  • Pass :cc and :bcc options to sendmail appropriately


  • Add :bcc capability

  • Add :charset capability

  • Add complete list of options to readme

  • fix bug: readme examples


  • default location of sendmail to /usr/sbin/sendmail if sendmail not in path

  • fix bug: README not showing password option (listed as pass)


  • Add :cc capability

  • fix bug: resolve body not displaying when attachments sent


  • Implemented file attachments option

  • use TLS if :tls => true