Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Because of the limitations of 1&1's email hosting (mailbox size) I am about to switch the management of our email to our other server which has WHM, CPanel and Exim installed. It's a CentOS box and I have root access should I need to fiddle with settings, or break it.

It has dawned on me that it will now be possible to modify the emails that get sent through the server. So I am doing a bit of research for my boss into how we can add a standardised signature to the bottom of the company's emails with the sender's name, email and possible direct dial number.

Having read this forum post it certainly seems that it's possible. However it is widely acknowledged that it's wrong and it's bad to modify an email at MTA level. :(

But surely there must be a nice way of accomplishing this. Soon our company is going to hire a LARGE number of staff and the admin work in changing signatures is going to be a nightmare - not to mention a mixture of Thunderbird, Outlook and MacMail clients. A company that hires and fires (not that ours does) would surely need some sort of automatic signature so what is the RIGHT way of doing this?

Any help is appreciated.

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The right way is to have the mail clients add the signature. Depending on the client and OS, and your desktop deployment methods, you should be able to automate it as part of whatever scripts you run when deploying a desktop to a new employee.

share|improve this answer
+1 Also see: which explains why email disclaimers are bad, but it does delve into why modifying the email body is bad. Since it happens people stupidly think modifying the email body at the MTA level to add a disclaimer is somehow a good idea. – aseq Jun 19 '12 at 21:48
@aseq, yea, I can't stand seeing the ridiculous drivel myself. – psusi Jun 19 '12 at 22:31
@aseq Hmm, but jeff also says "JavaScript is evil" – beingalex Jun 22 '12 at 12:19

However it is widely acknowledged that it's wrong and it's bad to modify an email at MTA level

While I agree that it's a bit silly, I see little evidence in my inbox that it has been "widely acknowledged" :(

not to mention a mixture of Thunderbird, Outlook and MacMail clients

Then maybe this is a definite use-case for web based email (have a look at Zimbra and Squirrelmail). If you can't control what email client they use, how can you control what the content is? But taking that argument one step further, if you need to tag your emails in this manner then that implies you have a policy on emails - which should cover stuff like formatting and digital signatures - if you break a non-compliant email by adding a signature on the MTA, then maybe that's a desirable outcome? There are lots of milters providing such sunftionality.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.