20 Funny Commands of Linux or Linux is Fun in Terminal

Linux is fun! Huh. OK, so you don’t believe me. Mind me at the end of this article you will have to believe that Linux is actually a fun box.

Linux Funny Commands
20 Linux Funny Commands

1. Command: sl (Steam Locomotive)

You might be aware of command ‘ls‘ the list command, which is used frequently to view the contents of a folder but because of miss-typing sometimes you would result in ‘sl‘, how about getting a little fun in the terminal and not “command not found“.

Install sl

$ sudo apt install sl   [On Debian/Ubuntu & Mint]
$ sudo yum install sl   [On CentOS/RHEL 7]
$ sudo dnf install sl   [On CentOS/RHEL 8 & Fedora]
$ sudo pacman -S sl     [On Arch Linux]
$ sudo pkg_add -v sl    [On FreeBSD]
[email protected]:~# sl
sl funny command
sl command

This command works even when you type ‘LS‘ and not ‘ls‘.

2. Command: telnet

No! No!! it is not as much complex as it seems. You would be familiar with telnet. Telnet is a text-oriented bidirectional network protocol over a network. Here is nothing to be installed. What you should have is a Linux box and a working Internet.

[email protected]:~# telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl   [No longer working]
telnet command
telnet command

3. Command: fortune

what about getting your random fortune, sometimes funny in terminal.

Install fortune

$ sudo apt install fortune   [On Debian/Ubuntu & Mint]
$ sudo yum install fortune   [On CentOS/RHEL 7]
$ sudo dnf install fortune   [On CentOS/RHEL 8 & Fedora]
$ sudo pacman -S fortune     [On Arch Linux]
$ sudo pkg_add -v fortune    [On FreeBSD]
[email protected]:~# fortune

You're not my type.  For that matter, you're not even my species!!!
Future looks spotty.  You will spill soup in the late evening.
You worry too much about your job.  Stop it.  You are not paid enough to worry.
Your love life will be... interesting.

4. Command: rev (Reverse)

It reverses every string given to it, is not it funny.

[email protected]:~# rev


xuniL eb ot nrob
born to be Linux

5. Command: factor

Time for some Mathematics, this command output all the possible factors of a given number.

[email protected]:~# factor 5

5: 5 

12: 2 2 3 

1001: 7 11 13 

5442134: 2 2721067

6. Command: script

OK fine this is not a command and a script but it is nice.

[email protected]:~# for i in {1..12}; do for j in $(seq 1 $i); do echo -ne $i×$j=$((i*j))\\t;done; echo;done 

2×1=2	2×2=4	
3×1=3	3×2=6	3×3=9	
4×1=4	4×2=8	4×3=12	4×4=16	
5×1=5	5×2=10	5×3=15	5×4=20	5×5=25	
6×1=6	6×2=12	6×3=18	6×4=24	6×5=30	6×6=36	
7×1=7	7×2=14	7×3=21	7×4=28	7×5=35	7×6=42	7×7=49	
8×1=8	8×2=16	8×3=24	8×4=32	8×5=40	8×6=48	8×7=56	8×8=64	
9×1=9	9×2=18	9×3=27	9×4=36	9×5=45	9×6=54	9×7=63	9×8=72	9×9=81	
10×1=10	10×2=20	10×3=30	10×4=40	10×5=50	10×6=60	10×7=70	10×8=80	10×9=90	10×10=100	
11×1=11	11×2=22	11×3=33	11×4=44	11×5=55	11×6=66	11×7=77	11×8=88	11×9=99	11×10=110	11×11=121	
12×1=12	12×2=24	12×3=36	12×4=48	12×5=60	12×6=72	12×7=84	12×8=96	12×9=108	12×10=120	12×11=132	12×12=144

7. Command: Cowsay

An ASCII cow in the terminal will say whatever you want.

