Linux Fun Commands

Linux cool tricks

Linux Fun Commands and cool tricks

Linux commands to have fun with the terminal

The Linux terminal is not always dull and boring. There are some shortcut tricks and commands to make it do some funny acts to entertain the user.

1. fortune

The fortune command will put up a random, but hopefully sensible quote, or your fortune for the day.

$ fortune -sDon't tell any big lies today.  
Small ones can be just as effective.

The s option tells the fortune command to generate only small sized messages.

The cow can be made to say the fortune like this

2. sl – Steam Locomotive

$ sudo apt-get install sl

With the sl command, a steam locomotive will run across your terminal from right to left. And it looks like this

The sl command has 2-3 additional options, that can be found in the man pages.

3. Cowsay

Install cowsay with apt.

Cowsay is a talking cow that will speak out anything you want it to.

4. Cowthink

The cow can do more than just talking, it can even think. To make the cow think, use the cowthink command.

All animals of the cow zoo can think, and command is similar to the earlier one.

5. Watch Star Wars

This is not actually a command, but a text animation broadcasted at towel.blinkenlights.nl and can be played inside the terminal by telnetting to the server.

$ telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl

The show begins like this

So if you have been sitting on the terminal for long and want some entertainment, turn it on.

6. banner

The banner command too can print banners like figlet and toilet but it is very limited. No options and can print only 10 characters at most.

7. asciiviewer – convert images to ascii art

Since the terminal is limited to only text, tools like asciiviewer are often useful to generate images out of pure text. And to do this you need the tool called asciiviewer.

And now convert any images to asciiart using this simple command

Spotting the Linux mascot above should not be difficult.

8. figlet – draw banners

The figlet command can be used to draw large sized text banners. I remember seeing such banners as the welcome message of socket daemons/services, when connecting via telnet.

9. toilet – draw banners again

The toilet command is similar to the figlet command, that it draws large sized text banners using smaller characters.

The toilet commands supports a wide range of options like unicode support, colored fonts, filters etc. Check out the man page. To draw the text in a bit different way, try the following command

$ toilet -f mono12 -F metal Linux

10. xeyes

Xeyes is also a gui program that draws a pair of eyes on the desktop which follow the mouse cursor. The eyes would look where ever the mouse cursor goes.

Just run the command and see the output

11. Moo with apt-get

The apt-get command has this easter egg where the cow does a moo.

12. Loop with yes

The yes command will go on printing the same thing indefinitely until stopped by a Ctrl+C. The command apparently appears to have no use, but in scenarios like software testing it is often needful to produce large amounts of junk text quickly and that is where tools like this come in handy.

13. factor – factorise numbers

This command would print out all the lowest common multiple (LCM) factors of any given number.

If you still remember your school maths, factoring a prime number would produce only the number itself and no factors.

14. pi – The Constant

The pi command prints the mathematical constant PI to any number of decimal figures. So lets print it to the first 500 figures after decimal.

15. Xcowsay

xcowsay is the gui version of the cowsay command, and you need a running desktop (X display) to use it. It cannot work solely from a terminal.

16. aafire – burn the console

The next command is aafire and it too is an asciiart animation that renders a burning fire on the terminal.

$ aafire

And the output should look like this

17. rig

The rig command generates random and possibly fake identities.

18. bb – the successor of aa

bb is a high quality audio-visual demonstration for your text terminal. It is a complete animation that draws using pure text and has background too. Very interesting to watch.

$ bb

19. Text to Speech with espeak

espeak is a multi lingual software speech synthesizer. It can speak out text using stored sound files and patterns. And the best part is that it is a terminal application.

$ sudo apt-get install espeak

Now give it a sentence to speak

$ espeak "Hello Linux, where are the penguins"

It is capable of pronouncing complex “proper name” words.

So that was it, if you know about more such command line toys, then let us know in the comment box below.

I hope you are enjoying and this post helps you to learn something unique and joyful.

Keep learning 🙂

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