Message of the day

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Default motd showing on OpenBSD 5.3

Many computer systems display a message of the day or welcome message when a user first connects to them, logs in to them, or starts them. It is a way of sending a common message to all users, and may include information about system changes, system availability, and so on. More recently, systems have displayed personalized messages of the day.

On many time-sharing systems, the contents of the message of the day are fetched from a system file:


The contents of the special file are displayed after the user logs in successfully, typically before the login shell is started.[6]

Newer Unix-like systems may generate the message dynamically when the host boots or a user logs in.[7]

Various server-based PC games display messages of the day, including Half-Life, Call of Duty, Minecraft, and Battlefield. They may be personalized, encouraging users to try new features or make in-game purchases.[8]

Some IRC servers also display a message of the day on login.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A New Version of FAP (PDF) (Technical report). CTSS Bulletin. April 23, 1965. 80.
  2. ^ "Multics Glossary -M-".
  3. ^ a b c A.K. Bhushan, "Scenarios for using ARPANET computers", Request for Comments 254, Network Working Group, IETF
  4. ^ "The Univac 60/90 Mainframe Computer", p. 5
  5. ^ "CP-67 Operator's Guide", Program Number 360D-05.2.005, Control Program-67/Cambridge Monitor System, October 1970, p. 4
  6. ^ The complete FreeBSD: documentation from the source, By Greg Lehey, p.572
  7. ^ Project, Ubuntu Documentation (May 2011). Ubuntu 11.04 Server Guide. ISBN 9781596822603.
  8. ^ "How to build a dynamic message of the day with AWS Lambda | AWS for Games Blog". 2019-06-20. Retrieved 2022-07-31.
  9. ^ "Internet Relay Chat: Client Protocol".