I've seen people using the terminal command: banner. This creates big ascii-art-style text.

When I try to run it, however, the terminal says it doesn't exist. Why?

How do I install it? Are there any alternatives?

up vote 13 down vote accepted

You need to install it before you can use it. Type in the terminal:

sudo apt-get install sysvbanner

This Package is not available in the standard installation and for this is why you have to install it manually.

I've always preferred figlet for big writing. Something about it preserves the character shape better. A bit subjective but there you go. Simple enough:

$ sudo apt-get install figlet
$ figlet oh hai!
       _       _           _ _ 
  ___ | |__   | |__   __ _(_) |
 / _ \| '_ \  | '_ \ / _` | | |
| (_) | | | | | | | | (_| | |_|
 \___/|_| |_| |_| |_|\__,_|_(_)

(It looks better in a terminal than it does here)

There are a ton of formatting options too that make it suitable for lots of different situations. It does this through "fonts" (standard, slant, shadow, small, smslant, bubble, digital, mini, etc). man figlet has a full listing of available styles and formatting options but here are a few examples:

$ figlet -f slant Hooah!
    __  __                  __    __
   / / / /___  ____  ____ _/ /_  / /
  / /_/ / __ \/ __ \/ __ `/ __ \/ / 
 / __  / /_/ / /_/ / /_/ / / / /_/  
/_/ /_/\____/\____/\__,_/_/ /_(_)   

$ figlet -f smslant Hooah!
   __ __               __   __
  / // /__  ___  ___ _/ /  / /
 / _  / _ \/ _ \/ _ `/ _ \/_/ 
/_//_/\___/\___/\_,_/_//_(_)  

$ figlet -f bubble Hooah!
  _   _   _   _   _   _  
 / \ / \ / \ / \ / \ / \ 
( H | o | o | a | h | ! )
 \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ 

$ figlet -f mini Hooah!

|_| _  _  _.|_ | 
| |(_)(_)(_|| |o 
  • Both of you used the same command at the same time , so cant decide whose first. Any way Thank you for answering. +1 – rɑːdʒɑ Dec 17 '13 at 13:40
  • look at my new answer , you can find something really cool – rɑːdʒɑ Dec 17 '13 at 14:05
  • You are a treasure-trove of knowledge! Installed 190 KB package... ;-) – Fabby Feb 2 '15 at 16:05

If you wish to use other "fonts" / ASCII art for a banner, you could also look at figlet:

sudo apt-get install figlet

foo@bar:~$ figlet
hi
 _     _
| |__ (_)
| '_ \| |
| | | | |
|_| |_|_|

cheers

sc.

Found one more named as toilet.

sudo apt-get install toilet

Then run

toilet -f bigmono9 -F gay <your string>

For Example:

enter image description here

  • 1
    that's a good suggestion, had never heard of that. thanks. – swisscheese Dec 17 '13 at 14:15
  • looks like toilet-paper to me. Colorful at that. – RPi Awesomeness Dec 17 '13 at 14:24

Alternative (without installing anything)

  1. Go to https://duckduckgo.com
  2. In search bar type: figlet YOUR BANNER HERE
  3. Copy the figlet and use it in the Bash script

Example Bash code:

#!/bin/bash

printf "
    YOUR FIGLET BANNER HERE
"

Open your terminal and paste as

 sudo apt-get install sysvbanner

Usage:

 banner <yourstring>

Example:

enter code here

  • Intersting, what would I be used for? Just wondering... – RPi Awesomeness Dec 17 '13 at 13:39
  • @RPiAwesomeness where ever you want , for example in bash scripts # stands for commenting & there you can have your identity. – rɑːdʒɑ Dec 17 '13 at 13:42
  • @RPiAwesomeness printers! We used to use this to create banners for printers and put some fancy info on the 1st page. – Rinzwind Dec 17 '13 at 15:14

Another (longer) option that might be helpful if there's any nodejs involvement is ascii-banner. It's a node library but it can be scripted out.

$ sudo apt-get install npm
$ sudo npm -g install ascii-banner
$ node -e "var AsciiBanner = require('ascii-banner');AsciiBanner.write('Oh hai').out();"
  ______    __    __      __    __       ___       __  
 /  __  \  |  |  |  |    |  |  |  |     /   \     |  | 
|  |  |  | |  |__|  |    |  |__|  |    /  ^  \    |  | 
|  |  |  | |   __   |    |   __   |   /  /_\  \   |  | 
|  `--'  | |  |  |  |    |  |  |  |  /  _____  \  |  | 
 \______/  |__|  |__|    |__|  |__| /__/     \__\ |__| 

It also has font options:

$ node -e "require('ascii-banner').write('Oh hai').font('Thin').out();"

,---.|        |         o
|   ||---.    |---.,---..
|   ||   |    |   |,---||
`---'`   '    `   '`---^`

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