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Installing Vacation 3.1

Last update:2008-10-09

This document contains instructions for installing the Vacation Auto-Responding Manager.

For information on the capabilities and features of Vacation, see the file README in the top-level directory of the Vacation distribution.

1   Obtaining Vacation

Vacation can be obtained from the Horde website and FTP server, at

Or use the mirror closest to you:

Bleeding-edge development versions of Vacation are available via CVS; see the file horde/docs/HACKING in the Horde distribution, or the website, for information on accessing the Horde CVS repository.

2   Prerequisites

To function properly, Vacation requires the following:

  1. A working Horde installation.

    Vacation runs within the Horde Application Framework, a set of common tools for Web applications written in PHP. You must install Horde before installing Vacation.


    Vacation 3.0 requires version 3.0+ of the Horde Framework - earlier versions of Horde will not work.


    The Plesk driver requires the DOM library from version 3.2+ of the Horde Framework. If you have an older version of Horde, you can install the library manually.

    The Horde Framework can be obtained from the Horde website and FTP server, at

    Many of Vacation's prerequisites are also Horde prerequisites.


    Be sure to have completed all of the steps in the horde/docs/INSTALL file for the Horde Framework before installing Vacation.

  2. The following PHP capabilities:

    1. FTP support --enable-ftp [OPTIONAL]

      FTP support is necessary if you want to use one of the FTP drivers.

    2. LDAP support --with-ldap [OPTIONAL]

      LDAP support is necessary if you want to use the LDAP driver.

    3. CURL support --with-curl [OPTIONAL]

      CURL support is necessary if you want to use the Plesk driver.

  3. An FTP server installed, running, and working if you want to use one of the FTP drivers.

  4. A vacation program installed, running, and working on localhost. This code is based on a RedHat Linux based vacation program and/or the linux port of the 386BSD vacation program by Alexey Nogin.

3   Installing Vacation

Vacation is written in PHP, and must be installed in a web-accessible directory. The precise location of this directory will differ from system to system. Conventionally, Vacation is installed directly underneath Horde in the web server's document tree.

Since Vacation is written in PHP, there is no compilation necessary; simply expand the distribution where you want it to reside and rename the root directory of the distribution to whatever you wish to appear in the URL. For example, with the Apache web server's default document root of /usr/local/apache/htdocs, you would type:

cd /usr/local/apache/htdocs/horde
tar zxvf /path/to/vacation-x.y.z.tar.gz
mv vacation-x.y.z vacation

and would then find Vacation at the URL:


4   Installing Horde_DOM

If you don't have Horde 3.2 or higher installed and want to use the Plesk driver, you need to separately install the Horde_DOM package through PEAR:

pear channel-discover
pear install horde/Horde_DOM

If you get an error message that downloading this package within the preferred state failed, try to add less stable states to the package name:

pear install horde/Horde_DOM-beta
pear install horde/Horde_DOM-alpha

Since Plesk usually doesn't have a complete PEAR utility installed, you can alternatively download the package manually from, unpack it, and drop the DOM.php file into the /usr/share/psa-horde/lib/Horde/ directory on Linux/Unix servers, or the according directory on Windows servers.

5   Configuring Vacation

  1. Configuring Horde for Vacation

    1. Register the application

      In horde/config/registry.php, find the applications['vacation'] stanza. The default settings here should be okay, but you can change them if desired. If you have changed the location of Vacation relative to Horde, either in the URL, in the filesystem or both, you must update the fileroot and webroot settings to their correct values.

  2. Configuring Vacation

    You must login to Horde as a Horde Administrator to finish the configuration of Vacation. Use the Horde Administration menu item to get to the administration page, and then click on the Configuration icon to get the configuration page. Select Vacation from the selection list of applications. Fill in or change any configuration values as needed. When done click on Generate Vacation Configuration to generate the conf.php file. If your web server doesn't have write permissions to the Vacation configuration directory or file, it will not be able to write the file. In this case, go back to Configuration and choose one of the other methods to create the configuration file vacation/config/conf.php.

    Note for international users: Vacation uses GNU gettext to provide local translations of text displayed by applications; the translations are found in the po/ directory. If a translation is not yet available for your locale (and you wish to create one), see the horde/po/README file, or if you're having trouble using a provided translation, please see the horde/docs/TRANSLATIONS file for instructions.

6   Known Problems

6.1   Sendmail

If you get a message from Sendmail that it "cannot mail directly to a program" you either have an old buggy Sendmail or you didn't set up /etc/smrsh correctly for vacation.

6.2   FTP/Dot-forward Driver

Realize that this driver works by setting up a .forward file in the user's account. It does this (at the moment) in a exclusive fashion. If a .forward already exists, it must be removed first, it does not append/prepend to the existing file. This means you cannot set both a forward and a vacation message at the same time. This is rarely an issue, as you rarely want to both forward your mail and have a vacation notice on the forwarding (rather than receiving) end.

If in doubt, please run the horde/test.php file and make sure FTP is enabled in php.

7   Obtaining Support

If you encounter problems with Vacation, help is available!

The Horde Frequently Asked Questions List (FAQ), available on the Web at

The Horde Project runs a number of mailing lists, for individual applications and for issues relating to the project as a whole. Information, archives, and subscription information can be found at

Lastly, Horde developers, contributors and users may also be found on IRC, on the channel #horde on the Freenode Network (

Please keep in mind that Vacation is free software written by volunteers. For information on reasonable support expectations, please read

Thanks for using Vacation!

The Vacation team