How to Set a Custom SSH Warning Banner and MOTD in Linux

SSH banner warnings are necessary when companies or organizations want to display a stern warning to discourage unauthorized parties from accessing a server. Just a warning message normally warns unapproved clients from continuing to access the system.

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These warnings show up immediately before the password prompt, informing unauthorised users who are about to sign in of the implications of doing so. This article will demonstrate how you can set a custom warning banner.

Step 1: Configure SSH Warning Banner

Access the SSH configuration file using your text editor. I am using the vim command to edit the SSH configuration file.

# vim /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Search for the Banner parameter within the file.

#Banner none

Uncomment it and determine a custom file where you will define your custom warning message.

Banner /etc/techworld

Step 2: Create SSH Warning Banner

Now, create the custom file in which we shall define the custom banner.

# vim /etc/mybanner

Paste the banner message and feel free to update the message as per your requirement.


For Techoism Authorized access only!

If you are not authorized to access or use this system, disconnect now!


Step 3: Restart SSH Service

To apply the changes, restart the SSH service:

# systemctl restart sshd.service
# service sshd restart

Step 4: Testing SSH Warning Banner

To test out our banner, we will log in to the server and the warning banner will display just before the password prompt.

$ ssh sysadmin@

Step 5: Setting a MOTD Banner

If you want to set a MOTD (Message Of The Day) banner right after login, edit the /etc/motd file.


# vim /etc/motd

Then specify your MOTD message. We have created custom ASCII art for messages.

Restart the SSH service.

# systemctl restart sshd.service
# service sshd restart

The MOTD is displayed right after you log in as below:

Enjoy it!

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