Subject: Re: /etc/issue [& /etc/]
To: Matt Thomas <>
From: Brian Ginsbach <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 07/22/2003 15:09:34
On Mon, Jul 21, 2003 at 02:25:11PM -0700, Matt Thomas wrote:
> I'm planning on adding support for /etc/issue (gettytab) & 
> /etc/ (everything else) to NetBSD.  These files contain 
> *uninterpreted* text to be written before issuing the login: prompt.  
> While gettytab(5) can provide that functionality now, inconvenient to 
> use (especially for scripts or programs).

Huh?  How so for programs?  Using the gettytab `if' seems fairly
simple and convenient for programs.  I can maybe accept it being
difficult for scripts.

> telnetd/rlogind/sshd will try to use /etc/, and if that is not 
> available they will try to use /etc/issue.  In either situation, the 
> evalution of things in /etc/getttytab will remain unchanged.
> This also gives NetBSD equivalent functionality to HPUX, Solaris, 
> Linux, Tru64, and other modern Unix-like operating systems.

Too bad none of the systems I've looked at implements this in
the same way.

How various modern Unix-like operating systems use /etc/issue.
  OS            Displays /etc/issue
  ------------- -----------------------
  HP-UX 11      getty
  IRIX 6.5      login or getty
  Linux         getty
  OpenBSD 3.3   telnetd iff no /etc/
  Solaris 8     ttymon
  Tru64         getty or telnetd
  UNICOS 10     login

From my searching these appear to be the only Unix-like operating
systems that specifically use or look for /etc/
  OS            Displays /etc/
  ------------- -----------------------
  Tru64         telnetd
  Linux         telnetd (Note: treated as *interpreted* text)
  OpenBSD 3.3   telnetd

These systems telnet daemons could use /etc/{issue,} with
proper configuration.
  OS            Configure to display /etc/issue or /etc/ 
  ------------- -------------------------------------------------
  Solaris 8     set BANNER appropriately in /etc/default/telnetd
  HP-UX 11      set in inetd.conf with telnetd -b [banner-file]
  FreeBSD 5     set `if' for default entry in /etc/gettytab
  NetBSD 1.6    set `if' for default entry in /etc/gettytab

All this information was determined from publicly available man
pages and source code.  So I might have missed something...

> -- 
> Matt Thomas                     email:
> 3am Software Foundry              www: 
> Cupertino, CA              
> disclaimer: I avow all knowledge of this message.

Brian Ginsbach                          Cray Inc.