Funny And Interesting Linux Commands – Part II

By | 05/08/2013

In part-I  of this article series, we covered many interesting and funny Linux command line utilities. I am pretty sure, many readers would connect to me, when I say, such commands and utilities work as great stress relievers in between the work. So, definitely, we want more. So here in this article, we shall discuss more such interesting command including a few games. Excited? So, lets begin.

Note: All installation information is specific to Ubuntu Linux.


Funny and interesting Linux commands



With the fishes and other sea life, one must see majestic aquarium limned with ASCII characters. Since it has a command line interface and the animation constitutes only ASCII characters, hence the name ASCIIquarium. Basically, it is a perl script drawing and animating creatures on the console.

Now, ASCIIquarium being a perl script, prior to the download and run, we need to install perl on our system. Moreover, an additional requirement for this perl script is Term::Animation . Both the script and Term::Animation are available freely.
To get started, here are the steps on an Ubuntu system

$ sudo apt-get install libcurses-perl
$ cd /tmp 
$ wget
$ tar -zxvf Term-Animation-2.4.tar.gz
$ cd Term-Animation-2.4/
$ perl Makefile.PL &&  make &&   make test
$ make install

Now we are all set to download and install ASCIIquarium. The source code tar file is available here.

Further, we extract the script to our personalized directory.,

$ tar xzvf asciiquarium.tar.gz -C ../asciiquarium/
$ cd ../asciiquarium/asciiquarium_1.1/

Well, we are at the right place to run the perl script now, which is the file ‘asciiquarium’. Oh wait, before we run the command, lets look into the various key functionalities it supports.

Key ‘p’ implies pause/resume
Key ‘r’ implies restart the animation
Key ‘q’ implies quit, and back to the command prompt

We are soo set to run by following perl command

$ perl asciiquarium

I am sure, you would take some time to adore the animated aquarium. Here is one of the snapshot.


Try out restarting the animation a few number of times. It’s a completely different sea life each time.



What if the Linux console users want something even more engaging. Most of the commands and utilities that we have seen, are kind of a one way show. To have something interactive, what do we have better than games. Short games are amazing recharge activities  and so is this one called ‘nInvaders’.

It is kind of clone of the popular game space invaders. To get started, install it through,

$ sudo apt-get install nInvaders

After the successful installation, just get set start with the game,

$ nInvaders

We get a welcome screen which looks like:


One needs to press ‘space’ to begin the game. Let’s become aware of some pre-information before we move ahead. When the game starts, there is a gun pod at the bottom. Press left and right arrow keys to move the gun pod left and right respectively.

To shoot, press ‘space’ key.
Accelerating is through down arrow key

The objective is to annihilate all the moving colour block, called alien, above the gun pod. Also, be cautious as even alien will shoot back. Use ‘#’ blocks to get cover from alien’s attack.

The picture will become clear as we press ‘space’ to enter the game arena. Just memorize the keys to be used.
Wish you all the best, and get started by pressing space bar.

A snapshot of the game arena looks like:


I am sure, you will enjoy this game.
Press ‘q’ key to quit.
There are actually bountiful such kind of console games like the BSD Games, Greed, etc.


MUD – Multi User Dungeon

Well, coming to another style of gaming, that is on network through telnet. A great and one of the most popular one being MUD, called the multi user dungeon. A great thing about MUD is that, no software needs to be installed. One just needs to use telnet which comes with all the versions of Linux.

Before, we tell you how to play a game, choose the kind of game from the website

Well, I feel like playing the game shadow incarnate. Hence, my command for starting the game would be,

$ telnet 1112

On the website, when I click on the game I am interested in, I get the details of the site and the port number to be given to the telnet. Check here.

I get a screen as shown in the following snapshot into the console itself.


On the right side, the box shows the list of commands along with usage, to get set going.
There are abundant magnificent games through MUD.



Coming back to animations, lets get some fire on console.

To install, use

$ sudo apt-get install libaa-bin

All set to ignite the fire? (Hope everyone is wearing the heat-resistant stuff, lol )

$ aafire

Following is a snapshot.




In the previous part, we got to know about the command ‘cowsay’. There is another enhanced and cute version, that is, xcowsay.

It has to be installed, which can be done by

$ sudo apt-get install xcowsay

Once done, try,

$ xcowsay “I love linux even more”

Here is my cow which says,




Apart from your boss, there is another one to keep an eye on your moves. Well, I am talking about the mouse moves. It is xeyes command.

$ xeyes

It looks like:


With various available options detailed in the <href=>man page, one can play around with colors and shapes.


zgv image browse

This is one of its own kind of image browser. It looks and feels like pretty stereotype, but somehow entices me to mention it here.

First of all, commence with installation,

sudo apt-get install zgv

Now, run it.

$ zgv

This is how it appears on the screen :


The way it displays image for me is:


To quit, press ‘escape’ key. More detailed information is here.

[Read about XPENGUINS and BB on page-2]

One thought on “Funny And Interesting Linux Commands – Part II

  1. Anuradha

    In my perl script there is a command as ./install with this command aorund 5 times it prompts for giving entry as y/n .. I should give input as y and then click on enter … After completing this command i need to start some services .. Please help me in achieving this..


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