Fun With Unix: MOTD

I’ve been having fun over the last few weeks, writing about the fun things that you can do with Unix (see earlier articles about cowsay, fortune, mesg and go fish). This is the last in the mini series unless anyone has any other good suggestions for things that should belong here, and its MOTD or “Message of the Day”.

When you log into a unix box (or linux box, I’m using the term fairly indiscriminately in this instance) you will get a standard greeting message, usually telling you what kind of a system it is and adding a bit of a disclaimer. They aren’t very interesting messages but they are easy to change. Look at the contents of /etc/motd and you will see the text that gets displayed to a user on log in.

Traditionally this file is used by sysadmins to let users know of any changes that have happened or perhaps to warn of scheduled down time. However its also pretty usual to find something a bit more light-hearted there. My particular favourite is to add some ascii art as a welcoming banner to the user … what’s yours?

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