Sgrotum FAQ

1. What is sgrotum?
Sgrotum is an email signature rotumbulator by Timothy Musson.

2. What is the world is a rotumbulator?
As Timoty puts it as, it is "an email signature rotator/mixer/shuffler". In short, it is a program which will change your signature file according to a config file given by you. It is a very flexible email signature changer.

3. Where would I require sgrotum?
When you want to periodically change your email signature, while sending emails from your regular email client. You might be tired of seeing the same old signature everytime. Sgrotum just changes very flexibly your $HOME/.signature file (or any other signature file you want).

4. But I can randomly change my signature using fortune cookies.
Yes, but you cannot have something like this,

Computers have a lot in common with air conditioners:
Once you open WINDOWS, they stop working properly.
i.e. your original signature *plus* a random quote.

5. Big deal, this can be easily accomplished with a simple shell script. And what do you mean by flexibility?
Yes I know, but won't you like to have signature based on rules likes,
- signature length 4 lines, random quote starting at 2 line ending at 4th and center alinged or
- signature length 3 lines, random quote starting at 1st line 30th column ending at 3rd line 65th column etc
- signature length 4 lines, first quote starting at line 1, column 1 and ending at row 4 column 30, second quote starting at line 1 column 40 and ending at row 4 column 70 etc
You may even have sgrotum change your signature file hourly, daily, weekly etc using cron.
This is what I call flexibility. You can view a few samples here .

6. I am convinced where can I get sgrotum?
The author maintains a webpage for it on,
where you can download the most recent version.

7. Ok now that I have got it, now what?
Sgrotum will require libglib 1.2 devel package atleast. You may google for it and download it for your OS. Untar the sgrotum-x.x.x.tar.gz then do,
make install
Will work out properly.

8. Done. How do I get started?
Ok. Make a directry ~/.sgrotum. You need a few files there. Create a pref file there like

$ cat ~/.sgrotum/prefs

The [target] section will tell which file to write to when sgrotum is run.
The [quotes] section will tell where to look for file from which to attach the random quotes.
The [templates] section is the configuration file which tells the manner in which to attach the quotes. Sample template.txt is given below.

$ cat template.conf
[quote x1=1 y1=2 x2=65 y2=4 align=right]
Google is Your Friend -

9. Can you explain in english what the template.conf means?
Sure. Consider the above coordinates as those of a box and your signature must fit in it. Loosely it can be translated that put your quote in a box which starts on 2nd line (y1=2) ends on 4th line (y2=4). The starting column can be 1st column with the last column as the 65th.

10. Wow!!! That is great. But I have many fortune files which I would love to use there.
No problem. Use file found in sgrotum's examples directory to convert your fortunes into format required by sgrotum. Thanks to Han Boetes for this script.

11. Can I use my own quotes files?
Sure, quote files are nothing but plain ascii text files with each quote on a line of its own. Blank lines and lines whose first non-space character is a hash (#) are ignored.

12. How can I use it with mutt?
How about using send-hook,
send-hook [email protected]\.org \
'set signature = "sgrotum -s ~/.sgrotum/signature-mutt.cfg |"'
Check here for an example. The above example is borrowed from the URL.

13. Is there any other way to change signatures?
Yes, Sven Guckes uses agrep to handle signatures for mutt. You may check his pages at Even a small shell script can accomplish it. But I like sgrotum for its power and flexibility.

14. Your FAQ sucks, where can I contact you?
So do you ;-). You may contact me at shantanu-mutt at