Postfix Vacation Message

The idea of a vacation message is kindof odd to me, but I had one client request it today, so took a look at configuring it. On RHEL/CentOS distros, the ‘vacation’ binary is distributed with sendmail, and is not available with postfix, so you have to build it yourself. Fortunately, it is about the easiest thing I have ever compiled.

[root@host ~]# yum install gdbm-devel
[root@host ~]# cd /usr/local/src/
[root@host ~]# wget
[root@host ~]# tar -xvzf vacation*
[root@host ~]# cd vacation-
[root@host ~]# make
[root@host ~]# make install

That’s it. Not even a configure script. That should install the vacation binary in /usr/bin/vacation.

Now just create a vacation message by putting a ‘.vacation.msg’ in the user’s home directory with the auto-reply content:

Subject: On vacation message.

I'm on vacation and will not be reading my mail for a while.
Your mail will be dealt with when I return. 

And finally, create a .forward file that tells your mail program to deliver to the vacation program:

\myuser, "|/usr/bin/vacation  myuser"

That should be it. I tested and verified that it works. Note that you have to provide a to: header with the recipient’s address.

Next, I might try some experiments to see if I can get it to work with virtual users.

6 thoughts on “Postfix Vacation Message”

  1. Rather than creating the vacation message file and forward file yourself it might be easier to just run “vacation” to set it up. 🙂

    Chris (vacation maintainer)

  2. Hmm. No worky for me on CentOS 5
    make – make: Nothing to be done for `all’.
    make install –
    ./ /usr/man/man1/vacation.1
    /bin/sh: /usr/man/man1/vacation.1: No such file or directory
    make: *** [install] Error 1

  3. Thanks mate. regarding the error the only step you need to add before the make command is:

    mkdir -p /usr/man/man1

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