SUMMARY: vacation doesn't function

From: David Steiner (
Date: Fri Jul 07 1995 - 19:02:14 CDT

As always response from the list was terrific. Unfortunately, the answer
was right in front of me in the man page (Honest, Teach, my dog chewed it
up so bad I couldn't read it. ;-)

Special thanks to those who hit the nail on the head:

From: (Lee Hollaar)
From: bern@TI.Uni-Trier.DE (Jochen Bern)
From: 090632@mantaray.LANL.GOV (Mark Martinez CIC-2)

Thanks also to those who sent me good but inappropriate suggestions.

My question (in a nutshell):

Why does vacation not work when mail is sent to a user's alias?

Simple answer:

Because you have to tell vacation explicitly what other aliases the user has.
One does this using the '-a alias' option. Example (in .forward):

\username "| /usr/ucb/vacation -a alias1 -a alias2 username"

Bonus question for those who have read this far:

Is there a way to make vacation recognize the MAIL environment variable?

Most of my users use the system mailboxes in /var/spool/mail for incoming mail
but a couple of heavy users have set the MAIL variable so that new mail comes
to a file in their home account, thereby conserving space in the spool.
Vacation still sends the mail to the system spool although a copy seems to be
going to the user's home mailbox. Is there a way to modify this behavior so
that new mail only goes to the home mailbox?


-- David R. Steiner --------------------------------------------------------
-- Research Assoc. Remote Sensing/GIS | All decisions are based on --
-- ISPA University of Vechta Germany | insufficient evidence. --
---------------------------------------------------------Nickel Hunsenmeir--

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