VACATION(1) General Commands Manual VACATION(1)
vacation - reply to mail automatically
vacation [ -I ]
vacation [ -j ] [ -a alias ] [ -tN ] username
vacation automatically replies to incoming mail. The reply is con-
tained in the file .vacation.msg in your home directory. The vacation
program run interactively will create a .vacation.msg file for you
(which you may edit). Type vacation with no arguments. (See USAGE
For example, the message created by vacation is:
Subject: away from my mail
From: smith (via the vacation program)
I will not be reading my mail for a while.
Your mail regarding "$SUBJECT" will be read when I return
The .vacation.msg file should include a header with at least a `Sub-
ject:' line (it should not contain a `To:' line and need not contain a
`From:' line, since these are generated automatically).
If the string $SUBJECT appears in the .vacation.msg file, it is
replaced with the subject of the original message when the reply is
No message is sent if the `To:' or the `Cc:' line does not list the
user to whom the original message was sent or one of a number of
aliases for them, if the initial From line includes the string
-REQUEST@, or if a `Precedence: bulk' or `Precedence: junk' line is
included in the header.
-I Initialize the .vacation.pag and .vacation.dir files and start
If the -I flag is not specified, and a user argument is given, vacation
reads the first line from the standard input (for a `From:' line, no
colon). If absent, it produces an error message. The following
options may be specified:
Indicate that alias is one of the valid aliases for the user
running vacation, so that mail addressed to that alias generates
-j Do not check whether the recipient appears in the `To:' or the
-tN Change the interval between repeat replies to the same sender.
The default is 1 week. A trailing s, m, h, d, or w scales N to
seconds, minutes, hours, days, or weeks respectively.
To start vacation, create a .forward file in your home directory con-
taining a line of the form:
\username, "|/usr/ucb/vacation username"
where username is your login name.
Then type in the command:
To stop vacation, remove the .forward file, or move it to a new name.
If vacation is run with no arguments, it will permit you to interac-
tively turn vacation on or off. It will create a .vacation.msg file
for you, or edit an existing one, using the editor specified by the
VISUAL or EDITOR environment variable, or vi(1) if neither of those
environment variables are set. If a .forward file is present in your
home directory, it will ask whether you want to remove it and turn off
vacation. If it is not present in your home directory, it creates it
for you, and automatically performs a `vacation -I' function, turning
A list of senders is kept in the files .vacation.pag and .vacation.dir
in your home directory.
25 November 1987 VACATION(1)