MOTD maker

This program hasn't been modified in almost a decade but is still downloaded regularly, so I have left it here for future generations of monochrome adverse administrators.

Most SSH servers issue a “message of the day” file when you log in to them, generally located at /etc/motd. This file can contain anything from news about the server to random ASCII art but sitting and typing in ANSI colour codes to emphasize text takes time.

This program was written to make it easy to generate MOTD files that contain bold and underline formatting along with the 8 colours you can use.

Currently the program allows you to output as raw ASCII (control characters saved as ASCII 027) or as the characters `027 (this is suitable for pasting into the editor joe, which I used before I discovered vim).

The “raw” output option is recommended, then copy the file straight over your existing /etc/motd using SCP or similar.

There is a subtle irony that it is a Windows program to create MOTD files for Unix/Linux servers however it was written when I was remotely administering Linux machines and had no access to them as a desktop development environment 🙂



Download the full setup package - which includes all necessary dependencies

21 comments on “MOTD maker
  1. Nick says:

    Cool tool! Thanks! Works for me on Windows 7 x64 RTM just fine.

    Now all my home lab servers have sweet looking MOTDs!

  2. Keenora says:

    Very nice dude :3 Thankees!

  3. Danny says:

    it is a cool program, but is very blank. You can't make shapes, or put in logos, it doesn't look like you can make it bigger, there are only 2 background colors, and is strictly text only. Next time you should add more features.

  4. David says:

    Danny, I'm super excited that you downloaded (for free) a program that I spend many hours on and found it useful! When you write a better version, please let me know so I can link it from here.

  5. pottsi says:

    Why would you want to put shapes into a console window? Putting images into a ssh banner won't work so of course it's text only.

    You can do some pretty awesome stuff with text ;), so like david says i will look forward to your release.

    Good work David, you think you could implement it to work with wine for linux machines, i mean it opens and genarates the text but when it writes to file/clipboard code get's messed up.

  6. RB says:

    Use this at work all the time - paired up with this is a great little tool that has withstood the test of time rather nicely!

  7. David says:

    I love it !! thx

  8. bu9traq says:

    AWESOME !!!

    verry cool. Thanks.

  9. tromas parra d says:

    espero y sea buen hee good kool thank's

  10. Bennet Fox says:

    Just found this little jewel while Googling for motd's and I must say it's awesome! Thank you for your hard work and creativity!

  11. Borg says:

    For some reason I cannot get it to install on Windows 7 64-bit. It seems to be a problem at the point where it wants to register the RichTx32.ocx and will not continue the install. Could you fix this little problem? Great tool and I would like to use it. Sounds pretty neat.

  12. Borg says:

    Disregard previous message. For those having trouble with Windows 7 and the RichTx32.ocx file, you have to get an updated version and register it manually.

  13. Borg says:

    So after testing and using this little gem I've come to like it. This is a pretty awesome and handy little tool to have it saves huge time in creating nice MOTDs. I have a feature request though if you could possibly update the program to have an open file feature to open and save MOTDs you've edited already that would be perfect. Maybe add a few more colors, but it's not of great importance really. The nice part would be the ability to open MOTDs though for sure. Great stuff here I hope to see an update sometime. Thanks!

  14. blackcrack says:


    i don't find you Mailadress or an repley or Contactform
    therefor i write it direcktly there, i hope it's okey 🙂
    Apropo "MOTD maker" can you create a linuxbinary too ? maby in QT for working in KDE or the new LXDE in QT (Razor+LXDE goes in one way and whant rewrite in QT also) Therefor maybe a easy QT binary file who works in gui for create loginwalls and Motd in Linux directly 🙂

    Best Regards

  15. David says:

    Sorry but I don't have the time to do this. I haven't touched this program in almost a decade! It is not a difficult task though, the colour codes are simple escape sequences which are documented on Wikipedia.

    I would consider linking to a project from this page if somebody else made this.

  16. Greg says:

    Any chance of source code?

  17. David says:

    What would you do with it?

  18. Alienglow says:

    Please include a way to align text to the window. Standard alignment like left, center and right.



  19. David says:

    Unfortunately I'm not in a position to take feature requests, as the page says "this program hasn't been modified in almost a decade".

    Alignment to a "window" will depend on how large your terminal is. 80 characters wide was a standard for years but has been surpassed by smaller and smaller fonts.

  20. MagicFab says:

    Windows detects Torjan:Win32/Dynamer!ac, perhaps the file has been infected since it was online?

  21. David says:

    Avira, Sophos and Rising do (wrongly) flag this with generic detections (see VirusTotal). The majority of other A/V software has no problem at all.

    As this is unmaintained and I don't have a development environment any more it will be difficult to code sign.. if any more mainstream A/V products flag it I'll take a look and consider releasing the (very dusty) source code.

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