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This is a very quick post! I decided today to start putting a signature in my emails, which are sent by Thunderbird, and wanted to include a fortune (output from the fortune program, into the footer of my signature.

Turns out that Thunderbird only allows you to add a static message, attach a file, or a v-card (not THAT v-card, silly you). So there’s no easy way to attach the output from a script.

BUT! It re-reads the file every time if you want to attach a txt file. So if there was a way to call a script every-time a file gets read… Enter inotify-tools, which includes a command called inotifywait which simply waits until a file receives a specified event. And then this script is born…



DIR=$( cd "$( dirname "${BASH_SOURCE[0]}" )" && pwd )

print_signature() {
    printf "Charles Hathaway\nRensselaer Polytechnic Institute\nComputer Science, PhD Student \n\ncharles@`hostname`:~$ fortune -s\n`fortune -s`\n" > $DIR/signature.txt

while true
    inotifywait -e access $DIR/signature.txt && print_signature


sudo apt-get install inotify-tools fortunes

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