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Langue: en

Version: 113498 (mandriva - 01/05/08)

Section: 1 (Commandes utilisateur)


sgrotum - generate a new email or newsgroup signature




sgrotum creates a new signature (tagline) for email and newsgroup messages according to instructions contained in a PREFERENCE_FILE. Multiple preference files are possible. Each preference file lists a set of template files, along with the name of the target signature file. Templates are chosen at random and can optionally include instructions for the insertion of randomly selected quotations.

Although these files can be located anywhere, the examples in this manual assume that they exist in a directory named ~/.sgrotum.


-h, --help
Display basic usage information then exit.
-n, --no-write
Don't create or modify the target signature file.
-s, --show
Send the resulting signature to stdout. This is the default action if no target is specified in PREFERENCE_FILE.
-t NUM, --template NUM
Specify a template file by number, rather than letting the program choose at random. Counting begins at 0.
-v, --version
Display the program's version number then exit.


Preference files are split into sections, most of which are optional. Lines that begin with a hash character (#) are ignored.

   # ~/.sgrotum/default
   # an example preference file

The target section gives the filename of the signature you want to write. This section is not required. If no target is given, the signature will be sent to stdout.

The dash section contains either yes or no. If it's yes, the program will write "-- " (dash dash space) as the first line of your signature. This section is not required. The default is yes.

The mode section contains either rotate or random and controls how templates are selected from the templates section. In rotate mode, the program loops through the templates in the order in which they're listed. The mode section is not required. The default is random.

The quotes section specifies the default quote file. This section is required if you want your signatures to include randomly selected quotations. Individual template files can override the default quote file specified here.

The templates section lists signature template files. Each preference file must name at least one template file. There is no upper limit on the number of template files listed.

The current section is automatically added and managed by sgrotum if mode is rotate and the templates section lists more than one file. The program uses it to record which template was last used. This is always the final section. (The other sections can appear in any order.)


Each line of a quote file contains a single, complete quotation. Blank lines and lines whose first non-space character is a hash (#) will be ignored.

The sgrotum package includes a script named If the fortune program is installed on your system, can use it to generate quote files suitable for use with sgrotum. can be found in sgrotum's examples directory.


A template can be an ordinary signature file. For example:

   Bart Simpson <>

Since this template contains no special instructions, the resulting signature will be an exact copy of it. To instruct sgrotum to insert a quotation, it's necessary to add a line of information to the top of the template. Here's an example:

   [quote x1=1 y1=3 x2=34 y2=3 align=right]
   Bart Simpson <>

The x1, y1, x2 and y2 values represent character positions, defining a box within the finished signature. Using the template above, sgrotum will place a randomly selected quotation on the third line of the signature. The quotation will be right-aligned, and no more than 34 characters in length.

By adding instructions, any number of quotes can be inserted. In the example below, a different quotation is placed in each rectangle:

   [quote x1=2  x2=21 y1=2 y2=3]
   [quote x1=25 x2=44 y1=2 y2=3]
   +--------------------+ +--------------------+
   |                    | |                    |
   |                    | |                    |
   +--------------------+ +--------------------+

The complete list of quote attributes is as follows:

x1=POS y1=POS x2=POS y2=POS
Character positions, defining a box in which to insert a quote. The default values are 1, 1, 70 and 4 respectively.
Specifies the alignment of the quote. By default, quotes are left-aligned.
Specifies the minimum length (in characters) of the quote to select. The default is 0.
By default, sgrotum removes excess space characters from quotations and wraps lines at word boundaries. Specifying no here switches that off, resulting in a mess. The default is yes.
Specifies a quote file, overriding the default. The default is the quote file specified in preferences. If FILENAME includes space characters, wrap it in quotation marks (single or double).
Rather than reading a quote file, pick a line from the output of COMMAND. If the COMMAND includes space characters, wrap it in quotation marks (single or double).
Rather than reading a quote file or running a command, use the value of the named environmental variable as a quote.


If you discover bugs in the most recent version of sgrotum, please contact the author.


The program will try this if no PREFERENCE_FILE is specified.


sgrotum: Timothy Musson <> Han Boetes <>

La libre communication des pensées et des opinions
est un des droits les plus précieux de l'homme.
-+- Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen
(26 août 1789) - Article XI -+-