Install Cowsay

$ sudo apt install cowsay   [On Debian/Ubuntu & Mint]
$ sudo yum install cowsay   [On CentOS/RHEL 7]
$ sudo dnf install cowsay   [On CentOS/RHEL 8 & Fedora]
$ sudo pacman -S cowsay     [On Arch Linux]
$ sudo pkg_add -v cowsay    [On FreeBSD]
[email protected]:~# cowsay I Love nix 

< I Love nix >
        \   ^__^
         \  (oo)\_______
            (__)\       )\/\
                ||----w |
                ||     ||

How about pipelining ‘fortune command‘, described above with cowsay?

[email protected]:~# fortune | cowsay 

/ Q: How many Oregonians does it take to  \
| screw in a light bulb? A: Three. One to |
| screw in the light bulb and two to fend |
| off all those                           |
|                                         |
| Californians trying to share the        |
\ experience.                             /
        \   ^__^
         \  (oo)\_______
            (__)\       )\/\
                ||----w |
                ||     ||

Note: ‘|‘ is called pipeline instruction and it is used where the output of one command needs to be the input of another command. In the above example, the output of the ‘fortune‘ command acts as an input of the ‘cowsay‘ command. This pipeline instruction is frequently used in scripting and programming.

xcowsay is a graphical program that response similar to cowsay but in a graphical manner, hence it is X of cowsay.

$ sudo apt install xcowsay   [On Debian/Ubuntu & Mint]
$ sudo yum install xcowsay   [On CentOS/RHEL 7]
$ sudo dnf install xcowsay   [On CentOS/RHEL 8 & Fedora]
$ sudo pacman -S xcowsay     [On Arch Linux]
$ sudo pkg_add -v xcowsay    [On FreeBSD]
[email protected]:~# xcowsay I Love nix
install xcowsay
xcowsay command

cowthink is another command just run “cowthink Linux is sooo funny” and see the difference in the output of cowsay and cowthink.

[email protected]:~# cowthink ....Linux is sooo funny
( ....Linux is sooo funny )
        o   ^__^
         o  (oo)\_______
            (__)\       )\/\
                ||----w |
                ||     ||

8. Command: yes

It is funny but useful as well, especially in scripts and for System Administrators where an automated predefined response can be passed to the terminal or generated.

[email protected]:~# yes I Love Linux

I Love Linux
I Love Linux
I Love Linux
I Love Linux
I Love Linux
I Love Linux
I Love Linux
I Love Linux
I Love Linux
I Love Linux
I Love Linux
I Love Linux

Note: (Till you interrupt i.e ctrl+c).

9. Command: toilet

what? Are u kidding, huh no! Definitely not, but for sure this command name itself is too funny, and I don’t know from where this command gets its name.

Install toilet

$ sudo apt install toilet  [On Debian/Ubuntu & Mint]
$ sudo yum install toilet  [On CentOS/RHEL 7]
$ sudo dnf install toilet  [On CentOS/RHEL 8 & Fedora]
$ sudo pacman -S toilet    [On Arch Linux]
$ sudo pkg_add -v toilet   [On FreeBSD]
[email protected]:~# toilet tecmint 

mmmmmmm                        "             m                               
   #     mmm    mmm   mmmmm  mmm    m mm   mm#mm          mmm    mmm   mmmmm 
   #    #"  #  #"  "  # # #    #    #"  #    #           #"  "  #" "#  # # # 
   #    #""""  #      # # #    #    #   #    #           #      #   #  # # # 
   #    "#mm"  "#mm"  # # #  mm#mm  #   #    "mm    #    "#mm"  "#m#"  # # #

It even offers some kind of color and font style.

[email protected]:~# toilet -f mono12 -F metal Tecmint.com
install toilet command
toilet command

Note: Figlet is another command that more or less provides such a kind of effect in the terminal.

10. Command: cmatrix

You might have seen the Hollywood movie ‘matrix‘ and would be fascinated with the power, Neo was provided with, to see anything and everything in the matrix or you might think of an animation that looks like Hacker‘s desktop.

