Ideas for landscape-sysinfo tool

Dustin Kirkland kirkland at
Fri Aug 15 22:37:06 UTC 2008

On Wed, Aug 13, 2008 at 2:11 PM, Gustavo Niemeyer <gustavo at> wrote:
> I'm one of the developers working on the Landscape project at
> Canonical[1].  Recently we've started working on a tool, so far named
> landscape-sysinfo, which will be used to display some dynamic
> information next to the MOTD message during logins.

Related to this, Gustavo and I had a conversation in IRC about a few
different ways of gathering and displaying that information.

Basically, we considered two different options...
 1) Updating the MOTD itself
 2) Running the scripts on each login

There are clearly advantages and disadvantages to each approach,
depending on the profile of a system.  The implementation may well
employ a combination of the two approaches, or provide administrators
with an option between the two.

To that end, I have created a new package, update-motd.

It's currently under review at:

And installable from my PPA:

To some extent, it's a more generalized version of the mythtv-status
package, which appends statistical information about your mythtv
backed server to /etc/motd.

update-motd, on the other hand, creates an /etc/update-motd.d/
directory, where users or other packages can drop scripts.  These
scripts will be run on a regular basis, in lexical order, by
run-parts.  The interval at which they are run is configurable in
/etc/default/update-motd, defaulting to every 10 minutes.  Clearly,
that value would need to be tuned according to a system
administrator's preferences.  The output of each script is
concatenated with /etc/motd.tail and written to /etc/motd.

Between /etc/profile.d, and /etc/update-motd.d, there would be two
different viable options for running the Landscape sysinfo scripts.


Dustin Kirkland
Ubuntu Server Developer
Canonical, LTD
kirkland at
GPG: 1024D/83A61194

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