Dispatches From The Geeks

News and Announcements from the MCS Systems Group

Out of Office Messages

As many of you are probably setting out of office messages before heading out for the break, I want to make sure they work the way you (and I) expect them to work.

Here’s the short version:  If you can, take a moment to visit https://accounts.mcs.anl.gov/account.php and make sure your “Preferred Email” is the mail address you use as your primary mail address.  For instance, if you generally use an “@anl.gov” address, make sure it says that.  It should only say “<your username>@mcs.anl.gov” if that’s the one you expect people to generally send mail to.

(While you’re there, it wouldn’t hurt to make sure the rest of the info is up to date as well.)

You’ll be good to go.  Now, here’s an explanation as to why this is necessary, for those who care.

Zimbra, like most mail servers, will only send an out of office response on mail that’s addressed to you specifically.  This prevents it from responding to mail sent to mailing lists (like this one I’m sending now) which is *terribly* annoying and spammy.  

The problem is that Zimbra doesn’t have everyone’s address right.  Until we migrate into actual separate domains early next year, everyone’s got an address in every domain we have.  I’m stace@mcs.anl.govstace@alcf.anl.gov, and stace@cels.anl.gov.  On top of that, though http://www.anl.gov/alias, I also have stace@anl.gov.  And, for extra fun, I’m also stace@ci.uchicago.edu.  However, as far as Zimbra’s concerned, my address is stace@mcs.anl.gov.  Mail to *any* of those addresses will reach me, but only mail to stace@mcs.anl.govwill trigger my vacation responder when it’s active, unless I do something about it.

Unfortunately, most of our users have their address set, right or wrong, to consider foo@mcs.anl.gov canonical.  Folks in ALCF who use @alcf.anl.gov aren’t going to have working autoresponders.  Ditto for anyone who uses @anl.gov by default.

So pick one you want to be canonical, and make it so on the accounts page.  (If you’re an oddball like me and want to trigger an autoresponder on multiple addresses, drop me an e-mail and let me know and I’ll handle you separately.)

Next week I’m going to run a script on the Zimbra server to make sure everyone’s autoreply address is set correctly so out of office messages will trigger correctly.


Craig Stacey, IT Manager, MCS & CI



Written by Craig Stacey

December 17, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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