How to send and receive SMS text messages within Linux

Notes lifted from a mailing list thread:

Gary wrote:

> Has anyone got any ideas on how to send and receive SMS messages via Linux.
> What I am trying to do is send an SMS message from a script that will
> include an activation code (to confirm identity). We would then need to be
> able to receive a reply back to us via SMS that we can pipe into a script.

Get a old Nokia with a cable to the serial port and get the open source software gnokii

The software allows you to send SMS in class 1 and 2 and also tones and basic pictures not MMS. There is a bianry included in the package that will pull all incoming SMS off the phone and put it in a MySQL? database or you can use the main binary to pull SMS off and do what you like with it.

— Jon Farmer

Try this page:

I’ve successfully sent messages from Linux using a standard 56K modem and the TAP protocol. It may be more cost effective than buying some £180 gadget if you are sending fairly small volumes of messages (like a customer registering a product just once!).

Unfortunately this was ages ago and I can’t remember the name of the program – a command line tool – something like sms_send??? I think it came on an old Red Hat Powertools disc (one of the supplementary discs that used to come with the boxed sets).



I think it’s called sms_client. There is also yaps. I’ve used gnokii myself.


Andy Wootton wrote:

> There are SMS Gateways available as a service on the Net. I looked at a
> consumer version where you bought a batch of messages in advance then
> called off your messages against that. I believe there was a call (RPC?)
> interface and a commercial service with other payment options. The
> messages started off at about 10p and got cheaper with volume.

If you stick a Orange sim in a nokia phone with gnokii you can have 3000 MO SMS a month for £20. See

— Jon Farmer