vacation - return ``I am not here'' indication
vacation [ [-a alias] ...] login
The vacation program returns a message to the sender of a message
telling them that you are currently not reading your mail. The
intended use is in a .forward file in $HOME. For example, your
.forward file might contain:
\eric, "|/usr/bin/vacation -a allman eric"
which would send messages to you (assuming your login name was eric)
and reply to any messages for eric or allman. The \ preceding eric is
required to force direct delivery to eric's mailbox and prevent an
infinite loop through the .forward file. The double quotes are needed
to tell sendmail(1M) to treat the enclosed as a unit, rather than
separate recipients. It is also important to specify the full path
for the vacation program, and there must be no white space between the
| character and the start of the path name.
No message is sent unless login or an alias supplied using the -a
option is a substring of either the To: or Cc: headers of the mail.
No messages from ???-REQUEST, Postmaster, UUCP, MAILER, or MAILER-
DAEMON are replied to, nor is a notification sent if a Precedence:
bulk or Precedence: junk line is included in the mail headers. Only
one message per week is sent to each unique sender (at each unique
host system). The people who have sent you messages are recorded in a
database in the files .vacation.pag and .vacation.dir in your home
The vacation program expects a file .vacation.msg, in your home
directory, containing a message to be sent back to each sender. It
should be an entire message (including headers). For example, it
>From: ericATucbmonet.EDU (Eric Allman)
Subject: I am on vacation
X-Delivered-By-The-Graces-Of: The vacation program
I am on vacation until July 22. If you have something urgent,
please contact Joe Kalash <kalashATucbingres.EDU>.
Header lines in this file must be left justified and must not be
preceded by any other lines, including blank lines (see sendmail(1M)).
Hewlett-Packard Company - 1 - HP-UX Release 11i: November 2000
If there is no .vacation.msg file, vacation uses the following file
(if it exists):
Otherwise, it logs an error.
vacation reads the first line from the standard input (the incoming
mail message in the example .forward file above) for a UNIX style From
line to determine the sender. sendmail(1M) includes this From line
automatically, and its absence indicates non-mail input.
The vacation program supports the following options:
-i Initializes the vacation database files. This
option should be used before modifying a .forward
-a alias Identifies another name that can legitimately
appear in the To: line of the mail header instead
of your login name. More than one -a option can
LANG determines the language in which error messages are printed.
On error, vacation exits with a value from <<<<sysexits.h>>>> and causes
sendmail to report an error back to the sender of the original
message. Errors such as the absence of .vacation.msg or calling
vacation with incorrect arguments, are logged using syslogd on the
system where vacation actually runs (see syslogd(1M)). The syslog
file (/var/adm/syslog/mail.log by default - see /etc/syslog.conf and
syslogd(1M) for customizations) should be inspected when vacation
generates mailer error messages.
Remember that if the machine is configured for shared mail, inbound
mail is handled at the mail server rather than on mail client nodes.
This means that syslog diagnostics appear in the mail server's syslog;
not the client's syslog.
Errors in the .forward file can lead to loss of mail and infinite mail
Always send test mail to yourself after configuring vacation to be
sure that it is working properly. This is akin to checking telephone
forwarding before leaving for an extended period, and can prevent loss
Hewlett-Packard Company - 2 - HP-UX Release 11i: November 2000
Some mail recipients look for RFC-822 compliant To: header in their
incoming mail messages. Such recipients have to set the option
NoRecipientAction to add_to in the sendmail configuration file,
vacation was developed by Eric Allman and the University of
$HOME/.vacation.dir Database file.
$HOME/.vacation.msg Message to send.
$HOME/.vacation.pag Database file.
/usr/share/lib/vacation.def System-wide default header
/etc/syslog.conf Dictates where error
messages are recorded.
sendmail(1M), syslogd(1M), ndbm(3X).
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