20+ Cool Terminal Commands to have fun with Ubuntu

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Users of command line interface always look out for something new to work with which makes them get excited. You might have seen some ASCII arts being used in info files of software and wondering how they did it. Well here we have added a collection of commands with which you can enjoy and have fun in the terminal while you are bored of slow downloads and lazy installations. With these commands you have check out your daily fortune, see calender in terminal, etc.


Cowsay is a fun command with which your input text is displayed by a cow (ASCII art generated) or any other animal of your wish.

Install cowsay with the command,
sudo apt-get install cowsay

Various cowsay commands you can try are,

cowsay message

cowsay -f sheep message

cowsay -l


xcowsay is a command with which your input text is displayed by a graphical cow.

Install cowsay with the command,
sudo apt-get install xcowsay

Let us see some xcowsay commands,
xcowsay message


This command displays a cat(Tom) which will hunt your mouse pointer (Jerry) all over the screen.
To install oneko,
sudo apt-get install oneko

Run it using,
To quit press ctrl+c.

Star Wars

Ever wanted to see how star wars will be when it was made using ASCII art???
To view it,
telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl

ASCII aquarium

View a ASCII generated aquarium in your terminal.
Before viewing ASCII aquarium 2 things are needed, firstly Install perl module named Term-Animation, follow steps in order:
sudo apt-get install libcurses-perl
cd /tmp
tar -zxvf Term-Animation-2.4.tar.gz
cd Term-Animation-2.4/
perl Makefile.PL && make && make test
sudo make install

Now install ASCII with the following steps,

cd /tmp
tar -zxvf asciiquarium.tar.gz
cd asciiquarium_1.0/
sudo cp asciiquarium /usr/local/bin

Run ASCII aquarium with,



perl /usr/local/bin/asciiquarium

ASCII animation

Want to see how visualization will be in terminal?? then follow the simple steps
Install using,
sudo apt-get install bb

Run using the command,

To enable music press y else press n.

Press 8 to continue or press displayed nos to enable or disable the option.


Everyone knew about ls which is obviously used to display contents of folder. When you mistyped as sl , what will be the result, ever wondered?? sl basically generates a ASCII art train.

Install sl using,
sudo apt-get install sl
Run using,


aafire displays a ASCII art fireplace at your terminal.
Install aafire using,
sudo apt-get install aafire
Run aafire using,


Factor is a simple command line utility with which you can get the prime factors of any number you give as input.
To find the factor of any number,
factor number

example: factor 55


If you are ever fascinated in creating ASCII art of any text then you might want to try this command.
Install figlet using,
sudo apt-get install figlet
Run the command using,
figlet text


Need nice quotes for fowarding to your friends or tweeting them ?? well fortune command can come in handy.
Install fortune using,
sudo apt-get install fortune
Run fortune using,


Have you ever counted how many commands and how many times you’ve used them?? Hash command stores all that information and you can access them with single command.
Just run the command,


Hello is a simple command with which you can display hello text in your terminal along with your own message.
You can try different commands like,
hello -n
hello –greeting=GNU/Linux


You would feel bored to use the long commands which makes you so lazy to use them and you would’ve wondered if there are any alternatives. There comes the alias command for the aid.
Alias is a command with which you can create aliases for your favorite commands.
To list any existing aliases,
To create a new alias,
alias aliasname='command'
for example, alias vmsecho='echo'

Press Enter.
Run the command for verification,
vmsecho hello
To remove an alias,
unalias aliasname
for example, unalias vmsecho


Rev is a simple command which reverses the text which you give as input.
Run rev using,
Press Enter.
Then enter the text and press enter to get the reversed text.

Date & Cal

Date and cal commands displays the current date,time and the calender.
Run using,


Yes is a command which displays a given text in an infinite loop.
Run using the command,
yes text
For example:
yes Smashingtips.com


CMatrix lets you to see matrix film like screensavers in your terminal.
Install cmatrix using,
sudo apt-get install cmatrix
Run using,
cmatrix –help, for more options

Combinational Commands:

So far we have seen commands like cowsay, xcowsay, fortune, figlet, yes, factor, date&cal etc., but these commands can be combined to produce different effects.
Some the combinations are,
xcowsay “$(factor 55)”

cowsay “$(factor 55)”

cowsay “$(fortune -a)”

xcowsay “$(fortune -s)”

cowsay “$(date)”
xcowsay “$(date)”

fortune | cowsay

Likewise you can try out various combinations like these to see different outputs.


These are some of the different funny and cool commands which you can use in terminal which will be produce some really cool results while some may feel its useless. No problem if its useless and there are still cool things like these out there to have fun with. Hunt them down and have fun. Hope you find this information useful.

About the author / 

Mohamed Rias

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  1. Linux Jokes September 11, 2012 at 8:58 am -  Reply

    I must say its really amazing, adding fun to console, I first saw this type of fun when I uses Linux Mint
    but I use console only for this command
    sudo /opt/lampp/lampp start

  2. jokes October 29, 2012 at 12:18 pm -  Reply

    that’s great thanks for this!

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