away [OPTIONS] message [...]


away is a simple program that locks your terminal, checks for new mail in any given number of mailboxes, and lets other users know why you are inactive.


-c, --mail

Enable checking of mail.

-C, --nomail

Disable checking of mail.

-f, --rcfile=FILE

Specify an alternative configuration file instead of the default ~/.awayrc file.

-F, --norcfile

Ignore user configuration file.

-h, --help

Display help.

-m, --message

Execute as the remainder of the command line, effectively stripping off the executable name and additional switches.

-p, --persist

Continue checking for new mail as long as there is at least one mailbox that has not received new mail.

-P, --nopersist

Stop checking mail if any mailbox is found to have new mail.

-t, --time=SECONDS

Set the number of second that away sleeps before performing its background tasks. Presently, the only background task that away will perform is the checking of mailboxes.

-T, --notime

Ignore any options to set the time interval and use the default number of seconds.

-v, --version

Display version information.



Per user configuration file. See awayrc(5) for further details.


The Linux-PAM configuration file.


Bug reports should be sent to the away mailing list <[email protected]>.



Cameron Moore <[email protected]>, and others.