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Vacation Autoresponder
Author - Nic Maurel

For all of you System Admins out there running Postfix mail servers looking for some sort of auto responder for your boss when he/she goes on holiday, then look no more, you've come to the right place. Vacation is a simple tool that is easy to compile and allows your email server to autorespond to you emails for you.

Requirements:
Right, once all your requirements are met. Then we get onto the good stuff...

Lets assume our user's name was "bob", log onto a terminal as root and type the following (Please note: all the commands must be executed as the user you are doing it for):
# su - bob

First we create our vacation message
$ vi $HOME/.vacation.msg
    Subject: RE: OUT OF OFFICE
        From:  bob@bobenterprises.com
        I will be on holiday on the ski slopes of Switzerland between 17  Jan and 14 August 2007
    Your mail regarding "$SUBJECT" will be dealt with when I return.
    Regards
    Bob

Save your file and exit. We now create our forward file
$ vi $HOME/.forward

              \bob, "|/usr/bin/vacation -j bob"

Save your file and exit. We now initialise the database
$ /usr/bin/vacation -I

This initializes the .vacation.db file and starts vacation. Now send a test mail obviously if you get an auto reply then it's working otherwise troubleshoot your maillogs to try and trace the problem. Simple as that. To stop it all you need to do is rename the .forward file or delete it.

Final Words
Although Outlook does have an option to do an autoresponse, this will only work if your laptop or desktop is on all the time. This is not always feasible so I find this a very useful tool for someone using a linux postfix server. Enjoy