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Mac OS X Power Hound, Second Edition by Rob Griffiths

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Fun Stuff

You’ve been working hard, and now it’s time for a break. Welcome to the lighter side of Terminal.

Customizing Terminal’s Welcome Message

When you open Terminal, it displays a friendly “Welcome to Darwin!” message every time (Darwin is a reference to the particular flavor of Unix that Mac OS X uses). You might prefer to have it say something more meaningful or entertaining, though, like “Cower in Fear, All Ye Who Enter Here.”

The trick is to edit the file /etc/motd, using the pico editor as described in the sidebar on Sidebar 15.4. Because Mac OS X officially owns this file, however, you’re not allowed to edit it—unless you blast past the security by using the sudo command (Sidebar 15.5). The complete command, then, is this:

sudo pico /etc/motd

Enter your administrative password when asked. Then replace the stock wording in the file with a message of your choice, and save your changes. Now, you can connect to “Tina’s Terrific G5 Tower of Terror!” instead of Darwin.

Tip

In today’s age of hackers, constant Internet connections, and big litigation over very small things, you may wish to consider a warning message, too. Something like this might do nicely: “This computer system is private. Unauthorized usage is strictly prohibited, and all activity is logged. If you are here by mistake, please close your connection window now.”

While this message may not do much to stop a hacker, it may be useful if you were ever to reach litigation with someone who had hacked your system.

Removing ...

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