Our favorite Linux commands to use just for fun

The Linux command line is known for being a productivity powerhouse. It's also a place to have some fun, too!
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In November, we shared the article 7 Linux commands to use just for fun and asked you to tell us what "for fun" Linux command you recommend—and why?

Some Opensource.com contributors shared their favorites below.


My favorites:

  • cowsay, of course!
  • fortune, my favorite "hack" was having the motd when users connected be a humorous fortune.
  • sl, a steam locomotive in your terminal.
  • xsnow, another root XWindow hack, this command puts relaxing snowfall over your workspace, with accumulation on the top of open windows.
  • GNOME Easter eggs, in GNOME 2, Alt+F2 (opening the run dialog) and entering "free the fish" released Wanda the Fish onto your root window. Wanda would wander around, scurrying off (for a while) if you clicked on her.

~Dave Neary


My day starts with these:

fortunecowsay, lolcat 

Followed by curl wttr.in

Now we can have a coffee ;-)

~Tomasz Waraksa


cmatrix , because every now and then you feel like you're jacked into the machine.

~Gary Smith


Telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl.



It's not exactly Linux-specific but it's kinda awesome.

~John 'Warthog9' Hawley


Xroach was a cool add-on for your window manager in the 1990s. It was a lot of fun with Tab Window Manager (TWM) and F Virtual Window Manager (FVWM) at the time, but I haven't used it in years. When you ran Xroach, it added little cockroaches that "lived" under your windows. When you moved a window or closed it, the roaches would scamper to hide under another window or run off the screen. Just one of those little ways to make the desktop more fun.

Looks like there's a modern port of Xroach that I'll have to try out sometime.

~Jim Hall


I worked as a computer science TA in the late 90s, and we had Sun Sparc workstations in our computer lab. Sometimes students would walk away during lab time without locking the screen. Every once in a while, I would execute xroach &; clear on the terminal when they weren't looking.  

XRoach is a good one. Cockroaches hide under the windows, and scurry around the screen and then under another window when you move a window.  

~Ann Marie Fred


One of my favorites is hollywood. Check it out here.

Just run it and start jamming on the keys, you will convince everyone at Starbucks that you're taking down the NSA.

~Clint Byrum

Jim Hall responded to this one with:

That's awesome! It reminds me of Hacker Typer—it's a website instead of a terminal program. Just bring up the site, and mash on the keys. It doesn't matter what you type, Hacker Typer will spit out what seems to be real work. :-)

In response to the fun presented by Clint Byrum (and Jim Hall's response):

I like both of those! Enjoy this blog post about Hollywood hackers. One of my favorites.

~Greg Scott


What's your favorite "for fun" Linux command? Please share yours in the comments below.

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Informative article.

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