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Manual Reference Pages  -  QMAIL-AUTORESPONDER (1)


qmail-autoresponder - Produce automatic responses with qmail


Return Value


qmail-autoresponder [ -cLNqT ] [ -O NAME[=VALUE] ] [ -n NUM ] [ -s STR ] [ -t TIME ] [ MESSAGE-FILE ] DIRECTORY


qmail-autoresponder sends an automatically-generated message in response to an incoming message. By default, it limits the number of responses it sends to a maximum of one message per hour per sender. It will not respond to any known mailing list, nor will it respond to either bounces or loops.

The MESSAGE-FILE is used as the response message, and must contain a complete mail message including From: and Subject: headers. If the MESSAGE-FILE argument is not present, it defaults to message.txt. All occurrences of %S in the message file are replaced with the original message’s subject. To put a percent sign in the message, write it as %%.

qmail-autoresponder limits the rate at which it sends responses to each recipient to prevent mail flooding or denial-of-service attacks. For each response it sends, it creates a file in DIRECTORY. The name of that file consists of the process ID of qmail-autoresponder, a period, the current UNIX time number, and the envelope sender address (with any / characters replaced with : to prevent creation of files outside of DIRECTORY). When it receives a message, it scans DIRECTORY. Any files that are older than the time interval (see below) are deleted and ignored. If the number of remaining files with the same sender address is greater than or equal to the maximum number of replies, no response is generated.


qmail-autoresponder supports options specified on the command line and as files in the DIRECTORY named on the command line. Option files in the directory override options set on the command line.


-c Equivalent to -O copymsg=1
-L Create new files (instead of making links) for each recipient file. This uses more inodes, but may be required for filesystems (such as Coda) that don’t handle links properly.
-N Write the generated response to standard output instead of sending it.
-n NUM Equivalent to -O msglimit=NUM
  Sets named option NAME to VALUE. If VALUE is omitted, a value of 1 is used. See below for all the named options.
-q Quiet. Don’t show error messages.
-s STR Equivalent to -O subject_prefix=STR
-T Do not add a To: <SENDER> line to the response.
  Equivalent to -O timelimit=TIME


copymsg (boolean)
  Copy the original message into the response.
headerkeep (string)
  If this option is given, only the headers listed in the value are copied from the message into the response. Separate header names with a colon. If neither this nor headerstrip are used, all headers are copied.
headerstrip (string)
  If this option is given and headerkeep is not, the headers listed in the value are omitted when copying from the message into the response. Separate header names with a colon. Header names are treated as patterns, and so may contain * to match any string. For example, the pattern x-* will match the headers X-DomainKeys: and X-SpamLevel:.
msglimit (integer)
  Set the maximum number of replies per timelimit (defaults to 1).
no_inreplyto (boolean)
  Do not add an In-Reply-To: header to the outgoing message. Normally, if a Message-Id: header is found in the original message, qmail-autoresponder will add the contents of that header to the outgoing message. This allows some email programs to group responses more intelligently.
numlines (integer)
  Limits the maximum number of lines copied from the original message body into the response. This option is only relevant if the copymsg option is also used. If not given, all the lines in the original message body are copied. This limit does not impact how many lines of the header are copied.
subject_prefix (string)
  Add a subject line to the response message composed of the prefix STR followed by the original subject. This can also be accomplished by putting the following line at the start of the message file:

Subject: STR %S

timelimit (integer)
  Set the interval during which responses are counted (in seconds) (defaults to 1 hour).


Exits zero if there were no problems, otherwise exits 111.


DTLINE qmail-autoresponder searches for this line (generated by qmail-local) in the input and bounces the message if it is present (which indicates a mail loop). It then adds the line to the output.
SENDER This contains the envelope sender address and is used as the address to send the reply to.
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