Email Delivery

Mail to you is normally delivered to your inbox, where it can be read through IMAP, through webmail, or with a number of mail programs on the application servers such as alpine or mutt. On CSLab's application servers, your inbox is also accessible as /var/mail/<username>

Vacation Autoreply Messages

To start a vacation autoreply, go to the web services page (CSLab login required) and select "Email Autoresponder settings". This page will allow you to turn the autoresponder on or off, edit the autoresponder message, or use a default message.

If you prefer to do this from the command line instead of from a web page, run

    vacationmessage start

To stop your vacation autoreplies, run

    vacationmessage stop

If you want to customize the message that people who write you will get, edit the file .vacation.msg in your CSLab home directory. People who email you several times will only get one autoreply a week, and no autoreplies will be sent for messages that the system thinks are spam.

Note: Stopping vacation autoreplies doesn't change or remove your vacation message, it just stops it being sent out, so you can use it later. If you customized your vacation message for a particular absence, don't forget to update it the next time you turn on your autoreply.

Email Forwarding

The recommended way to forward your mail elsewhere is to put the email address that you want to forward to in the file .forward-nonspam in your home directory. This will forward all non-spam email to the email address (or addresses) in the file; email tagged as spam will be quietly discarded (although all email, spam and non-spam, will continue to be copied to your oldmail). For example, if you wanted to forward your mail to, you would have a .forward-nonspam file that contained: If you wanted to also forward it to your UTORMail account, the file should contain:

An important caution: Whenever you set up or change your forwarding, you should send yourself a test message to make sure that everything is working correctly.

If you want to forward all your email, including spam-tagged email, put the email address that you want to forward to in the file .forward in your home directory instead. If you are a student, you should be aware that email forwarding falls under the university's Policy on Official Correspondence with Students, which states that: Students have the right to forward their University-issued electronic mail account to another electronic mail service provider address but remain responsible for ensuring that all University electronic message communication sent to the official University-issued account is received and read.

Note also that email forwarded to external email providers (such as Hotmail, Sympatico, or Yahoo) will be subject to their spam-filtering procedures. These providers vary in their attempts to reduce spam: some are so aggressive in their efforts that they may too frequently misidentify as spam legitimate email forwarded from university accounts. Because of this, please recognize that not all the legitimate email sent to your CS account may make it to your mailbox at the external provider.

If you forward your email to Gmail, and you have received notifications that some mail intended for you has been rejected by Gmail with the claim that This message does not pass authentication checks you may find some insight into the problem here.

Discarding Spam Automatically

If you simply wish to discard all of the messages to you that are tagged as spam or viruses, just create a .forward-nonspam file that contains only your CSLab username.

This will deliver all non-spam email to you as normal, and discard all of your spam mail.

Email Recovery

All email delivered to you in the past two weeks are copied to a read-only mailbox in /var/oldmail/<username>. If you accidentally delete a message, or destroy your mailbox, you can recover the lost messages from this file.

E.g. If you use the "Mutt" program:

mutt -f /var/oldmail/$USER