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I just found out about the free the fish easter egg available in Ubuntu:

  1. Press Alt + F2

  2. Enter this: free the fish

Are there any more easter eggs available in Ubuntu? What are they?

Bonus Question: How do I get rid of that fish? :-)

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Lets not call her "that fish", please. :) She's "Wanda the fish". Wanda is a very nice and smart friend of us. She sits on my top panel in the form of a GNOME applet and she's a part-time fortune teller. Wanda has even a fan page. She was here long before "Paul the Octopus" and is here after Paul, as well. –  marenostrum Nov 10 '10 at 1:25
Try this in Ubuntu 11.10 and be disapointed :) (Also an easter egg!) –  Greg Treleaven Oct 26 '11 at 16:56
Aren't list questions generally not constructive? The part about the removing the fish is constructive, though. –  hexafraction Jul 26 '12 at 11:48
Too bad we won't get any in Kubuntu: bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=72331 –  Richard Nov 1 '13 at 19:09
Not all of them are easter eggs, but this is a nice list: tecmint.com/… –  Dan Aug 28 '14 at 9:25

17 Answers 17

Here is another package that is just a joke : sl, standing for Steam Locomotive.

Just download sl and then run sl in a terminal.

It has been designed for people confusing ls and sl. See manual page for more exciting features!

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+1 I love that one! –  Nathan Osman Nov 13 '10 at 20:24
It's really good, I just don't understand how people can get ls wrong? It sounds like LiSt, and the keys are on opposite sides of the keyboard. –  Ciro Santilli 六四事件 法轮功 Oct 23 '14 at 13:23

Not gonna spoil it for you with a screenshot, but in a terminal try: apt-get moo

And then, if you have aptitude Install aptitude installed take a look at:

aptitude moo
aptitude -v moo
aptitude -vv moo
aptitude -vvv moo

(Bonus: if you enjoy this then install cowsayInstall cowsay for hours of command-line entertainment!)

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Here is an interesting comment written by 3M-TA3: "Moo!" could have come from the dial up BBS days 'before the 'internet.' On the Citadel BBS system if you pressed the "M" key it responded with "Moo!" It was replaced with "Meet User in later versions. However "Moo" could have come from something in the CP/M operating system, which could lead back to Unix. –  marenostrum Nov 10 '10 at 2:32

Watch Star Wars in terminal telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl

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not really an Ubuntu easter egg but still really cool :) –  user6658 Jan 22 '11 at 0:55
That's awesome. –  MurifoX Jul 26 '12 at 13:14
Holy crap. Amazing. –  vcsjones Jul 26 '12 at 14:03
That is the most awesome easter egg I have ever seen. –  FuzzyToothpaste Jul 9 '14 at 17:07

For 11.04 and earlier:

  1. Press Alt + F2
  2. Type in gegls from outer space and hit enter.
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I can view the application in Turkish. Someone has translated it. Its interesting for an easter egg to have translation files. –  marenostrum Nov 10 '10 at 1:07
This is crazy hard! –  user6658 Jan 22 '11 at 0:52
In Unity, when I enter this, I get "Still no easter eggs in Unity" –  jnv Jun 12 '11 at 15:56
gegls from outer space crashes something; the effect is the same as killing explorer.exe in Windows. I had to do CTRL-ALT-DELETE to get out. :( –  JamesTheAwesomeDude Nov 11 '12 at 20:55

I just found a quite funny mix between "cowsay" and "fortune":
First, install both cowsay and fortune

sudo apt-get install cowsay fortune-mod

Now, pass fortune as the argument for cowsay:

fortune | cowsay

A cow will now tell you something clever about life ;) Have fun!

enter image description here

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a funny thing with cowsay is that there's multiple "cows" - you can try to enter for example cowsay -f tux "Hello, world". A full list of cows is available by running ls /usr/share/cowsay/cows. You can also replace cowsay with cowthink if you want a thought-bubble instead of a speech-bubble :) –  sakjur Jan 24 '12 at 20:37

