vacation - reply to mail automatically
vacation [ -I | -i ]
vacation [ -j ] [ -a alias ] [ -tN ] [ -r ] [ -? ] 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 and/or edit a .vacation.msg file
in your home directory. The old .vacation.msg will be backed up to
.vacation.old file. 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).
The fields `From', `From:' and `Reply-To:' are evaluated in the follow-
ing order: If there is a `Reply-To:', and the option -r is given, then
its entry is accepted. Otherwise, the entry of the `From:' field is
taken. Should this entry lack a complete domain address (e.g. user@site
instead of firstname.lastname@example.org), vacation evaluates the `From' field, con-
verting the contained UUCP bang path into a domain style address. If
this fails too, vacation gives up.
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 one of the strings
-request@, postmaster, uucp, mailer-daemon, mailer or -relay or if a
`Precedence: bulk' or `Precedence: junk' or `Precedence: list' line is
included in the header. The search for special senders is made case-
-I Initialize the .vacation.db file and start vacation.
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:
N is the number of days between replies. Default is one week.
-r If there is a `Reply-To:' header, send the automatic reply to
the address given there. Otherwise, use the `From:' entry.
-? issue short usage line.
The vacation, create a .forward file in your home directory containing
a line of the form:
\username, "|/usr/bin/vacation username"
where username is your login name. The original .forward will be backed
up to .forward.old file.
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 create a new .vaca-
tion.msg file for you, using the editor specified by the VISUAL or EDI-
TOR environment variable, or vi(1) if neither of those environment
variables are set. If a .forward file is not present in your home
directory, it creates it for you, and automatically performs a `vaca-
tion -I' function, turning on vacation.
A list of senders is kept in the file .vacation.db in your home direc-
vacation is Copyright (c) 1983 by Eric P. Allman, University of Berke-
ley, California, and Copyright (c) 1993 by Harald Milz
(email@example.com). Tiny patches 1998 by Mark Seuffert (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Now maintained by Sean Rima (email@example.com)
3rd Berkeley Distribution March 2000 vacation(1)