We’ll end this chapter on electronic mail by looking at a few related tools and utilities.
You should be aware of the
vacation program (included with the
sendmail package). It is a utility for
automatically sending a predefined reply to all arriving mail while a
user is away from email access. To use it, the user creates a file named
.vacation.msg in his home directory
and creates a .forward file
containing an entry like the following:
This sends each mail message to the user’s usual mailbox and pipes it to the vacation program, giving the username as its argument. The slash is needed before the username to create a terminal mail destination and avoid an infinite loop.
Finally, the user activates the service with the following command:
move or remove the .forward
without any arguments triggers an automated setup process. First, a
message file is created and started in a text editor (selected via the
EDITOR environment variable). The
program then automatically creates a .forward file and runs
vacation -I. As a side effect, any existing
.forward file is lost.
Next, you might find useful these commands that notify
users that they have received new mail:
coolmail (a prettier
xbiff written by Byron C. Darrah and Randall K. Sharpe; I found it on the Internet
at http://www.redhat.com/swr/src/coolmail-1.3-9.src_dl.html, but it ...