Install cmatrix

$ sudo apt install cmatrix  [On Debian/Ubuntu & Mint]
$ sudo yum install cmatrix  [On CentOS/RHEL 7]
$ sudo dnf install cmatrix  [On CentOS/RHEL 8 & Fedora]
$ sudo pacman -S cmatrix    [On Arch Linux]
$ sudo pkg_add -v cmatrix   [On FreeBSD]
[email protected]:~# cmatrix
cmatrix command
cmatrix command

11. Command: oneko

OK so you believe that the mouse pointer of Linux is the same silly black/white pointer were no animation lies then I fear you could be wrong. “oneko” is a package that will attach a “Jerry” with your mouse pointer and moves along with you pointer.

Install oneko

$ sudo apt install oneko  [On Debian/Ubuntu & Mint]
$ sudo yum install oneko  [On CentOS/RHEL 7]
$ sudo dnf install oneko  [On CentOS/RHEL 8 & Fedora]
$ sudo pacman -S oneko    [On Arch Linux]
$ sudo pkg_add -v oneko   [On FreeBSD]
[email protected]:~# oneko
install oneko
oneko command

Note: Once you close the terminal from which oneko was run, jerry will disappear, nor will start at start-up. You can add the application to start up and continue enjoying.

12. Fork Bomb

This is a very nasty piece of code. Run this at your own risk. This actually is a fork bomb which exponentially multiplies itself till all the system resource is utilized and the system hangs.

To check the power of this command you should try it once, but all at your own risk, close and save all other programs and files before running a fork bomb.

[email protected]:~# :(){ :|:& }:

13. Command: while

The below “while” command is a script that provides you with a colored date and file till you interrupt (ctrl + c). Just copy and paste the below code into the terminal.

[email protected]:~# while true; do echo "$(date '+%D %T' | toilet -f term -F border --gay)"; sleep 1; done
Linux while command
Linux while command

Note: The above script when modified with the following command, will give similar output but with a little difference, check it in your terminal.

[email protected]:~# while true; do clear; echo "$(date '+%D %T' | toilet -f term -F border --gay)"; sleep 1; done

14. Command: espeak

Just Turn the Knob of your multimedia speaker to full before pasting this command in your terminal and let us know how you felt listening to the god’s voice.

Install espeak

$ sudo apt install espeak  [On Debian/Ubuntu & Mint]
$ sudo yum install espeak  [On CentOS/RHEL 7]
$ sudo dnf install espeak  [On CentOS/RHEL 8 & Fedora]
$ sudo pacman -S espeak    [On Arch Linux]
$ sudo pkg_add -v espeak   [On FreeBSD]
[email protected]:~# espeak "Tecmint is a very good website dedicated to Foss Community"

15. Command: aafire

How about a fire in your terminal. Just type “aafire” in the terminal, without quotes, and see the magic. Press any key to interrupt the program.

Install aafire

$ sudo apt install libaa-bin  [On Debian/Ubuntu & Mint]
$ sudo yum install aalib  [On CentOS/RHEL 7]
$ sudo dnf install aalib  [On CentOS/RHEL 8 & Fedora]
$ sudo pacman -S aalib    [On Arch Linux]
$ sudo pkg_add -v aalib   [On FreeBSD]
[email protected]:~# aafire
install aafire
aafire command

16. Command: bb

First, install the command and then, type “bb” in the terminal and see what happens.

$ sudo apt install bb  [On Debian/Ubuntu & Mint]
$ sudo yum install bb  [On CentOS/RHEL 7]
$ sudo dnf install bb  [On CentOS/RHEL 8 & Fedora]
$ sudo pacman -S bb    [On Arch Linux]
$ sudo pkg_add -v bb   [On FreeBSD]
[email protected]:~# bb
bb command
bb command

17. Command: curl

Won’t it be an awesome feeling for you if you can update your Twitter status from the command line in front of your friend and they seem impressed? OK just replace username, password, and your status message with your’s username, password, and “your status message“.

[email protected]:~# curl -u YourUsername:YourPassword -d status="Your status message" http://twitter.com/statuses/update.xml

18. ASCIIquarium

How it will be to get an aquarium in the terminal.

