10 Lesser Known Linux Fun on Terminal with Crazy Outputs

Posted on : April 24, 2017 , Last Updated on : June 14, 2017 By
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The Linux terminal is a powerful tool for some administration tasks. It helps for troubleshooting too and ensure you a solution for a problem. As serious, it can be with some special commands, the terminal is also used for really surprising operations which have nothing to do with the work. Just for the fun!! It exists commands which give you crazy output very amazing. At that moment, you will that the black screen with some green/white words in front of you is very fun!! We will show you how you can use your terminal to explore another dimension of Linux.

1. cowsay

An ASCII cow view in the terminal

# apt get install cowsay

cowsay command has a list of ASCII images that you can see with the -l option

#cowsay -l
Cow files in /usr/share/cowsay/cows:
apt beavis.zen bong bud-frogs bunny calvin cheese cock cower daemon default
dragon dragon-and-cow duck elephant elephant-in-snake eyes flaming-sheep
ghostbusters gnu head-in hellokitty kiss kitty koala kosh luke-koala
mech-and-cow meow milk moofasa moose mutilated pony pony-smaller ren sheep
skeleton snowman sodomized-sheep stegosaurus stimpy suse three-eyes turkey
turtle tux unipony unipony-smaller vader vader-koala www

Let's see a dragon with cowsay

2. lolcat

lolcat is a command tool which prints the text in awesome colors. You need first to install it

# apt-get install lolcat

It is combined to the output of the others command if you want to see the result.

3. sl

Have you already seen a locomotive on your terminal?

# apt-get install sl

On your terminal when you use the sl command , you have the result below

For fun, try theses two commands:

# LS
# sl | lolcat

4. fortune

The fortune command spits out quotations, fortunes, jokes, nonsense.

# fortune
You'd like to do it instantaneously, but that's too slow.
# fortune
Q: What do you call a principal female opera singer whose high C
 is lower than those of other principal female opera singers?
A: A deep C diva.

You can see that it gives random expressions. With cowsay command, we needed to give expressions which appeared on the result. The expressions of fortune command can be piped with cowsay.

5. xcowsay

We have seen cowsay command which displays ASCII images. xcowsay displays cute cow and the message you give. First, you need to install it.

# sudo apt-get install cowsay

Now let's use it with fortune for amazing joke

# fortune | xcowsay

6. cmatrix

Have you not ever dream to have a matrix output on your own terminal? me, yes. It is possible to reproduce what you have seen in matrix movie, a continuous output with some specials characters by using the cmatrix command. Imagine that, your young brother who is a fan of that movie, if you can reproduce the same thing, it is sure that you will be more popular for him than the real movie =)

# apt-get install cmatrix

now just execute the command and see the result

# cmatrix

You can stop the output with Ctrl + C combination

7. figlet

The figlet command transforms ordinary terminal text into big fancy letters by using some specials fonts in its dispositions

# apt install figlet

You can display the different fonts with

# showfigfonts

Now we can choose a font with -f paramater. We can piped it with lolcat command

8. asciiquarium

As you have noticed, some of our funny commands show images in ASCII. Now imagine that you have your own ocean in you local machine. With a variety of fishes, a vast submarine world with a castle and a ship which navigates above. Imagine the enjoyment of your younger sister or your daughter in front of this aquarium.

asciiquarium command is used with a terminal animation that we need to install. There are not present in default packages, so we need to install it.

Download and install term animation

# apt-get install libcurses-perl
# wget http://search.cpan.org/CPAN/authors/id/K/KB/KBAUCOM/Term-Animation-2.4.tar.gz
--2017-04-20 14:49:52-- http://search.cpan.org/CPAN/authors/id/K/KB/KBAUCOM/Term-Animation-2.4.tar.gz
Resolving search.cpan.org (search.cpan.org)...,
Connecting to search.cpan.org (search.cpan.org)||:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 302 Found
Location: http://www.cpan.org/authors/id/K/KB/KBAUCOM/Term-Animation-2.4.tar.gz [following]
--2017-04-20 14:49:53-- http://www.cpan.org/authors/id/K/KB/KBAUCOM/Term-Animation-2.4.tar.gz
Resolving www.cpan.org (www.cpan.org)...,,, ...
Connecting to www.cpan.org (www.cpan.org)||:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 18785 (18K) [application/x-gzip]
Saving to: ‘Term-Animation-2.4.tar.gz’

Term-Animation-2.4.tar.gz 100%[======================================================================>] 18.34K --.-KB/s in 0.1s 

2017-04-20 14:49:53 (180 KB/s) - ‘Term-Animation-2.4.tar.gz’ saved [18785/18785]
# tar -zxvf Term-Animation-2.4.tar.gz
# perl Makefile.PL && make && make test

Now, Download and install asciiquarium

# wget http://www.robobunny.com/projects/asciiquarium/asciiquarium.tar.gz
--2017-04-20 15:01:39-- http://www.robobunny.com/projects/asciiquarium/asciiquarium.tar.gz
Resolving www.robobunny.com (www.robobunny.com)...
Connecting to www.robobunny.com (www.robobunny.com)||:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 15436 (15K) [application/x-gzip]
Saving to: ‘asciiquarium.tar.gz’

asciiquarium.tar.gz 100%[=========================================>] 15.07K 69.3KB/s in 0.2s 

2017-04-20 15:01:40 (69.3 KB/s) - ‘asciiquarium.tar.gz’ saved [15436/15436]
# tar -zxvf asciiquarium.tar.gz
# cd asciiquarium_1.1/
# ls
asciiquarium CHANGES gpl.txt MANIFEST README
~/asciiquarium_1.1# cp asciiquarium /usr/local/bin
# chmod 0755 /usr/local/bin/asciiquarium

Now we can launch it with the command

# asciiquarium

9. aafire

It is very cold so that you need heat? Don't worry, you can use your own fire on your system:

# apt-get install libaa-bin

Now launch your fire with aafire command

# aafire

10. asciiview

It is possible to view our normal images in ascii mode with the asciiview command. It takes images and gives you the output in ascii mode without modifying your original picture.

First, we need to install the command

# apt-get install aview imagemagick

Now, we must go into the folder which contains the images to see in ascii mode

# cd /home/linoxide/Pictures

I have in this directory an image file "linux-admin.jgp". 

#  asciiview linux-admin.jpg


I am sure that you have understood that we can use the terminal also for fun. It is interesting to have amazing commands. Noticed that it is a non-exhaustive list.

Filed Under : LINUX HOWTO

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Comments (2)

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  1. Song says:

    I got an error when try to run asciiquarium as follows:

    "Can't locate Term/Aniamtion.pm iin @INC (you may need to install the Term::Animation module) (@INC contains: /etc/perl /usr/local/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/perl/5.22.1 /usr/local/share/perl/5.22.1 /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/perl5/5.22 /usr/share/perl5 /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/perl/5.22 /usr/share/perl/5.22 /usr/local/lib/site-perl /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/perl-base .) at /usr/local/bin/asciiquarium line 42.
    BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at /usr/local/bin/asciiquarium line 42."

  2. Alain Francois says:

    Hello Song, what is your OS? have you installed perl packages?

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