August 31, 2017
I've always liked the message of the day the Freenode displays when you connect to IRC. With both a laptop and a desktop running Ubuntu 17 these days, I wanted to have a custom message of the day (MOTD) that followed a similar pattern as Freenode uses.
Ubuntu stores the components of the MOTD in
$ cd /etc/update-motd.d $ ls -al total 56 drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Aug 30 22:39 . drwxr-xr-x 140 root root 12288 Aug 30 22:28 .. -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 1220 Aug 30 22:32 00-header -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 1157 Jun 14 2016 10-help-text -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 4196 Feb 15 2017 50-motd-news -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 97 Jan 27 2016 90-updates-available -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 299 Apr 11 10:55 91-release-upgrade -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 129 Aug 5 2016 95-hwe-eol -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 142 Jul 12 2013 98-fsck-at-reboot -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 144 Jul 12 2013 98-reboot-required
Each of these parts is executed in numerical order, and each is a small bash shell script. You can see the current MOTD by running
$ run-parts /etc/update-motd.d/
In order to customize my message of the day I added a new part,
05 puts it just
after the initial header, and
fermata happens to be the name of the machine. The file itself
#!/bin/sh printf "\n " printf "\n Welcome to Fermata" printf "\n " printf "\n " printf "\n A fermata is a symbol of musical notation indicating that the note should be " printf "\n prolonged beyond the normal duration its note value would indicate. Exactly how" printf "\n much longer it is held is up to the discretion of the performer or conductor," printf "\n but twice as long is common. It is usually printed above but can be occasionally" printf "\n below the note to be extended." printf "\n "
Now when I run
run-parts /etc/update-motd.d/ or when I
ssh into the machine or create a new
terminal session, the MOTD includes the name of the machine and a brief description of that name.