Enhance update-motd to use inotify

Registered by Dustin Kirkland 

update-motd provides a flexible framework for dynamically generating a more useful /etc/motd.

At present, it uses a set of cronjobs that run every (10 minutes, hour, week, month) to update /etc/motd.

The utility could be modified to use inotify to watch for changed files in something like /var/run/update-motd/, and regenerate /etc/motd any time a file in that directory changes.

Blueprint information

Rick Clark
Dustin Kirkland 
Jon Bernard
Series goal:
Accepted for karmic
Milestone target:
milestone icon karmic-alpha-4
Started by
Dustin Kirkland 
Completed by
Dustin Kirkland 


= Status =

update-motd should be integrated into pam_motd. A patch exists for this (see linked bug). As soon as this functionality is included in pam_motd, the entire update-motd package goes away.

Sysadmins and packages should continue to install scripts into /etc/update-motd.d/ and these will be executed and displayed at login by pam_motd.



Discussion Points:
 * Need an inotify daemon in main ... which one?
 * update-motd could support both cron and inotify based notifications -- support this?
 * How should this work with byobu, which provides lots of notifications more frequently at the bottom of your screen?
  * Perhaps lengthier messages belong in /etc/motd?
-- Dustin Kirkland

With contribution from Jon Bernard, this feature has been mostly implemented in upstream update-motd.

We need to do a few more, minor things to complete the feature. Mainly, we need an init script, or some other sticky mechanism for launching the inotify portion of the daemon. Scott James Remnant suggested that upstart could be used to do this.

This blueprint suggests that we complete this functionality and use inotify for some update-motd events.

Additionally, we should discuss the types of applications that perhaps should be hooked to add useful information in the /etc/motd.



Work Items

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