Lord of The Rings Easter Egg

  1. Open Terminal

  2. type calendar -f /usr/share/calendar/calendar.lotr -A 365 and hit Enter

LoTR Easter Egg

You can also try these

calendar -f /usr/share/calendar/calendar.pagan -A 365

calendar -f /usr/share/calendar/calendar.music -A 365

calendar -f /usr/share/calendar/calendar.computer -A 365

calendar -f /usr/share/calendar/calendar.history -A 365

You can get a list of all calendars available by:

ls /usr/share/calendar/

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import this

enter image description here

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Also - import antigravity –  sakjur Jan 24 '12 at 20:38

In Firefox, go to about:robots

OO.org (doesn't work in LO rc4 on MAverick): http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Easter_Eggs

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Clicking on the fish with the mouse will make it go away, to get rid of it for good. you can type killall gnome-panel into the terminal. Also, as an easter egg, it is a undocumented feature.

BONUS: Did you know that, the US Federal Government will not use any software that has undocumented features (aka Easter Eggs)?

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The fish comes back after some time. :) –  sudobash Nov 9 '10 at 19:17
Where did you find that documentation ? –  João Pinto Nov 9 '10 at 19:22
okay maybe it isn't documented as I originally thought, let me fix that. –  TheX Nov 9 '10 at 19:28
Can you link to a source of the Federal Government point? It's interesting. –  Ciro Santilli 六四事件 法轮功 Oct 23 '14 at 14:03
This answer is almost four years old and I have no idea :-p –  TheX Oct 24 '14 at 1:10


Type :help 42 in the command field

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Try to install emacs and then press ESC+x (when you've started emacs) (M-x) and then write butterfly for some advanced butterfly magic ;)

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I also found a couple too, check them out.
Tested and working in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS:

1. aafire - burn up your terminal

sudo apt-get install libaa-bin

2. oneko - have an animal chase your cursor.

sudo apt-get install oneko

3. xeyes - have a pair of eyes follow your cursor around.


4. cmatrix - the matrix code on your terminal

sudo apt-get install cmatrix

5. bb - well, it does interesting stuff

sudo apt-get install bb
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It can be argued that the entire libaa is an easter egg. –  Ciro Santilli 六四事件 法轮功 Oct 23 '14 at 13:39

I really liked lolcat:

sudo apt-get install lolcat
echo {a..z}{a..z}{a..z} | lolcat

Hint: rainbows.

Back on the ASCII art vein there is toilet:

sudo apt-get install toilet
echo abcdef | toilet

man toilet reveals a wealth of options.

Some of bsdgames could be classified as Easter eggs:

sudo apt-get install bsdgames
number 123
primes 1 100

but the most part are just too awesome to be just Easter eggs.

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How does the lolcat command really work? I'm only getting colored text with the command you posted. –  Exeleration-G Oct 28 '14 at 13:36
Hmm, are you familiar with cat? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_%28Unix%29 lolcat's a parody. –  Ciro Santilli 六四事件 法轮功 Oct 28 '14 at 13:54
Oh, I get it now, I knew what cat was, I just thought that there was more to it. –  Exeleration-G Oct 28 '14 at 14:09

ddate for a mistyped date command, I presume. In a terminal, run


Today is Sweetmorn, the 13th day of Discord in the YOLD 3181

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nmap Install nmap has one too, to format output in s|<rIpt kIddi3 style:

$ nmap -oS - scanme.nmap.org

$taRt1ng Nmap 6.40 ( hTtp://nMap.org ) at 2015-03-27 19:22 C3T
NMap sCaN report F0r $cAnm3.nmap.Org (
H0$t !z up (0.17z laT3ncy).
N0T Shown: 995 f|ltEr3D p0Rt$
P0RT     $TaTE  s3RvIC3
80/tcP   op3n   htTp
443/Tcp  cl0$ed HtTps
6667/tcp cl0$3d 1Rc
6969/tcp Cl0S3d acmS0da
8333/TCp cl0seD unknOwn

Nmap Done: 1 iP addreSz (1 ho$t Up) scannEd !n 10.14 S3cONdz
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