So the default Ubuntu SSH banner has some cool stuff, mainly that it shows the packages that can be updated and whatnot. So I want to preserve those values, while customizing the rest of it.

I've already seen that I can point sshd_config to the file that would contain the text. I'm just unclear what commands will produce the update text.

For the record, what I'm talking about is this:

0 packages can be updated.
0 updates are security updates.

Help would be appreciated. Thanks so much.

1 Answer 1


This is not a banner, but a MOTD (Message of the Day). It is generated by PAM dynamically and the static part can be simply appended as noted in the /etc/pam.d/sshd:

# Print the message of the day upon successful login.
# This includes a dynamically generated part from /run/motd.dynamic
# and a static (admin-editable) part from /etc/motd.
session    optional     pam_motd.so  motd=/run/motd.dynamic
session    optional     pam_motd.so noupdate

The dynamic part is generated from the /etc/update-motd.d/ to /run/motd.dynamic by the pam_motd.so module.

  • 3
    Haha, i knew you would come, and answer the ssh tagged question thats why i refrained from answering :) Kudos :) Just an addition, /run/motd.dynamic is generated from files under /etc/update-motd.d/, at start run-parts is run on the files, be careful about the file names.
    – heemayl
    Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 19:55
  • 2
    @heemayl hehe, you are flattering me :D Thanks for the addition (that was the part I was unable to find in a minutes). I finally wanted to find out how does it work behind the scenes in Ubuntu (fortunatelly well documented) :)
    – Jakuje
    Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 20:01

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .