/etc/motd

| linux | ubuntu |

I have been using Linux for many years, but only recently found out about /etc/motd. When you SSH into a server, it displays a message that varies depending on your Linux distribution. For instance, a stock Debian installation looks like this:

The programs included with the Debian GNU/Linux system are free software;
the exact distribution terms for each program are described in the
individual files in /usr/share/doc/*/copyright.

Debian GNU/Linux comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by applicable law. Last login: Wed Sep 14 23:38:34 2016 user@hostname:~#

I never thought to look at where this message comes from, but apparently it lives in /etc/motd. I believe this stands for "message of the day". This means that you can have this message say anything that you would like by editing the contents of /etc/motd. For example, you can use this Text to ASCII generator to put the hostname of your server in stunning ASCII text and make it look like this:
Levs-MacBook-Pro:~ levlaz$  ssh dev.levops.net
     _            _                                        _
  __| | _____   _| | _____   _____  _ __  ___   _ __   ___| |_
 / _` |/ _ \ \ / / |/ _ \ \ / / _ \| '_ \/ __| | '_ \ / _ \ __|
| (_| |  __/\ V /| |  __/\ V / (_) | |_) \__ \_| | | |  __/ |_
 \__,_|\___| \_(_)_|\___| \_/ \___/| .__/|___(_)_| |_|\___|\__|
                                   |_|

dev:~#

This is pretty neat! You can also do some fancy things like Ubuntu does and make this message change depending on various events such as security updates being available or a server restart being required. You can explore the scripts that Ubuntu uses in the /etc/update-motd.d/directory on a standard install.

Thank you for reading! Share your thoughts with me on mastodon or via email.

Check out some more stuff to read down below.

Most popular posts this month

Recent Favorite Blog Posts

This is a collection of the last 8 posts that I bookmarked.

Articles from blogs I follow around the net

Today in heavy-handed metaphors

Sam Altman is the owner of a massive, invasive, parasitical toxic sludge that respects no boundaries and ruins everything it touches, and that he thinks someone else should clean up. Also his new house has mold. OpenAI CEO's $27 million San Francisco ma…

via jwz July 19, 2024

Weeknotes: GPT-4o mini, LLM 0.15, sqlite-utils 3.37 and building a staging environment

Upgrades to LLM to support the latest models, and a whole bunch of invisible work building out a staging environment for Datasette Cloud. GPT-4o mini and LLM 0.15 Today's big news was the release of GPT-4o mini, which I wrote about here. If you build ap…

via Simon Willison's Weblog: Entries July 19, 2024

ESM3: A simplified primer to the model's architecture

A short primer explaining the architecture of the ESM3 model

via Emmanuel Blogs July 18, 2024

Generated by openring