20 Funny Commands of Linux or Linux is Fun in Terminal

Linux is fun! Huhhh. 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 and use it 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 terminal and not “command not found“.

Install sl

[email protected]:~# apt-get install sl 		(In Debian like OS)
[email protected]:~# yum -y install sl 		(In Red Hat like OS)
Output
[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 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
telnet command

telnet command

3. Command: fortune

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

Install fortune

[email protected]:~# apt-get install fortune 	(for aptitude based system)
[email protected]:~# yum install fortune 		(for yum based system)
[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 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 reverse every string given to it, is not it funny.

[email protected]:~# rev

123abc 
cba321 

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: 5 

12 
12: 2 2 3 

1001 
1001: 7 11 13 

5442134 
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 

1×1=1	
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 terminal that will say what ever you want.

Install Cowsay

[email protected]:~# apt-get install cowsay 		(for Debian based OS)
[email protected]:~# yum install cowsay		(for Red Hat based OS)
Output
[email protected]:~# cowsay I Love nix 

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

How about pipelineing ‘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 ‘fortune‘ command acts as an input of ‘cowsay‘ command. This pipeline instruction is frequently used in scripting and programming.

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

apt-get install xcowsay
yum install xcowsay
Output
[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 output of cowsay and cowthink.

apt-get install cowthink
yum install cowthink
Output
[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, specially in scripts and for System Administrators where an automated predefined response can be passed to 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, huhh no! Definitely not, but for sure this command name itself is too funny, and I don’t know from where this command gets it’s name.

Install toilet

[email protected]:~# apt-get install toilet 
[email protected]:~# yum install toilet
Output
[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 fonts style.

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

toilet command

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

10. Command: cmatrix

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

Install cmatrix

[email protected]:~# apt-get install cmatrix
[email protected]:~# yum install cmatrix
Output
[email protected]:~# cmatrix
cmatrix command

cmatrix command

11. Command: oneko

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

Install oneko

[email protected]:~# apt-get install oneko
[email protected]:~# yum install oneko
Output
[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 above code you should try it once, but all at your own risk, close and save all other programs and file before running fork bomb).

[email protected]:~# :(){ :|:& }:

13. Command: while

The below “while” command is a script which provides you with colored date and file till you interrupt (ctrl + c). Just copy and paste the below code in 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 following command, will gives 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 the god’s voice.

Install espeak

[email protected]:~# apt-get install espeak
[email protected]:~# yum install espeak
Output
[email protected]:~# espeak "Tecmint is a very good website dedicated to Foss Community"

15. Command: aafire

How about 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

[email protected]:~# apt-get install libaa-bin
Output
[email protected]:~# aafire
install aafire

aafire command

16. Command: bb

First install “apt-get insatll bb” and then, type “bb” in terminal and see what happens.

[email protected]:~# bb
bb command

bb command

17. Command: url

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

[email protected]:~# url -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 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 terminal without quotes and be a part of magic that will be taking place in front of your eyes.

[email protected]:~# asciiquarium
install aquarium

aquarium command

19. Command: funny manpages

First install “apt-get install funny-manpages” and then run man pages for the commands below. Some of them may be 18+, run at your own risk, they all are too funny.

baby
celibacy
condom
date
echo
flame
flog
gong
grope, egrope, fgrope 
party 
rescrog 
rm
rtfm
tm
uubp
woman (undocumented)
xkill 
xlart 
sex 
strfry
[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 other but these don’t work on all the system and hence not included in this article. Some of them are man dog , filter, banner, etc.

Have fun, you can say me thanks later :) yup your comment is highly appreciated which encourages us 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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179 Responses

  1. MIHIR PHATAK says:

    Amazing article! Loved how this helps passing time when you are at work on your terminal! :) Thanks for writing!

  2. fede says:

    Really nice collection of funny commands, thanks for creating this list now i can have fun with Linux easy!

  3. Meenakshi Agarwal says:

    Extremely useful list! It’s providing a good foundation for expanding knowledge of Linux commands. Kudos to your effort for writing the article. Very useful. Thank you.

  4. Brother, the sl command is not working.

    I have installed it, but when i execute this command it says “command not found”.

    I tried updating repository but nothing much happened…

    Please help.

  5. Kertalex says:

    It says to me:
    There was a problem importing one of the Python modules
    required to run yum. The error leading to this problem was:

    pycurl: libcurl link-time version (7.50.1) is older than compile-time version (7.53.1)

    Please install a package which provides this module, or
    verify that the module is installed correctly.

    It’s possible that the above module doesn’t match the
    current version of Python, which is:
    2.7.12 (default, Jun 28 2016, 06:57:42) [GCC]

    If you cannot solve this problem yourself, please go to
    the yum faq at:
    http://yum.baseurl.org/wiki/

    :(

  6. VEdant says:

    Can you explain the last part. I quite didn’t get it.

  7. Jonathan says:

    Im using Ubuntu and it says url: command not found when i try the URL command.

  8. Amit Karnik says:

    Still getting:

    No package cmatrix available.
    Error: Nothing to do
    -bash: parse_git_branch: command not found

    • Ravi Saive says:

      @Amit,

      The command cmatrix not included in the default repositories, you have to enable EPEL repository to install it.

      # yum install epel-release
      # yum install cmatrix
      
  9. Pablo says:

    Thanks ! this worked perfect !

    # wget https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-7.noarch.rpm
    # ls *.rpm
    

    To install epel-release-7-5.noarch.rpm, type:

    $ sudo yum install epel-release-latest-7.noarch.rpm
    
  10. Pablo says:

    Great Article, Even so I tried to install them all, i just have

    [[email protected] ~]# yum install cowsay
    Loaded plugins: langpacks, product-id, search-disabled-repos, subscription-manager
    No package cowsay available.
    Error: Nothing to do
    
    [[email protected] ~]# cowsay I Love nix
    bash: cowsay: command not found...
    
    [[email protected] ~]# fortune | cowsay
    
    bash: cowsay: command not found...
    bash: fortune: command not found...
    
    [[email protected] ~]# yum install xcowsay
    Loaded plugins: langpacks, product-id, search-disabled-repos, subscription-manager
    No package xcowsay available.
    Error: Nothing to do
    
    [[email protected] ~]# yum install cowthink
    Loaded plugins: langpacks, product-id, search-disabled-repos, subscription-manager
    No package cowthink available.
    

    So I have incorrect registration or repo?

    • Ravi Saive says:

      @Pablo,

      You need to enable EPEL Repository on the system, in order to install these funny commands in Linux.

      # yum install epel-release
      # yum install cowsay
      

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