Cisco banner usage

In Cisco IOS, you can use several methods of banners.
The most common methods are:

  • banner exec
  • banner login
  • banner motd

Though all commands use the same syntax

banner motd|login|exec <delimiter> <banner text> <delimiter>
! delimiter is a character, that must not exist in
! the banner message.

there is a different behaviour according to the login method used.

Here’s a table, which shows the differences:

Banner Command Option Telnet SSH v1 only SSH v1 and v2 SSH v2 only
banner login Displayed before logging into the device. Not displayed. Displayed before logging into the device. Displayed before logging into the device.
banner motd Displayed before logging into the device. Displayed after logging into the device. Displayed after logging into the device. Displayed after logging into the device.
banner exec Displayed after logging into the device. Displayed after logging into the device. Displayed after logging into the device. Displayed after logging into the device.

Example

router(config)#banner motd ?
  LINE  c banner-text c, where 'c' is a delimiting character

router(config)#banner motd X
Enter TEXT message.  End with the character 'X'.
******************************************
* Access for authorized personal only    *
******************************************
X
router(config)#

On the website http://www.network-science.de/ascii/, you can generate your banner in a lot of different “fonts”. Here’s an example for “slant” font. (edit 01 June 09:  you can also visit http://www.patorjk.com/software/taag/ or http://picascii.com/)

   ______
  / ____/___  ____ ___  ____  ____ _____  __  __
 / /   / __ \/ __ `__ \/ __ \/ __ `/ __ \/ / / /
/ /___/ /_/ / / / / / / /_/ / /_/ / / / / /_/ /
\____/\____/_/ /_/ /_/ .___/\__,_/_/ /_/\__, /
                    /_/                /____/

Another possibility is to generate your banner from a image with your favourite ASCII-Pic generator.
Here’s a short list of free available tools:

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