On Ubuntu 10.04, I like it how the the login message tells me system load, memory usage, and other useful statistics when I ssh into the machine. Found out that the script is known as
landscape-sysinfo, and it is executed via the package
update-motd. Basically, you can add modify the MOTD by adding scripts that output messages into
/etc/update-motd.d/. See here for a more thorough explanation.
In the following, I make it so that I can see the usage of all the mounted disks I have on my NAS:
<pre class="src src-sh">sudo emacs -q -nw /etc/update-motd.d/51-hdd-df
#! /bin/sh df -h | grep -v none ## done sudo +x chmod /etc/update-motd.d/51-hdd-df ## logout and login