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vacation [options ] [user ]

Automatically return a mail message to the sender announcing that you are on vacation. Solaris version, for use with sendmail . (The SVR4 version is described in Appendix B .)

Use vacation with no options to initialize the vacation mechanism. The process performs several steps.

  1. Create a .forward file in your home directory. The .forward file contains:

    , "|/usr/bin/vacation user

    user is your login name. The action of this file is to actually deliver the mail to user (i.e., you), and to run the incoming mail through vacation .

  2. Create the .vacation.pag and .vacation.dir files. These files keep track of who has sent you messages, so that they only receive one "I'm on vacation" message from you per week.

  3. Start an editor to edit the contents of .vacation.msg . The contents of this file are mailed back to whoever sends you mail. Within its body, $SUBJECT is replaced with the contents of the incoming message's Subject: line.

Remove or rename the .forward file to disable vacation processing.


The -a , -j , and -t options are used within a .forward file; see the Example.

-a alias

Mail addressed to alias is actually mail for the user and should produce an automatic reply.


Reinitialize the .vacation.pag and .vacation.dir files. Use this right before leaving for your next vacation.


Do not verify that user appears in the To: or Cc: headers.

-t interval

By default, no more than one message per week is sent to any sender. This option changes that interval. interval is a number with a trailing s , m , h , d , or w indicating seconds, minutes, hours, days, or weeks, respectively.


Send no more than one reply every three weeks to any given sender:

$ cd

$ vacation -I

$ cat .forward

\jp, "|/usr/bin/vacation -t3w jp"
$ cat .vacation.msg

From: jp@wizard-corp.com (J. Programmer, via the vacation program)
Subject: I'm out of the office ...

Hi. I'm off on a well-deserved vacation after finishing
up whizprog 1.0. I will read and reply to your mail
regarding "$SUBJECT" when I return.

Have a nice day.

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