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RaspberryPi 112 - Configuring the Login Banner

posted Nov 12, 2015, 6:34 PM by Joshua S
This tutorial will customize the login banner of the RaspberryPi.  This can be a good way to display basic information about the Pi each time a user logs in.  In this case, we'll use it to include the name, IP address, and purpose of the Pi, but you can include whatever you consider to be meaningful.

With any of the Dabbles on this site, if you have questions, suggestions, or thoughts, please feel free to send me an eMail (I'm still working to figure out how to enable comments on Google Sites -- suggestions would be appreciated)!

Supply List:
  • RaspberryPi  The actual RaspberryPi hardware this will all be built around.  In this tutorial, a Raspberry Pi 2 is used and has a memory card with the Raspbian operating system pre-installed.
  • PuTTY SSH Client – PuTTY is a free and open-source terminal emulator, serial console and network file transfer application. It supports several network protocols, including SCP, SSH, Telnet, rlogin, and raw socket connection.  Other SSH tools can be used, but this tutorial will leverage PuTTY.

  • I know I said this guide was going to be comprehensive and not skip any steps, so what better way to start this off than by skipping steps.  I am not writing out instructions for the following (and illustrating from XKCD):
    • Buying a MicroSD Card
    • Buying a RaspberryPi 
    • Finding the IP Address of your Pi
      • This can be done in many ways, including on your router or using an IP scanner such as (AngryIP Scanner or NMAP) -- if there are requests from the "Contact Me" form; I'll look to create a tutorial for this.
    • Obtaining and installing PuTTY
  • Using PuTTY (or the SSH client of your choice) enter the IP Address or DNS Name of the RaspberryPi.
  • If this is the first time you connect, you will get a warning that the RaspberryPi's host key is unknown.  Click "Accept" or "Connect Once" to proceed with the connection.
  • Once connected, log onto the Pi using the credentials you created.  If you have not defined your own credentials, you should, but these are the default credentials:
  • UserID:  pi 
  • Password:  raspberry
  • OK, good!  Now that everything is updated, let's edit the /etc/motd file using nano.  While you can replace the entire message, I elected to leave the default message intact and add my custom message to the bottom:
sudo nano /etc/motd

  • With the message customized, you're all set.  Let's reboot and log back in to see the message.
  • It works!  Congratulations, your login message is updated!