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Vacation Message

yum --enablerepo=smecontribs install smeserver-vacation

Setup an automatic 'out of office' email reply.


Contrib 10:
Contrib 9:
The latest version of smeserver-vacation is available in the SME repository, click on the version number(s) for more information.


Admin (and possibly users themselves, see below) can enable a vacation message for individual users. In addition to manually enabling and disabling the vacation message for a user, also automatic start and end dates for sending out vacation messages can be set in the server manager panel.

Grant users access to vacation panel

If you install UserManager and delegate the user-vacation panel to users they can prepare and enable their vacation message themselves.

Only for SME9

If you install UserManager and delegate to users the 'uservacations', they can manage by default the vacation message of all users. However it is needed sometime to restrict a user to certain groups, or just one group.

  • The user 'helene' will be able to manage only users belong to the group 'parents'
db accounts setprop helene delegatedVacations 'parents'
  • The user 'helene' will be able to manage only users belong to the groups 'famille' and 'enfants'
db accounts setprop helene delegatedVacations 'enfants,famille'
  • Remove all group based restriction
db accounts setprop helene delegatedVacations 


db accounts delprop helene delegatedVacations

Automatic enabling and disabling of vacation messages

The server-manager panel provides two fields where you can enter start and end dates for the vacation message of a user. These date values will be checked by a simple cron script every night, in order to enable or disable the vacation message of this user at the given dates, respectively.

The two date fields in the server-manager panel are not programatically validated with respect to common-sense, so some rules apply:

  • Start date has to be before end date
  • Start date must not be the same as the end date (for single day holidays, set end date to the following day).
  • If the intended start date is in the future (from "now"), the checkbox for enabling the vacation message should be unchecked (otherwise vacation messages will be sent out from "now" on).

If you do not want to use this automatic functionality, simply leave both fields empty.


  • Only one reply is sent to each sender until the Repeat interval is reached

Change the interval between repeat replies to the same
sender. The default is 1 week. A trailing s, m, h, d, or w
scales the number N to seconds, minutes, hours, days or
weeks respectively. For example, to set the interval value
to 3 days you would specify -t3d. There should be no spaces
between the -t and N.

configure, then apply to all users,

config setprop qmail VacationDelay -t3d
config delprop qmail VacationDelay

  • Addresses to be replied to:

All mail for the user including pseudonyms and groups will send the reply message.

User Shell Access

If a user has shell access they can use advanced vacation functions :

man vacation

Vacation responses

The vacation handling routine stores whom has been send a vacation message, it's possible for the user to generate a list of those addresses if the user has shell access.

#  /usr/local/bin/vacation -s jane
Welcome back!
While you were away, vacation mail was sent to the following addresses:
   Wed Sep 17 18:40:45 2008
   Wed Sep 17 18:23:56 2008

No Replies

Apart from the default no replies Vacation will also not generate a reply if the sender matches any of the mail addresses listed in the optional files ~/.vacation.aliases or ~/.vacation.noreply.


Envelope sender not allowed when using remote SMTP

It is possible to specify a custom sender domain in the "From:"-header of a user's vacation message. If this custom sender Domain is not registered as a valid primary or secondary domain in SME server-manager, chances are that remote SMTP servers will reject the vacation message (550 envelope sender not allowed).

Some remote SMTP servers will forward the vacation message nonetheless in that case, if an additional "Return-Path:"-header (using the same sender address) is set in the vacation message, eg. before the first blank line separating the body of the mail, one can write:

  Subject: Away from my mail - $SUBJECT

Disable cron status mail

If you wish to disable the status mail from cron, follow the workaround given in

This may be suppressed in a future release.

Also refer to,51952.0.html


Please raise bugs under the SME-Contribs section in bugzilla and select the smeserver-vacation component or use this link

IDProductVersionStatusSummary (9 tasks)
12503SME Contribs10.0CONFIRMEDVacation messages do not get DKIM-signed
12474SME Contribs10.0RESOLVEDMenu entry for SM2 not properly positioned
11829SME Contribs10.0UNCONFIRMEDwrong spelding in vacation message
11388SME Contribs10alphaCONFIRMEDwarning in user-manager when clicking on panel link in menu
11052SME Contribs10alphaCONFIRMEDWarning on install when smanager not installed
10708SME Contribs9.3UNCONFIRMEDVacation additional columns
10317SME Contribs10betaCONFIRMEDReply not sent to original Sender
6020SME Contribs7.4CONFIRMEDLocal delivery of email stops
4824SME Contribs7.4CONFIRMEDvacation message format not supporting Hebrew well


Only released version in smecontrib are listed here.

smeserver-vacation Changelog: SME 10 (smecontribs)
2024/03/01 Brian Read 1.1-36.sme
- Edit Menu entry to conform to new arrangements [SME: 12493]

2024/02/16 Brian Read 1.1-35.sme
- Sort out html chars in email default [SME: 12475]

- Add signal-event refresh to spec file. [sme 12474]
2022/01/07 Brian Read 1.1-34.sme
- Add-extra-class-in-div-for-AdminLTE [SME: 11834]
2021/08/25 Terry Fage 1.1-33.sme
- apply locale 2021-08-25 patch
2021/02/26 Jean-Philipe Pialasse 1.1-32.sme
- avoid reencoding of strings in admin table of users [SME: 11399]