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Langue: en

Version: 2008-11-11 (ubuntu - 07/07/09)

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Section: 1 (Commandes utilisateur)


update-motd - Automatically update the message-of-the-day (MOTD)


update-motd [--disable|--enable|--force] [d|hourly|daily|weekly|monthly]


Prevent update-motd from running. This is useful for temporarily disabling automatic updates of /etc/motd by the /etc/cron.d/update-motd cronjob. Note that this regenerates a base MOTD without the update-motd additions, and then exits.
Allow update-motd to run. This is useful for enabling automatic updates of /etc/motd through the /etc/cron.d/update-motd cronjob. Note that this updates the MOTD immediately.
Override a disabled update-motd for a single, immediate update of /etc/motd.
d (Default)
Runs the scripts in /etc/update-motd.d
Runs the scripts in /etc/update-motd.d/hourly
Runs the scripts in /etc/update-motd.d/daily
Runs the scripts in /etc/update-motd.d/weekly
Runs the scripts in /etc/update-motd.d/monthly


This script executes lists of scripts in lexical order, concatenating and writing the output to /var/lib/motd, which is usually a symbolic link to /etc/motd.

Users and/or packages should add symbolic links to /etc/update-motd.d/, /etc/update-motd.d/hourly, /etc/update-motd.d/daily, /etc/update-motd.d/weekly, /etc/update-motd.d/monthly, prepended with a two-digit number to define the displayed order, as obeyed by run-parts(8).

Separate cron jobs will run update-motd every 10 minutes, hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly. Each of execution of update-motd will run the scripts in the corresponding /etc/update-motd.d/ directory. The output of each script will be written and cached in /var/run/update-motd/*, retaining the number and name of the script executed, to preserve the ordering of the output in /etc/motd. After execution of the current set of scripts, all files in /var/run/update-motd/ will be concatenated with /etc/motd.tail and written to /etc/motd.

The update-motd script will not execute if the file /var/lib/update-motd/disabled exists. One can override this using the --force option. To permanently enable/disable update-motd, use:
    $ sudo update-motd --enable
    $ sudo update-motd --disable

If enabled, timestamp of the last update-motd run will be written to /var/run/update-motd.lastrun.


/etc/cron.d/update-motd, /etc/update-motd.d/, /etc/update-motd.d/hourly, /etc/update-motd.d/daily, /etc/update-motd.d/weekly, /etc/update-motd.d/monthly, /etc/motd.tail, /var/run/motd, /var/lib/update-motd/disabled, /var/run/update-motd, /var/run/update-motd.lastrun


Dustin Kirkland <>


This manpage and the update-motd utility was written by Dustin Kirkland <> for Ubuntu systems (but may be used by others). Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU General Public License, Version 3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.

On Debian systems, the complete text of the GNU General Public License can be found in /usr/share/common-licenses/GPL-3.

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