I've almost entirely re-written the
program that originally came with Sendmail. My new version tries much
harder to be a proper Mail User Agent as defined by
RFC 2822. It
replies as to your mail as you would, and keeps a little database of
recent correspondents to which it has sent a reply to so that it can
avoid sending multiple annoying replies to every message someone sends
to you, resending a new reply only every week or so. It also avoids
sending replies to mailing list mail, bounces of your own mail, etc.
This version has many other enhancements and many, many, bug fixes over
vacation replies to your personal e-mail on your behalf
while you are away on vacation. You simply write a template message to
be sent to your correspondents and arrange to have copies of your
incoming e-mail piped to this program.
So, just what does this
vacation have to offer? Here's a
list of some of the most interesting features:
As of the last time this web page was updated the current release was: 2.0.
The most recent release is always available as
The current release distribution is just the BSD source. It should be reasonably portable to any modern POSIX(2001)-compatible Unix-like system. I believe it needs only a NetBSD-compatible asprintf(3), a 4.4BSD-compaible fgetln(3), and a BSD-compatible db(3) over and above what's available in most standard Unix/POSIX libraries.
You can read the
vacation manual page online.
My version of
vacation is listed on FreshMeat.net at
Make it easier to specify recipient addresses, including wildcard or RE
matching. This probably means adding support for a default flat-file
list of aliases, such as
also multiple ``login'' parameters could be allowed as well, and they
could be full addresses too, effectively deprecating the need for `-a'.
Add a command-line option to allow the user to specify a (list of) header fields (body and/or contents, substring, exact, or RE?) that should be used to mark messages that should not be responded to.
Provide better conformance to RFC 3834 (Automatic E-mail Responses).
Make it easier to initialize a default template message.
These and other ideas are better documented in the
file which accompanies the distribution.
Patches and bug reports always welcome! See the contact address below!
The original version of
vacation upon which this version is
based came from NetBSD.
The 2.0 release used a half-baked RFC-822 header reader borrowed from the BSD Mail program, and it parsed out mailbox names from recipient headers using very basic string comparison tricks, which sometimes worked. More recent releases include a from-scratch, complete, RFC 2822 header and address parser which has been well tested and which is known to accept all valid address list syntax.