Technical Note - Email Forwarding and Automatic Reply
This document details how you can enable forwarding of your ECS email to another mailbox or create an automatic response to any email sent to your ECS email address.
Email forwarding to a single remote address is easily accomplished using our web-based mail forwarding
Automatic Email Responses
Automatic email responses (aka "vacation emails" or "Out of Office" replies) are easily setup using our web-based automatic email response
A known problem with this system is that once you create an automatic response, you cannot alter the message even though the system will appear to let you. In order to edit your message, you must cancel the existing automatic response, then wait for five minutes (to make sure the cancellation has actually taken effect) and then create a new autoresponse. This is a bug, not a feature. Unfortunately it is one that is tricky to fix and so far it hasn't had a high enough priority on the todo list!
More Complex Email Handling
Some users may want more complex mail handling (eg: automatic response to or forwarding of only selected messages, forwarding to multiple addresses, sorting incoming messages into folders, etc).
UNIX based email systems like that run by ECS have traditionally supported flexible email handling by allowing users to have a
file in their home directory. This file allows the specification of arbitrary programs (eg:
) that will be invoked to process incoming email. However the ECS email system no longer supports
files, mainly because they caused problems for our mail server when one of our home file servers was down. And specifying arbitrary mail processing programs is not currently possible using the web applications described above.
A more modern alternative to
files that is
supported by the ECS email system is the
email filtering and processing language. Many email clients have ways of creating and editing
scripts but if your favourite client doesn't you can always fall back to the UNIX
command-line utility. If you would like help using
you can send an email to
doesn't meet your requirements you can also email
telling us how you want your incoming email processed. If there is sufficient demand we will consider extending the web-based applications described above to provide more flexibility. And in the mean-time we may be able to help you set up the email handling you want some other way.
Using arbitrary programs to filter your incoming email can be tricky and it is quite easy to lose incoming email. We do not recommend you do this unless you are confident you know what you are doing!