For some reason I edited motd file yesterday from the standard "Debian GNU/Linux comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY..." to my own customized message. After a system restart today, my customized message is gone and it's back to:

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.

How can I make my own message permanent? BTW, I am using Debian 6.


Debian has /etc/motd as a symlink to /var/run/motd by default. This is updated at boot by /etc/init.d/bootlogs.

To use your own motd simply break the /etc/motd symlink and create it as a regular file.


No, after an Dist-upgrade you have the old motd. I think the best way is to use the/etc/motd.tail and you can take some additional informations in it.

  • 1
    dpkg shouldn't silently replace files - it generally asks first. As /etc/motd.tail is supplied by a Debian package it's more likely that this will get overwritten. Dec 30 '11 at 17:45
  • ah, yeah - you are right. It asks first and many more times the answer is "yes". I always goes the motd.tail way. Dec 30 '11 at 17:49

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