I would like to edit the Last login: information that is printed out along with the message of the day, yet I can't find the script which generates and echoes out.

Where is it defined, in an easy-to-edit shell script, or closed off in a binary?

Note, this is different from ServerFault: How can I edit the welcome message when ssh start?. The "last login" information is not printed out from inside /etc/update-motd.d/, but is instead defined by setting the PrintLastLog flag, and can therefore not be edited like the other parts of the message of the day.

  • This information is saved in utmp and wtmp files (depending on distribution, check in /var/run/utmp or /var/log/utmp or look in /var directory). These files are not saved as text, but as binary, so you will need special tools to edit them. The utmp file keeps track of the current login state of each user. The wtmp file records all logins and logouts history. You will need special tools to edit them, but I could not find anything really. – phoops May 23 '14 at 10:00

Looks like the format of the printed line is compiled into sshd:

[me@risby ~]$ ssh lory
Last login: Fri May 23 10:59:01 2014 from 2a01:2c0:e:300:7271:bcff:feac:445a
[me@lory ~]$ strings /usr/sbin/sshd | grep -i "last login"
Last login: %s
Last login: %s from %s

I can't see any config option for changing that either, so you will need to edit the source and recompile.

Edit: In the limiting case, you can find source at http://www.openssh.org. But you don't tell us that you're using OpenSSH, or anything about your platform, so it's hard to be more specific. If it's a Linux system, you would do much better to get the source appropriate to your distro in the usual way, and recompile through your distro-specific mechanisms.

But really, you shouldn't do this at all unless you have an extremely-compelling business reason to do so: you're making a maintenance nightmare for yourself, going to a hand-compiled version of a security-sensitive package.

  • Where can the source code behind sshd be found? – IQAndreas May 23 '14 at 10:08
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    Actually, I was planning something else with the source. I wanted to see how they parse the data from wtmp, set the PrintLastLog flag to no, and re-create the "last login" notice with my own script in placed in update-motd.d. Much more maintenance friendly. :) – IQAndreas May 23 '14 at 10:17
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    I am frequently seeing motd output not being completely up to date. So I am thinking update-motd might not be run on every login. – kasperd May 23 '14 at 10:20
  • IQAndreas, that makes sense! – MadHatter May 23 '14 at 10:37
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    The "last login" message is user specific, while the motd is system-wide. I'm not sure how you want to recreate the message. Also, there are people who actually read this message, and want it to be as accurate as possible. – Simon Richter May 23 '14 at 14:47

The last login information is stored in /var/log/wtmp or /var/log/utmp they are binary files. Without looking at the source code for sshd I can't be entirely sure but I would expect that it is retrieving the information from those files using suitable system calls

It seems unlikely you'll find a way to easily change this information it is after all part of the users security.

If you really want the gory details then you need to look at the source code for the function login_get_lastlog which can be found in loginrec.c

  • @lain +1 because of the source code suggestion - although I don't think it were a gory solution, all he needs is a local git mirror. Imho using the source isn't from the devil even for the sysadms. – peterh May 23 '14 at 15:14

Perhaps some work around in case you just want to change last login IP?

For example, you can change the shown IP address to "localhost" by logging in to ssh again from remote controlled machine!

Remote login via ssh >> ssh username@localhost

Now the last IP recorded will be localhost

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