From time to time I've come across colorful ASCII art styled messages when logging into a server. How are these messages constructed?

up vote 2 down vote accepted

NOTE: None of these will work with SSH's banner facility. See this U&L Q&A titled: Non-ASCII printable characters in sshd banner for reasons as to why SSH omits this feature.

Generic Colouriser

Generic Colouriser could be used for this application. It has the capability to identify via regular expressions bits of text, and then assign a color to any that match.

# this is probably a pathname
regexp=/[\w/\.]+
colour=green
count=more

This will match /usr/bin, /usr/local/bin/, /etc/init.d/syslogd and similar strings and paint it with green.

Another example:

regexp=^-{1,2}\s{0,1}$
colours=red
count=block
-
regexp=^\s{0,5}$
colours=default
count=unblock

This will turn all correctly formatted mail signatures red.

Screenshot

        ss of syslog

MOTD Maker

Came across this GUI, MOTD Maker which allows you to interactively create your MOTD and save it as a text file. App is a windows application but ran find under Wine.

    ss of motd maker #1

    ss of motd maker #2

Linux Logo

This one, linux_logo, has been around since I started using Linux daily in 1997, so it's an oldie but it still looks good and has a surprising array of features.

This one is more a logo with system related stats being displayed, but you can incorporate your own text so it's related to your question.

    linux_logo #1

    linux_logo #2

ScriptEchoColor

ScriptEchoColor simplifies Linux terminal text colorizing, formatting and several steps of script coding.

For Example

1. Wait for a key press:
    echoc -w
    echoc -w "When you ready"

2. Ask a question and receive an \"yes/no\" answear:
    if echoc -q "Ready to continue"; then
        echo "Hello"
    fi

      ss ScriptEchoColor

References

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