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PAM_MOTD(8) Linux-PAM Manual PAM_MOTD(8)

pam_motd - Display the motd file [motd=/path/filename]

pam_motd is a PAM module that can be used to display arbitrary motd (message of the day) files after a successful login. By default the /etc/motd file is shown. The message size is limited to 64KB.

The /path/filename file is displayed as message of the day.


The /path/dirname.d directory is scanned and each file contained inside of it is displayed.

When no options are given, the default is to display both /etc/motd and the contents of /etc/motd.d. Specifying either option (or both) will disable this default behavior.

Only the session module type is provided.

This is the only return value of this module.

The suggested usage for /etc/pam.d/login is:

session  optional

To use a motd file from a different location:

session  optional motd=/elsewhere/motd

To use a motd file from elsewhere, along with a corresponding .d directory:

session  optional motd=/elsewhere/motd motd_dir=/elsewhere/motd.d

motd(5), pam.conf(5), pam.d(5), pam(8)

pam_motd was written by Ben Collins <>.

The motd_dir= option was added by Allison Karlitskaya <>.

05/18/2018 Linux-PAM Manual