The default vacation handler is now gnarwl and may be configured via Horde or the command line. 


Configuring via Horde (preferred method)

It is possible to set your vacation message via Horde, the online mail client.  To access the vacation settings page, hover your mouse over the Mail dropdown and click on Vacation. You can also visit the following location, and then enter your login credentials.  



After finding the vacation settings page, the first thing to do is set a start and end date for your vacation to be displayed in the message.  Please note that all fields, even the hour and minute fields, must be filled in for both the start and end date. 



Next, you can fill in the header and the body of the email to determine what message will be displayed for those who try to contact you.  You can also adjust the frequency with which individuals are sent your vacation message.  This will limit the amount of times your vacation message is sent as a reply to those who contact you.



Finally, click on the "Save changes and Enable" button (see above).  If the update is successful, you should see two messages like the ones shown below, notifying you that your vacation message has been updated and is active.  You can turn off your message by clicking the "Disable and discard changes" buttom at the bottom of the screen, or can edit it and then leave the message enabled by clicking the "Save changes and leave enabled" button.


Disabling Vacation

Once your vacation dates are over, it will no longer send vacation auto-replies. You will need to turn off the vacation message by clicking the "Save and disable" button at the bottom of the screen.  If you click on "Save and disable" and then you see "End of vacation: Vacation end date is prior to today.", choose an End date that is today or later, then click on "Save and disable" again.


Configuring via Command line

start a terminal and type vacation

vacation in terminal

once inside the vacation application, menu items may be selected via numbers, q will be used to quit

inside vacation

In the above, the vacation is inactive, to activate type 0 then enter your password.

To change your vacation message, follow the prompts and then select an editor to use.  The default is vim.  You can also set the start and end dates for your vacation or remove the start and end dates.   Start and end dates are not required for vacation (gnarwl) to work properly.

Use the Unix vacation program. The vacation program will only send an auto-reply to each person who sends you mail only once, so it's best to include your return date. Also, vacation will not send auto-replies to mailing lists (it only replies to messages that have your address in the To: field)
Open up a terminal window and type:

Answer a series of questions. When you are done, your vacation message is set up.
You can specify dates and allow the vacation program to automatically return to normal mail when you return. Or you can do it manually by running the vacation command again when you return.

This program can be used to answer your mail automatically when you go away on vacation.

You have a message file in /home/guest/mguest19/.vacation.msg. Would you like to see it? (yes/no) Type yes or no

Subject: away from my mail

I will not be reading my mail for a while. Your mail regarding "$SUBJECT" will be read when I return.

Would you like to edit it? (yes/no) Type yes or no
You must edit using the vi editor commands. Vi Editor Cheat Sheet

To enable the vacation feature your .procmailrc file will be edited.

Would you like to enable the vacation feature? (yes/no)

Type yes or no
Would you like to specify a start date and an expiration date for the vacation feature? (yes/no)?
Type yes or no
Enter start month/day hour & minute in the form of MM/DD HH:MM (24 hour clock)
09/17 00:00
Make sure you follow the form in the example or you will have unexpected results

Enter expiry month/day hour & minute in the form of MM/DD HH:MM
09/25 00:00

Vacation feature is ENABLED

Away message will start on 09/17 at 00:00

Normal mail will resume on 09/25 at 00:00


Procmail (deprecated)


You may also use the old vacation program /usr/bin/vacation in a procmail configuration.  This is not recommended, however, since the original vacation program will automatically reply to lists, spam and other messages to which replies should not be sent.