Some unusual but entertaining terminal commands

unusual terminal commands

In the next article we are going to take a look at some unusual commands to use in the terminal and hang out. The terminal is a very powerful tool, and it is probably the most interesting part of Unix-based systems. All users know how important are the commands, especially in a terminal of a Gnu / Linux system. But from time to time it is good to take a break and spend some fun time in the terminal window.

Among the large number of useful commands and scripts that we have available to use on the command line, we can find some that are unusual and less practical. Not to mention that they are completely useless, although you can have a good time with them in the terminal.

Some unusual commands for the terminal


This command means'Steam locomotive'. Always makes work a little more enjoyable see a locomotive in the terminal, especially when you've made a mistake when typing the ls command.

Before you can see anything, you have to install sl typing in terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T):

installation sl

sudo apt install sl

Once installed it will appear by typing sl:

sl commando train


This is a peculiar command. He has only one ability, which is repeat a chain infinitely until its process is finished. We will be able to use it in the following way:

yes cadena

If you have launched it, do not forget to press Ctrl + C to stop it, or it will run forever.

While it may seem useless, the command yes yes it can be useful when you are running scripts that wait for prompts that you need to automate. For example:

yes y /ruta/al/script

This will write a 'y' when a message asks for a response from 'y / n'.


This can be used to reverse any text. When I say invest, it means that if the input is'Ubuntu', the output will be'utnubU'. This is roughly all its usefulness.

rev command


The command uses an interactive mode, from which we can exit by pressing Ctrl + C. But rev can also work for invert the entire contents of a file:

rev command in a file

rev ruta-del-archivo


If you ever wondered what would fire look like, or something trying to emulate it, in the terminal, you can solve doubts with the aafire command.

aafire installation

The first step will be install aafire typing in terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T):

sudo apt install libaa-bin

Once installed, launch the command:

aafire command working



With this command, you will be able to listen to the voice of your team installing espeak. To install it, type in the terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T):

espeak installation

sudo apt install espeak

Then run espeak as follows:

espeak "Type what your computer says"

What you put in double quotes is what the voice will say. The clarity of this voice is not very good, and it is better understood in English.


With this command you can write in ASCII. It greatly simplifies this task, since it automatically transforms any string that we pass. It comes with a bunch of default fonts in '/ usr / share / figlet / fonts /', and of course you can add your own.

figlet -f ruta-a-la-fuente-cadena

The installation is done through the command:

figlet installation

sudo apt install figlet

And an example would be:

figlet command working

figlet Ubunlog


cowsay command

This script basically show a cow using ascii symbols. We can install it with the following command:

sudo apt install cowsay

Then write in the terminal:

cowsay tu-texto

Replaces'your-text'with whatever text you want the cow to show.


If you already have cowsay installed, you will also be able to use cowthink. The only difference will be that the output is displayed as a thought. To use this command type:

cowthink command

cowthink tu-texto


Fortune shows a random prayer in the same spirit as fortune cookies. You will be able to install it using the command:

fortune facility

sudo apt install fortune

Comes with a -s option for short. This will limit you to phrases made up of one sentence or less.

fortune command

fortune -s


With this command you will see on your screen a cat chasing your mouse. Install it by running:

oneko installation

sudo apt install oneko

Type oneko to see the cat.

oneko command


If you have seen the Hollywood movie Matrix, then you already know that this command offers you. Install cmatrix with the command:

cmatrix installation

sudo apt install cmatrix

Run it by typing cmatrix in terminal.

cmatrix command

time cat

time cat command

This is the command time and cat together. Its usefulness is that can be used as a timer. It will run in the background until you stop it, with Ctrl + C. Then it will report the time elapsed between the beginning and the end of its process. To launch it write:

time cat


factor command

Factor can divide a given number into prime factors:

factor número-a-descomponer


command w

The 'w' command I think should be the shortest command that can be found by default on a Gnu / Linux distribution. This command will allow us view information about current userssuch as your name, login time, etc.

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