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10 Enjoyable Linux Commands for Killing Time

Note: kindly use Linux terminal to get outputs for ‘toilet command’.

10 Enjoyable Linux Commands for Killing Time

Linux may be a complicated language, but it also packs in a number of quick-witted commands that show off its funny side as well. You may or may not be familiar with these commands. Nonetheless, we would like to list them for your entertainment and usage.

  1. Command: sl (Steam Locomotive)

Many of you may have been using the ‘ls’ or list command for viewing folder content. But, little do we know that the replacing the positions of the command to form ‘sl’ command results in a representation of a steam locomotive generated with the help of variables.

Install sl

root@user:~# apt-get install sl (In Debian like OS)

root@user:~# yum -y install sl (In Red Hat like OS)


root@user:~# sl

Command: sl (Steam Locomotive)


Do note that the command also works on typing ‘LS.’

  1. Command: telnet

The image present in the output may seem like a complicated design but it can be generated using the ‘telnet’ command. Telnet is a bidirectional network syntax based on a text-oriented protocol. A user may not have to install anything when using this command. All that is required is a Linux box and an internet connection.

root@user:~# telnet


Command: telnet

telnet command


  1. Command: fortune

Fortune command does exactly what the name specifies – it tells the fortune, though in a funny way. To use this command a user will first need to install it.

Install fortune

root@user:~# apt-get install fortune (for aptitude based system)

root@user:~# yum install fortune (for yum based system)


root@user:~# 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.

  1. Command: rev (Reverse)

Any string that is input in the Linux command box gets reversed with the help of the ‘rev’ command. It is simple to use and does not require installing the command.

root@user:~# rev



xuniL eb ot nrob

born to be Linux

  1. Command: factor

Commands that offer mathematical calculations have been quite popular in many programming languages. Users can find a popular mathematical command in Linux as well, known as ‘factor’ command. To use it, simply use the following syntax.

root@user:~# factor 5


5: 5


12: 2 2 3


1001: 7 11 13


5442134: 2 2721067

  1. Command: script

While this is not an actual command, but it does turn out to be pretty interesting. Here is a quick output of what it does.

root@user:~# 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

  1. Command: Cowsay

Here is another funny command where an ASCII-based cow will return an output for whatever you would like it to display in the terminal. ‘Cowsay’ command will need to be installed beforehand.

Install Cowsay

root@user:~# apt-get install cowsay (for Debian based OS)

root@user:~# yum install cowsay (for Red Hat based OS)


root@user:~# cowsay I Love nix


< I Love nix >




(__)       )/

||—-w |

||     ||

Another cool feature of this command is that it can be pipelined with the ‘fortune’ command to give an interesting and funny output.  

root@user:~# 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.                             /




(__)       )/

||—-w |

||     ||

In the above command ‘|’ is known as pipeline instruction that is used when the output of one command is used as an input for another command. For example, the ‘fortune’ command’s output has been provided as an input or pipelined for ‘cowsay’ command. Pipelining is a useful command that is used for both programming and scripting.

xcowsay’ command is another version of ‘cowsay’ command that shows an output of the cow in a graphical form. This also requires to be installed first.

Install Xcowsay

apt-get install xcowsay

yum install xcowsay


root@user:~# xcowsay I Love nix


Command: Cowsay

xcowsay command


We also have another cow-based command called, ‘cowthink’ which when executed shows a different output. Try adding an output such as “cowthink Linux is cool” and see what changes are there between ‘cowthink’ and ‘cowsay.

apt-get install cowthink

yum install cowthink


root@user:~# cowthink ….Linux is cool


( ….Linux is cool )


o   ^__^

o  (oo)_______

(__)       )/

||—-w |

||     ||

  1. Command: yes

Users should note that this command is not just meant for fun, it is also very helpful to system admins when there is a need for a predefined and automated response or for scripting.

root@user:~# 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

Please note that this needs to be interrupted with the shortcut keys ‘ctrl+c’ for it to stop.

  1. Command: toilet

Who would have thought that the developer of this command could actually name it ‘toilet’? Anyways, the ‘toilet’ command is used for changing ordinary terminal text into huge and fancy letters. This requires installation of the command before using it.

Install toilet

root@user:~# apt-get install toilet

root@user:~# yum install toilet


root@user:~# toilet

Users can also modify the output with colors and style to the font.

root@user:~# toilet -f mono12 -F metal

Another command that does a similar kind of output as ‘toilet’ command is the ‘figlet’ command.

  1. Command: cmatrix

Fans of the “Matrix” movie franchise are going to love this command as it displays the signature code rain output as seen on a computer in the movie. Developers at Linux thought of adding it to the terminal, and why not? Here is the code for installing and using it.

Install cmatrix

root@user:~# apt-get install cmatrix

root@user:~# yum install cmatrix


root@user:~# cmatrix

Command: cmatrix

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