[email protected]:~# apt-get install libcurses-perl
[email protected]:~# cd /tmp 
[email protected]:~# wget http://search.cpan.org/CPAN/authors/id/K/KB/KBAUCOM/Term-Animation-2.4.tar.gz
[email protected]:~# tar -zxvf Term-Animation-2.4.tar.gz
[email protected]:~# cd Term-Animation-2.4/
[email protected]:~# perl Makefile.PL &&  make &&   make test
[email protected]:~# make install
Install ASCIIquarium

Now Download and Install ASCIIquarium.

[email protected]:~# cd /tmp
[email protected]:~# wget http://www.robobunny.com/projects/asciiquarium/asciiquarium.tar.gz
[email protected]:~# tar -zxvf asciiquarium.tar.gz
[email protected]:~# cd asciiquarium_1.1/
[email protected]:~# cp asciiquarium /usr/local/bin
[email protected]:~# chmod 0755 /usr/local/bin/asciiquarium

And finally, run “asciiquarium” or “/usr/local/bin/asciiquarium” in the terminal without quotes and be a part of the magic that will be taking place in front of your eyes.

[email protected]:~# asciiquarium
install aquarium
aquarium command

19. Command: funny manpages

First, install the funny manpages and then run man pages for the commands below.

$ sudo apt install funny-manpages  [On Debian/Ubuntu & Mint]
$ sudo yum install funny-manpages  [On CentOS/RHEL 7]
$ sudo dnf install funny-manpages  [On CentOS/RHEL 8 & Fedora]
$ sudo pacman -S funny-manpages    [On Arch Linux]
$ sudo pkg_add -v funny-manpages   [On FreeBSD]

Some of them may be 18+, run at your own risk, they all are too funny.

grope, egrope, fgrope 
woman (undocumented)
[email protected]:~# man baby

20. Linux Tweaks

It is time for you to have some one-liner tweaks.

[email protected]:~# world

bash: world: not found
[email protected]:~# touch girls\ boo** 

touch: cannot touch `girls boo**': Permission denied
[email protected]:~# nice man woman

No manual entry for woman
[email protected]:~# ^How did the sex change operation go?^ 

bash: :s^How did the sex change operation go?^ : substitution failed
[email protected]:~# %blow 

bash: fg: %blow: no such job
[email protected]:~# make love 

make: *** No rule to make target `love'.  Stop.
$ [ whereis my brain?                    
sh: 2: [: missing ]
% man: why did you get a divorce? 
man:: Too many arguments.
% !:say, what is saccharine? 
Bad substitute.
[email protected]:/srv$ \(- 
bash: (-: command not found

Linux is sexy: who | grep -i blonde | date; cd ~; unzip; touch; strip; finger; mount; gasp; yes; uptime; umount; sleep (If you know what I mean)

There are certain others but these don’t work on all the systems and hence not included in this article. Some of them are man dog, filter, banner, etc.

[ You might also like: 6 Interesting Funny Commands of Linux (Fun in Terminal) – Part II ]

Have fun, you can say me thanks later :) yup, your comment is highly appreciated which encourages us to write more. Tell us which command you liked the most. Stay tuned I will be back soon with another article worth reading.

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Ronav Saive
A Passionate GNU/Linux Enthusiast and Software Developer with over a decade in the field of Linux and Open Source technologies.

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189 thoughts on “20 Funny Commands of Linux or Linux is Fun in Terminal”

  1. Wow, thank you for sharing these cool tips. I really love’em

      _____   _                       _                                      
    |_   _| | |__     __ _   _ __   | | __            _   _    ___    _   _ 
      | |   | '_ \   / _` | | '_ \  | |/ /           | | | |  / _ \  | | | |
      | |   | | | | | (_| | | | | | |   <            | |_| | | (_) | | |_| |
      |_|   |_| |_|  \__,_| |_| |_| |_|\_\____   _____\__, |  \___/   \__,_|
                                        |_____| |_____|___/

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