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E-Mail Autoreply
An easy way to distribute information about your company to your potential clientele is to set up an e-mail autoreply, or autoresponder. An e-mail autoreply is an E-Mail Alias which executes an autoreply program that automatically replies to any e-mail sent to it. The e-mail autoreply can be configured to send any message in the automated reply, such as a FAQ, marketing plan, or product listing.

To install the e-mail autoreply program, connect to your Virtual Server via Telnet or SSH and issue the following command.

% vinstall autoreply

Follow these steps to create an autoreply.

  1. Create an autoreply message called ~/.autoreply (the message sent back to the customer) in your Virtual Server home directory. Use an online file editor, like pico, or transfer the file to your PC in order to add the alias. Be sure to download and upload the ~/.autoreply file in ASCII mode.

  2. Add something like the following to your ~/etc/aliases file in order to create an autoreply for info@YOUR-DOMAIN.NAME:

    info: YOU@YOUR.ISP, "|/usr/bin/autoreply -f info-reply -a info"

  3. Run vnewaliases to update your etc/aliases.db file.

    % vnewaliases

When e-mail is received at info@YOUR-DOMAIN.NAME, an autoreply containing the message in the ~/.autoreply file will be sent back. All e-mail sent to info@DOMAIN-DOMAIN.NAME will also be sent to YOU@YOUR.ISP. Without the YOU@YOUR.ISP, the mail from the customer would not be sent to YOU@YOUR.ISP.

Several configuration options are available.

  • -m
    The -m option specifies a different message file (for example, "autoreply -m /etc/mymessage"). Be sure you use the full path from your Virtual Server home directory.

  • -f
    The -f option allows you to change who the autoreply message will be from (in the example above the "From:" field the customer gets will read "info-reply@DOMAIN_NAME").

  • -a
    The -a option specifies a user that an autoreply can reply for. The user specified should be the same as the user configured for the autoreply (for example, "info: ... -a info").

Virtual Subhost Autoreplies
A Virtmaps alias cannot be directed to the autoreply program. Instead, the autoreply must be created in the ~/etc/aliases file (as above) and the virtmaps alias directed to the alias in the ~/etc/aliases file. For example:

Virtmaps (~/etc/virtmaps)
WEBMASTER@subhost-domain.name     subhost

Alias (~/etc/aliases)
subhost: you@your.isp, "|/usr/bin/autoreply -f info-reply -a WEBMASTER"

NOTE: Be sure that the username after the -a option is the same as the alias in the ~/etc/virtmaps file instead of the e-mail alias in the ~/etc/aliases file.

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Last Modified: Fri May 11 18:54:21 2001 GMT
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