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Re: motd handling in jessie

Russ Allbery wrote:
> Josh Triplett <josh@joshtriplett.org> writes:
> > That looks really promising.  What would it take to get the default
> > /etc/issue changed to include all the necessary information to make the
> > current dynamic motd obsolete?
> ssh support for /etc/issue escapes, which seems incredibly unlikely.  I
> certainly wouldn't want to add that to ssh were I the ssh maintainers.

ssh already, today, uses pam_motd to display /etc/motd.  Using pam_issue
to display /etc/issue seems rather reasonably equivalent.

> > Note that if we care about ssh logins showing the same message, we could
> > easily enough start using pam_issue, in place of or in addition to the
> > current pam_motd.
> If people really want to use PAM to do fancy, dynamic stuff with the MOTD,
> more power to them, but let's please not use a solution with this high of
> complexity by default.  Nearly all normal uses of MOTD are served just
> fine with some scripts that run at boot and generate a static file, which
> can then be displayed directly in sshd with PrintMotd (which is the
> upstream default).

But not the Debian default.  Debian defaults to "UsePAM yes" and
"PrintMotd no", and uses PAM to print the motd.

In any case, the /etc/issue escapes have a major advantage over every
other solution thus-far proposed: they don't actually involve running
any extra programs, ever.  Not at boot, not periodically, and not at
login time.  Instead, whatever processes /etc/issue (either agetty or
pam_issue) just runs an extra syscall to obtain uname information, and
prints it.  (And note that Debian's default /etc/issue *already* prints
one such piece of information.)

- Josh Triplett

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