mksig - Make signatures


mksig [ options ] [ user ]


Mksig generates user signature files based on the signature template file $/etc/default/signature. To generate or update your own signature file, enter mksig without any arguments.

The super user can generate or update a signature for a user by including a user name argument.

Other options available to the administrator (as long as there are no more than 1000 accounts):


Generates signature files for all users.


Updates existing signature files for all users.

The Signature File

Users can have their own signature files created only if the default signature file exists. When a user sends a message to an offsite address (into the network) a signature file is appended to the end of the message. This file gives information on the user’s address and position on the network.

The default signature file can contain any text, including special keywords (below). When mksig creates the signature file, it copies the default signature exactly, substituting the user’s information when any keywords are encountered. The keywords are:

<NAME> Full name (first and last)

<LOGIN> Login name

<HOST> Local host name

<DOMAIN> Domain for the local host

It is important to keep signatures as short and as simple as possible. Long, garish, space-wasting signatures are indicative of unprofessional, inexperienced network users.


Mksig runs slower if the signature template contains the <NAME> keyword, causing it to search $/etc/passwd for the user’s real name.

Mksig refuses to run if the signature template is longer than 10 lines.


signature template.


Dean Fick