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I wish to display a cowsay message in every terminal window. The command I use is

 fortune | cowsay

Any ideas how to make it appear whenever I start a new terminal session?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 19 down vote accepted
  • Open the file ~/.bashrc (or /etc/bash.bashrc if it should work globally for all users).

  • Add the following at the bottom of the file:

    if [ -x /usr/games/cowsay -a -x /usr/games/fortune ]; then
        fortune | cowsay
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does the -x flag mean "if exists" ? –  theTuxRacer Dec 6 '10 at 16:58
Yes, "-x" tests if that file exists and is executable. For more information on the the test program see its man page: man test ([ ... ] is short for test ...). –  htorque Dec 6 '10 at 17:03

BONUS: If you're using bash you can make a ~/.bash_logout file and it will execute that when you log out. Make sure to have it sleep for a second or so, or you'll never see it.

cowsay "See you later"; sleep 1

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wow, thats neat! Ill do it immediately! –  theTuxRacer Jan 24 '11 at 7:54

I would consider setting a limit to the size of the fortune command requested.

fortune -s | cowsay

This will produce at most 160 characters. This is a good size for a greeting, anything more than that and long fortunes will flood your terminal.

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