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For a linux user, the terminal or command line is a powerful and important tool for work. A lot of things on linux are done inside the terminal.

When working on a linux server, the command line shell is the only interface to work with, most of the time. But the terminal is also very textish and a bit non-interesting at time.

The linux terminal is not always dull and boring. There are commands to make it do some funny acts to entertain the user.


  1. pv Command
  2. xeyes Command
  3. aview Command
  4. toilet Command
  5. rig Command


Here is a small collection of such commands.

1. pv Command

You might have seen simulating text in movies. It appears as it is being typed in real-time. Won’t it be nice, if you can have such an effect in terminal?

This can be achieved, by installing the ‘pv‘ command in your Linux system by using the ‘apt‘ or ‘yum‘ tool. Let’s install the ‘pv‘ command as shown.

# How to install pv
$ sudo apt install pv  [On Debian/Ubuntu & Mint]
$ sudo yum install pv  [On CentOS/RHEL 7]
$ sudo dnf install pv  [On CentOS/RHEL 8 & Fedora]
$ sudo pacman -S pv    [On Arch Linux]
$ sudo pkg_add -v pv   [On FreeBSD]
Code language: PHP (php)

Once, ‘pv‘ command installed successfully on your system, let’s try to run the following one-liner command to see the real-time text effect on the screen.

$ echo "Lateweb[dot]info is a community of Linux Nerds and Geeks" | pv -qL 10 
Code language: PHP (php)

Note: The ‘q‘ option means ‘quiet‘, no output information, and option ‘L‘ means the Limit of Transfer of bytes per second. The number value can be adjusted in either direction (must be an integer) to get the desired simulation of text.

2. xeyes Command

In the last article, we introduced a command ‘oneko‘ which attaches jerry with a mouse pointer and keeps on chasing it. A similar program ‘xeyes‘ is a graphical program and as soon as you fire the command you will see two monster eyes chasing your movement.

$ sudo apt install x11-apps  [On Debian/Ubuntu & Mint]
$ sudo yum install xeyes  [On CentOS/RHEL 7]
$ sudo dnf install xeyes  [On CentOS/RHEL 8 & Fedora]
$ sudo pacman -S xorg-xeyes    [On Arch Linux]
$ sudo pkg_add -v xeyes   [On FreeBSD]

Once installed, run:

$ xeyes

3. aview Command

How about viewing an image in ASCII format on the terminal? We must have a package ‘aview‘ installed, just apt or yum it.

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

I’ve got an image named ‘elephant.jpg‘ in my current working directory and I want to view it on the terminal in ASCII format.

$ asciiview elephant.jpg -driver curses 

4. toilet Command

How about printing text with border in a terminal, using a one-liner script command ‘toilet‘. Again, you must have a ‘toilet‘ command installed on your system, if not use apt or yum to install it.

$ 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 yay -S toilet       [On Arch Linux]
$ sudo pkg_add -v toilet   [On FreeBSD]

Once installed, run:

$ while true; do echo “$(date | toilet -f term -F border –Lateweb)”; sleep 1; done
Code language: JavaScript (javascript)

5. rig Command

This command generates a random identity and address, every time. To run, this command you need to install ‘rig‘ using apt or yum.

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

Once installed, run:

$ rig


Those were some entertaining commands for the Linux users. If you know of any other commands that can do cool stuff inside the shell, then let me know.

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