Dynamic email signature for your mail clients

Actually it is not that dynamic. Basically I just want to embed the list of my 3 latest blog postings in all my outgoing mails, just below my signature. So what I meant by dynamic is that the text file which is holding the signature will get updated from time to time via a cron-job and a simple script.

The script will read the RSS/Atom feed from my blog and capture the title & url of three latest postings and pump them into my signature file. I use Python script and the marvelous Universal Feed Parser.

For most of linux system python would already been installed by default. However you might need to install Universal Feed Parser (python-feedparser) in order for the script to work.

In my Gentoo machine
emerge -av dev-python/feedparser

For Fedora Users
yum install python-feedparser

For Ubuntu users
apt-get install python-feedparser

The phyton code (take note that I’m new to python. If you find that the script is not appropriate please do advise me)


import feedparser

#the signature file (output)
filename = '/path/to/your/home/folder/.signature1'

#numbers of items to be displayed
num = 3

#feed address
feedurl = "http://feeds.feedburner.com/RidingLinux"

#your signature. Change accordingly
text = """Regards 
Your Name
Your Company

My latest BLOG posts:


d = feedparser.parse(feedurl)
if d.feed.has_key('title') :
	file = open(filename, 'w')
	for i in range (num) :
		text = text + d['entries'][i]['title']+"\n"+d['entries'][i]['link']+"\n\n"

Save the above script in your home folder (eg: /home/yourname/signature-update.py) and test it out.
Once everything is ok, add a cron-job for it to be executed in schedule.

Example (if you are using ‘crontab -e’) command

0,30 * * * * python /home/yourname/signature-update.py >/dev/null 2>&1

This will execute the script every half and hour.

Sample generated file

My Name
My Company
My Address
My Telephone Number

My latest BLOG posts:

Vuurmuur firewall management interface for Linux Iptables

Food Strainer – Your Wifi reception booster!

Simple port forwarding with Iptables in linux

Now I can simply point my mail client (Evolution, KMail, Claws-Mail or Thunderbird) to use the above file as my signature.