Comment 1 for bug 805423

Thank you for reporting this issue and helping to improve Ubuntu.

I understand your concern about the performance impact; however, we are not going to change the default behavior of pam_motd in Ubuntu. There is consensus that the dynamic motd should be enabled by default, and the current behavior is the best way to implement this: the cronjob you refer to was abandoned because it was very wasteful in the common case.

You are right that the ability to log in is more important than presenting a motd. If this behavior is a problem for you, there are several ways that you can disable it:

 - comment out the 'pam_motd' line in /etc/pam.d/sshd if you don't want to display a motd.
 - delete the contents of the /etc/update-motd.d directory.
 - chmod -x the scripts in /etc/update-motd.d that you don't want to run.

Given this existing array of options, I don't think there's anything further that we can do here short of changing the default behavior, which we won't do; so marking this bug "wontfix".