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mailbot - A MIME-aware autoresponder utility


mailbot [options] {program} [arg...]

In .mailfilter:

if (/^Subject: *info/)
cc "| mailbot -t /usr/share/autoresponse/info -d autoresponsedb \
-A 'From: info@domain.com' /usr/bin/sendmail -f ''"


mailbot reads an E-mail message on standard input and creates an E-mail message replying
to the original message's sender. A program is specified as an argument to mailbot after
all of mailbot options. program is expected to read the created autoreply on its standard
input, and mail it. If program is not specified, mailbot runs 'sendmail -f ""'.

mailbot has several options for suppressing duplicate autoresponse messages. If mailbot
chooses not to send an autoresponse, it quietly terminates without running program. The
autoresponse is optionally formatted as a MIME delivery status notification.

The text of the autoresponse is specified by the -t or the -m argument. Either one is
required. Everything else is optional. The default behavior is to send an autoresponse
unless the original message has the "Precedence: junk" or the "Precedence: bulk" header,
or the "Precedence: list" header, or the "List-ID:" header, or if its MIME content type is
"multipart/report" (this is the MIME content type for delivery status notifications). The
-M option formats the the autoresponse itself as a MIME delivery status notification.


-A "header: value"
Add a header to the autoresponse. Multiple -A options are allowed. In most situations,
the -A option must be used to set the “From:” header in the autogenerated response.

Address the autoresponse to address, which must be an RFC 2822[1] address. By default
mailbot takes the autoresponse address from the From: (or the Reply-To:) header in the
original message. -f, if present, overrides and explicitly sets the autoresponse
address. "address" must immediately follow the -f option without an intervening space
(it's a single command line argument). An -f option without an address takes the
address from the SENDER environment variable.

-t filename
Read text autoresponse from filename, which must contain a plain text message in
“flowed-text” format. In a “flowed-text”-formatted message, each line that ends with a
space character indicates that the line logically flows into the next line. This
allows the message to be reformatted for any shown display width.

Messages in languages (see the -c option) which use spaces as word delimiters must
have two spaces at the end of a flowed line. The last space on a flowed line is
logically removed, and the first space separates the last word on the previous
line from the first word on the next line. Otherwise, the two words will not have
a logical space between them if they get repositioned as part of adjusting the
message's width for display.

Messages in ideographic languages that do not use spaces as word delimiters need
only one space trailing a flowed line.

The trailing whitespace has no visual impact when shown by software that does not
implemented flowed text format, and always displays messages using their original

-c charset
Set the autoresponse's MIME character set to charset. Run mailbot without any
arguments to see the default character set.

-m filename
Read a MIME autoresponse from filename. This is similar to the -t option, except that
filename contains MIME headers, followed by a blank line, and the corresponding MIME
content. The contents of filename are inserted in the autoresponse without further

The specified file must contain the “Content-Type” header specifying the “text/plain”
MIME type, with the “format=flowed”, “delsp=yes”, and the “charset” attributes, which
override the -c parameter. If the specified file has a “Content-Transfer-Encoding”
header it must be either “7bit” or “8bit”, it may not be “quoted-printable”. mailbot
always drops any existing “Content-Transfer-Encoding” header and always adds the
“Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit” header, even with the -m, since the salutation
inserted into the message includes the sender's name, which may contain 8-bit
characters. Example:

Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; delsp=yes; charset="iso-8859-1"

Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow.
And everywhere Mary went,
The lamb was sure to go.

When the -m option is specified mailbot ignores the locale's character set and
formats the autoreply according to the character set read from the “Content-Type”

-M address
Format the autoresponse as a delivery status notification (RFC 1894[2]). address is
an RFC 2822[1] E-mail address that generates the DSN. Note that the -A option should
still be used in addition to -M in order to set the From: header on the autoresponse.
-M sets the DSN address only. The -M option automatically sets -T replydsn

-R type
Specify the feedback report type, with type set to abuse, fraud, other, or virus. Must
be used together with “-T feedback” or “-T replyfeedback”.

-T format
Set the reply format. format must be one of the following values:

· “reply” - the default reply format.

· “replyall” - like “reply”, except also puts the recipients in the original
message's “To:” and “Cc:” headers into the “Cc:” header of the generated reply.

· “replydsn” - like “reply”, except the message is formatted as a delivery status

· “forward” - attach the original message as forwarded text.

· “forwardatt” - attach the original message as a forwarded message attachment.

· “feedback” - generate an Email Feedback Report message (see RFC 5965[3]). The “-R”
option is required when this is specified.

· “replyfeedback” - like “feedback”, but also adds a “To:” header, addressed to the
original message's sender.

Do not quote the contents of the original message in the message created by “reply”,
“replyall”, “replydsn”, “feedback”, and “replyfeedback” options.

The original message gets quoted, in the absence of this option, only if the
original message was formatted as plain text. mailbot is unable to quote an
original message which was formatted as HTML, or any other non-plaintext format.

For “replydsn”, “feedback”, and “replyfeedback” options, the convention is to
attach the original message, or only its headers, separately; so this option
should always be specified for these three reply formats.

Attach the entire message, for “replydsn”, “feedback”, and “replyfeedback”, instead of
only its headers.

Generate a reply (“reply”-formats) to the address listed in any “Errors-To” or
“Return-Path” header, if present, instead of the “From” header.

-S “salutation”
Use the given salutation in the “reply”. The default value is “%F writes:”. The
following substitutions are recognized in the salutation string:

· %% - an explicit % character.

· %n - a newline character.

· %C - the “X-Newsgroup:” header from the original message.

· %N - the “Newsgroups:” header from the original message.

· %i - the “Message-ID:” header from the original message.

· %f - the original message's sender's address.

· %F - the original message's sender's name.

· %S - the “Subject:” header from the original message

· %d - the original message's date, in the local timezone.

· %{...}d - use strftime() to format the original message's date. A plain %d is
equivalent to %{%a, %d %b %Y %H:%M:%S %z}d.

All other characters in the salutation string are left as is.

-F “marker”
When generating a forward, use the marker to separate the forwarded message from the
autoreply text, instead of the default “--- Forwarded message ---”

-r addrlist
addrlist is a comma-separated list of RFC 2822[1] E-mail addresses. mailbot sends an
autoresponse only if the original message has at least one of the specified addresses
in any To: or Cc: header.

-d filename
Create a small database, filename, that keeps track of senders' E-mail addresses, and
prevent duplicate autoresponses going to the same address (suppress autoresponses
going back to the same senders, for subsequent received messages). The -d option is
only available if maildrop has GDBM/DB extensions enabled.

-D x
Do not send duplicate autoresponses (see the -d option) for at least x days (default:
1 day). The -d option creates a database of E-mail addresses and the times an
autoresponse was last mailed to them. Another autoresponse to the same address will
not be mailed until at least the amount of time specified by the -D option has

-s "subject"
Set the Subject: header on the autoresponse to subject.

Show the resulting message, do not send it. Used for debugging purposes.

--feedback-original-envelope-id "<envelopeid>",
--feedback-original-mail-from "<mailfrom>", --feedback-reporting-mta "dns; hostname",
--feedback-source-ip aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd, --feedback-incidents n,
--feedback-authentication-results "results", --feedback-original-rcpt-to "<rcptto>",
--feedback-reported-domain example.com
Optional parameters to include in the feedback report generated by “feedback” and
“replyfeedback”. mailbot always adds “Arrival-Date” with the current time, as well as
“Version” and “User-Agent”.

“--feedback-authentication-results”, “--feedback-original-rcpt-to” and
“--feedback-reported-domain” may be specified more than once.

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