patch2mail – patch notification via mail


Server admins know the problem: There’s no good and simple tool available to get an email notification when new security updates are available.

patch2mail is a simple tool that fills this gap and mails you whenever new updates are available.

In theory, you could use

zypper lu | mail -s updates root

but this will also send a mail if no update is available.

I was annoyed by that and therefore wrote this little tool, consisting of a shell script and a XSLT file to transform the zypper XML output to text.

Usage is easy: Download the RPM from and install it on your server. Make sure you receive mails for root (for example setup mail forwarding in /etc/aliases). That’s it. The script directly installs to /etc/cron.daily and will inform you when new updates are available.

patch2mail is available for openSUSE 10.2 and 10.3.

If you want to know in advance how the update notification mails look, have a look at this example mail:

Subject:  updates

=== foobar-libs - Patch 1234-0 (security) ===

foobar-libs: fixed security issue when doing foo.

This patch contains the fix for a security problem when
doing foo. [... long patch description continues ...]

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