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MOTD changing

28-07-2009, 18:24
Use vKVM to install your own OS

Ubuntu 8.04 server install with ease

28-07-2009, 17:48
I can see it being a useful feature which would help some people (giving them basic information at login such as IP's and hostname)

But I still think a little transparency as to exactly what changes are made to a distro. Kernel edits to make raid work are essential, but editing /etc/rc.local to delete a file I created and replace it with your own .. its kinda a bad thing IMO.

Perhaps if OVH would be kind enough to list what changes they made to distros, the user community could make a guide for this forum allowing new users to see what files have been edited and how to change them if needed.

I must admit, the changes to FreeBSD are not limited to a Kernel ident change, raid added and rc.local .. but also the addition of several files installed in /root containing my email address, initial password and some other things. But also some ports are installed (I didnt ask for any software to be installed). This is acceptable and useful for some, but you advertise FreeBSD as a clean distro with no changes to the original install. Perhaps its just a case of someone forgot to update the ovh website, i dunno. Also a ssh key is installed to the root user allowing OVH ( if i recall correctly) access to root on my dedicated machine. I of course removed this, but its a non standard feature which really should be mentioned?

Again, I can see all these features being useful.. but still, its important to let us know when you are adding a ssh key to allow an OVH machine root access into a dedicated server or adding a script to delete changes I make to a file.

I would expect a lot of these features from a managed service though, unless im mistaken, the dedicated servers are not managed?

27-07-2009, 22:13
Perhaps they do it to counter the OS information added lol.

27-07-2009, 21:28

No problem. Maby ovh can shed some light in this thread, it was fine when it only did it when os installed not everytime it boots.


25-07-2009, 23:13
Guardhost your "tutorial" is very helpful! thanks for sharing!

24-07-2009, 22:01
Mine kept doing it even after removing the stuff from rc.local. However it started saying ubuntu server stuff then. I now just do

> /etc/motd

at every boot up in /etc/rc.local to blank the file. I have my own handler for welcome messages ... changing depending on the logging in user.

24-07-2009, 18:30
Found the offending script;

/etc/rc.local was modified to


uname -mrsi > /etc/motd
echo >> /etc/motd
echo "server    : `cat /root/.mdg 2>/dev/null`" >> /etc/motd
for i in `ifconfig -u | grep "inet " | cut -f 2 -d " " | grep -v`
        echo "ip        : $i" >> /etc/motd
echo "hostname  : `hostname`" >> /etc/motd
echo >> /etc/motd

cp /etc/motd /etc/issue
OVH Staff, are there any other undocumented changes made to your version of FreeBSD?

I choose FreeBSD for the additional security it can provide - but its worrying when there are changes like this and not documented. Your website says

To preserve the specifics of the operating system, OVH kept the distribution kernel unchanged.
However you patched the kernel with a new ident and raid functions, which is required so its all good. but edits to startup scripts to overwrite my files .. you really should document this ..

24-07-2009, 18:27

We found this to be very anoying aswell all we did is make the file uneditable, edit the file then run :

chattr +i /etc/motd

To reset back permission, type the following command:

chattr -i /etc/motd

You can also do this with the hostname, ovh should remove this feature as its anoying for resellers.


24-07-2009, 17:43
Hi - Ive got something strange happening which is driving me crazy

I am using FreeBSD7.1 - however have my own kernel installed.

I'm editing my /etc/motd file to display our companies legal warning one.

Everytime I reboot the machine my /etc/motd file is replaced with one from OVH. This only happens on reboot.

Apart from the kernel modifications to the distribution, are there any undocumented changes which they have made ? Or have I perhaps missed something somewhere pointing out some startup scripts they might run ?

I initally assumed their server was connecting via SSH and making these changes so I deleted the OVH SSH keys to stop this - however it didnt work.

So now I can only assume there is a script running on boot to change the motd.

Ive checked in the usual places


but cant see anything :S

The MOTD it gets changed to on every boot is : (ive masked my serve info, but its populated in the MOTD)

server : **
ip : **
ip : **
hostname : **

Anyone noticed this before ? or perhaps know if it is a custom script ?

thanks for reading