Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Tip of the Trade: Linux Easter Egg Fun

For lo these many years here on ServerWatch’s Tip of the Trade, we have toiled to bring you useful tips and tricks to make your job a little easier, and to help you keep up with new applications and useful products. This week, in celebration of summer and the holiday week in United States, we decided to take a minibreak from the serious and bring you some Linux Easter Egg fun.

Debian users have long had the reliable Super Cow Powers of apt, which you can see by running the apt command with no options. Then, try this option:

$ apt-get moo
  / |    ||
 *  /---/
    ~~   ~~
...."Have you mooed today?"...

That’s probably going to get dull after a few dozen repetitions, so fire up cowsay to express your own creativity:

$ cowsay 'Tip of the Trade rocks!'


            (__)       )/
                ||----w |
                ||     ||

Of course, modern system administrators prefer aptitude, which is very serious and leaves no time for frivolity:

$ aptitude moo

There are no Easter Eggs in this program.
[email protected]:~$ aptitude -v moo

There really are no Easter Eggs in this program.
[email protected]:~$ aptitude -vv moo
Didn't I already tell you there are no Easter Eggs in this program?

Keep adding v switches to see the rest. The ddate command gives you the date in the Discordian date format:

$ ddate

Today is Boomtime, the 31st day of Confusion in the YOLD 3174

ddate will convert any date for you, in day-month-year order:

$ ddate 8 6 1957
Prickle-Prickle, Confusion 13, 3123 YOLD

man ddate lists a whole raft of additional options.

OpenOffice’s spreadsheet, Calc, has a StarWars Galaxy game hidden in it, which looks like Galaga. Enter =Game(“StarWars”) in any cell. After closing the game, enter =Game(“StarWars”) again, and you’ll get a different response.

The Gnome desktop has a couple of amusements. Hit Alt+F2 to bring up the Run dialog, and enter free the fish. When you get tired of that, enter killall gnome-panel, and then try gegls from outer space.

There, now don’t you feel refreshed and more productive?

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