Creating a Welcome message for SSH logins Published: Oct 31, 2003
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Domain names are often confusing to web hosting customers. Trying to understand the difference between a parked domain, addon domain, url forwarding, sub domains and more can be frustrating so we explain domain names here.

Domain names are often confusing to web hosting customers. Trying to understand the difference between a parked domain, addon domain, url forwarding, sub domains and more can be frustrating so we explain domain names here.

It’s been two years since John started his online business. He is very much satisfied with his current web host whose services he acquired one year ago. Today John is relaxing in his chair and thinking about the initial days when he spent many hours on the Internet collecting information related to web hosting. Like him there are many John’s out there who are in search of information everyday, visiting this and that website hoping to find the most illuminating advice. The problem is that common topics of interest can be found on most of the websites whereas other relevant issues are not dealt with everywhere.  This article is going to touch on one of those areas: various concerns related with domain names.

What is multiple domain hosting?
Many times you will see that a web host offers multiple domain hosting. In simpler words it means that on buying an account you will have the ability to get multiple websites. For instance, if the plan provides you with five domain names, you can use one domain for your website and you will still have four domain names leftover to use. The advantage of this scenario is that you can resell these four domain names to your clients. 

What is domain parking or parked domains?
If you are planning to build up a website and have decided on a name for it you then must purchase that domain name from a domain registrar: i.e. your domain name gets placed on a name server so that you can use it later on. This is known as domain parking. Even if your website content is not ready, it’s better to park your desired domain name. Otherwise, it might be possible that in future somebody else acquires that particular domain name.

What are sub domains?
Sub domains are ‘third level’ domains in the sense that they are used solely to organize your website content. They are simply folders under your root directory, but to access them a special URL is used. For instance, is a regular URL without a sub domain. is an URL with the sub domain name: "features". Here the:
.net: is the first level domain,
m6: is the second level domain,
features: is the third level domain

What are addon domains?
Addon domains are provided by your web hosting plan. They allow you to have one hosting plan or account with your provider that has 2 different websites, each with a different URL (domain) for each. Let's say I own Plan 2 from Tower Host which offers 2 addon domains. My main site uses the domain but through my control panel I can add a second site with a second URL but under the same hosting account. So my second domain would be As you can see addon domains are very useful if you have more than 1 website and you want to save on hosting costs!

For how long does a domain name belong to you?
Generally when you register a domain name it is registered for a minimum of one year. However, you can register it for more years, as there is no hard and fast rule as such.

What is Domain Renewal?
After one year you need to renew your domain name so that your website doesn’t get lost.  Generally when your domain is about to expire your domain registrar will send you a reminder mail regarding the domain renewal. If you do not renew your domain you lose the rights to own it. After this someone can take over your domain and register it for themselves - see domain expires below.

What happens when your domain name expires?
When your domain name expires you can renew it within one month. If you don’t renew it in this period it goes into a redemption phase. It stays in this redemption phase for 15 to 30 days before it is then available for purchase again at a normal price.  Getting a domain name out of redemption phase is like buying fifty domains as it can cost around $200! If you don't renew your domain before it expires somoeone else can buy it and use it.

How to find out the owner of a domain name?
To find out the owner of a domain name, use the WhoIs search tool on the Internet .For E.g. Go to and type the domain name.  It will show you the name of the registrant/domain’s owner/web host.

What is WhoIs record?
WhoIS record is a domain name search engine/Internet program where users can enter an Internet entity (e.g. a domain, a network, some hosts) and it will give detailed information on the domain registrar, the owner of the domain, and respective DNS records.

Priyanka Agarwal Hosting evangelist - Modified by Steven Leggett

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Comments (15)

  • Gravatar - Mark Janssen
    Mark Janssen 16:39, November 30, 2003
    If you create a ssh banner file, this will be displayed before people log in, instead of after (with the motd version).

    Specify 'Banner /etc/banner' in sshd_config
  • Gravatar - jad madi
    jad madi 15:47, May 20, 2004
    edit /etc/profile
    at the end add
    so uptime status and date will appear.
  • Gravatar - JLChafardet
    JLChafardet 19:54, November 2, 2004
    Mark Janssen <br />
    If you create a ssh banner file, this will be displayed before people log in, instead of after (with the motd version). Specify 'Banner /etc/banner' in sshd_config<br />
    <br />
    it didnt worked on my machine.
  • Gravatar - Skal
    Skal 00:32, June 9, 2005
    I had to reboot to make /etc/banner work.
  • Gravatar - Walter
    Walter 03:13, June 13, 2005
    <snip><br />
    Specify 'Banner /etc/banner' in sshd_config<br />
    <end snip><br />
    Added to sshd_config, restarted<br />
    sshd.<br />
    a) If I connect from a Windows box via putty - I do NOT get the banner, BUT<br />
    b) use "ssh xxxx" from another Linux box (or the same box), I get the Banner -- so might depend on how you are connecting.<br />
    <br />
    Hope this helps
  • Gravatar - BMay
    BMay 19:23, July 28, 2005
    I did get the banner with puTTY from a Windoze box.
  • Gravatar - Viza
    Viza 06:35, September 29, 2005
    you have to restart sshd before it will work
  • Gravatar - Scott
    Scott 22:16, October 19, 2005
    how do i take off the motd?
  • Gravatar - Matt
    Matt 04:30, November 10, 2005
    To remove the motd, just delete the information in /etc/motd
  • Gravatar - Wes
    Wes 15:54, November 10, 2005
    Scott,<br />
    Just edit the file as you did before and remove all the text you entered.
  • Gravatar - Linux GURU
    Linux GURU 16:55, November 13, 2005
    rm -rf /etc/motd <br />
    <br />
  • Gravatar - Dave
    Dave 06:22, January 9, 2007
    Worked great, didn't have to reboot my server.
  • Gravatar - Steve
    Steve 17:58, August 14, 2007
    So if I want a MOTD with the users name, login, and time/date.<br />
    <br />
    How would i start?<br />
    <br />
    IE Wecome <user> to mysever.<br />
    Date is:<br />
    <br />
    Your webspace is mydomain/~username<br />
    <br />
    Any webpages you can point me too?
  • Gravatar - Maarten
    Maarten 11:08, May 19, 2008
    You don't have to reboot your machine, sending a HUP-signal to the sshd process will make the sshd reread its config file and apply it.<br />
    <br />
    Thus :<br />
    1.) Create the banner file<br />
    2.) Insert the Banner-line into the sshd config file<br />
    3.) ps -ef | grep sshd<br />
    4.) kill -HUP <<sshd PID>><br />
    <br />
    It should work from then on.
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