Dovecot Mail Server.

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Hi All,

It might be a weird to ask question here about this here but I need help.We have server running dovecot mail server.It currently receives email bounce back from returned email. Sometimes users also send email. I am wondering if there is a way to set up auto responder to tell people this email is not being monitored in the current config.

Thanks in Advance.


Hi Worket DC,

Dovecot is used as an access mechanism (POP3/IMAP) to your mailboxes on the Linux host, you may be running an MTA (Mail Transfer Agent), most likely Postfix on the same host (depending on configuration) which will be providing your SMTP capability.

I would suggest looking at the auto responder capability in your MTA.

Postfix list addons for achieving the Autoresponder capability here under 'Autoreply Software':

It may also be worth investigating 'vacation' as an auto responder for a specific mailbox, but it may not have the flexibility you are looking for.

You'll want to do it at the MTA if you're wanting something that requires root to do; you'll want something in user-space if you want each mailbox-owner to be able to set up custom auto-responses.

For (mailbox-owner) flexible auto-responder capability, 'procmail' is going to give better functionality than 'vacation' will.

The benefit with vacation is that the send history/cache is 'baked in' to the autoresponder so it won't respond multiple times to the same address, something that needs to be scripted for in procmail (unless there is built in functionality that I missed).

That being said.. I think vacation has been dropped from RHEL (if it was ever included), so procmail looks like it's going to be it.

Thanks Tom for respond.

Would you share how to do this?


Assuming you mean using procmail, you'd have to:
1. Install the procmail RPM
2. Each user in need of procmail actions would need a ${HOME}/.procmailrc created with appropriate "recipes" in it.

Depending on your system security settings, you may have to muck with SELinux and/or setuid options.

Red Hat maintains a page to provide guidance on creating recipes ( There are plenty of other sites out there that can get into really powerful automated actions - just search for "procmail recipes".

I believe the dovecot way of achieving this is to use "sieve" scripts. We use sieve for globally sorting spam to each user's spam folder, and locally for each mail-account sieve does forwarding and vacation replies. Can easily be used for auto-responder (which is basicly a vacation responder as well).

Information about dovecot/sieve:

+1, this looks like an excellent option, and not one I'd seen before.

This looks good:

Same Sieve as from Cyrus IMAP?