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ooomailer 1.0 released - check out changes.txt to see what's new

What is ooomailer?

It is a small java program that can be run at the background while you are on vacation to send automated "out of office" responses to the e-mails you receive.

Why should I use it?

Similar functionality provided by mail servers out of the box may be limited and insufficient for your needs, making it impossible or impractical to use the mail server feature (as it may be spamming the mailing lists you are subscribed to, etc.). For the people who are stuck with such mail server, using this utility may be a good option. Also you can run several instances of the tool to cover several e-mail accounts.

Here is a quick overview of the key features:

  • Designed for ease of use and automation - simple config file and ability to persist passwords (in obfuscated form) to allow unattended restarts
  • Ability to specify which IMAP folders to monitor - makes it easy to avoid sending responses to mailing list messages if you have server rules to filter those into separate folders
  • Sends responses to the sender, not the address in the Reply-To header
  • Optional customized OOO message for internal colleagues different from the OOO message sent to others
  • Does not bother people with repeating OOO replies after every single message - sends it to the same sender just once in a specified number of days
  • Optional ignore list - you can make the tool ignore messages from "no-reply@..." type of addresses
  • Crash-proof - keeps the persistent cache consistent in the case of a crash (e.g. power outage), so after the restart should smoothly recover
  • Server-outage-proof - designed to survive temporary mail server outages
  • Runs on any platform with JDK 6 (or higher) from Oracle or Apple

The tool supports only IMAP and SMTP protocols, so don't try to use it with anything else.

How can I use it?

  1. Download the latest zip bundle
  2. Unzip it to the directory of your choice
  3. Edit
    1. Specify your e-mail address in mail.from
    2. Specify your user name in mail.user
    3. Set to your mail server host name
    4. If you wish to persist passwords for future use, set ooomailer.rememberPassword property to true
      PLEASE NOTE: Although the passwords are persisted in an obfuscated form, it is advised to ensure the ooomailer.cache* files that will be created by ooomailer can't be accessed by anyone else. This can by achieved by executing the following command before running ooomailer on UNIX-based systems:
      umask u=rw g= o=
    5. Customize the OOO message, dates and other properties
  4. Run ooomailer by executing the following in the ooomailer directory:
    java -jar ooomailer-<version>.jar
  5. Right when it starts, it will try connecting to the mail server (both IMAP as well as SMTP) and prompt for password(s)
  6. Enter the password(s)
  7. The program will start monitoring your e-mail account until the date of the end of your vacation is reached - then it will quit (if needed, you can stop the program anytime by hitting Ctrl+C)
  8. Leave for vacation and enjoy!

System requirements

  • JDK 6 (or higher) from Oracle or Apple (may work with JRE as well, but I haven't tried)


If you have any feedback, file an issue or send me a message.