Funny Animation Commands: Linux

Staring at code all day can be a real drag. Git can be frustrating and is mind-numbing at the best of times. Code reviews and project plans do not spark joy. You have to inject a little fun into your day. You have to take a little time to blow off some steam. What better way than with a few neat little command-line toys?

Adding some fun and especially a little color to your terminal will lighten the mood and really helps when the work tasks start to grind. Some of these utilities are more functional and actually serve a technical purpose, while others are just pure fun. It might seem like these are just nonsense distractions, and that’s because they mostly are. A distraction can be a good thing under the right circumstances.

When you’re hyper focused on crushing some big project before a deadline, or fixing a particularly tricky bug your brain needs a break. Some people take breaks by getting up and walking around, other people distract themselves with some other task or a game. That is exactly what these can be for your productivity; a healthy distraction. Give your brain a rest and relax with some silly applications.



cowsay is a program that generates ASCII pictures of a cow with a message. It can also generate pictures using pre-made…

This is an absolute classic. has been around since 1999 and provides endless possibilities for usage. In the simplest form provides you with an ASCII art cow that accepts and then displays the results inside a speaking cow bubble. can be a lot of fun for jazzing up monotonous tasks.

could be built into many different useful things. You could include inside your machine login banner or even have errors and warnings displayed via (maybe not in production). has even been built into some widely popular applications like Ansible as an optional output theme.

Trying out is super easy, just install for your platform using the commands these cows tell you about below:

### debian install
< sudo apt install cowsay >
\ ^__^
\ (oo)\_______
(__)\ )\/\
||----w |
|| ||### MacOS install
< brew install cowsay >
\ ^__^
\ (oo)\_______
(__)\ )\/\
||----w |
|| ||# run it!
echo "hello from cowsay!" | cowsay
< hello from cowsay! >
\ ^__^
\ (oo)\_______
(__)\ )\/\
||----w |
|| ||


🐦 Bringing animated parrots to terminals everywhere — hugomd/

The Party Parrot is one of my all time favorite things in the universe. There are so many different forms of Party Parrot. Whether its Aussie Parrot, Exploding Parrot, doesn’t matter because I love them all. Many companies using Slack have quite the repertoire of parrot emojis added.

But what if you’re stuck working on a headless machine with only a terminal? What if you can’t really install superfluous things like this and all you have access to is boring old ? Don’t worry, you can still party! in terminal.

Simply type the following and take a Party Parrot break:


SL (steam locomotive)

mtoyoda / sl

SL(1): Cure your bad habit of mistyping Dismiss GitHub is home to over 50 million developers working together to host…

What is one of the most useful commands you could ever use on a Unix-based system? That’s right. It’s .

Have you ever accidentally typed wrong before? Maybe you’ve found yourself committing this classic fat finger:

tate@computer:~ $ sl
bash: sl: command not found

Yes, clearly we meant but yet here we are with Bash yelling at us about a classic misunderstanding.

It’s time to train yourself out of this pathological typo behavior. to the rescue! The next time you accidentally type when you mean you will be greeted with an excruciatingly long steam locomotive chugging across your terminal:

Terminal output of sl.

You’ll be afraid to accidentally type ever again after waiting for that damn train to finish scrolling across the screen. Start correcting those pesky habits today by installing with the following commands:

### debian
sudo apt install sl### MacOS
brew install sl



Dismiss GitHub is home to over 50 million developers working together to host and review code, manage projects, and…

Your terminal needs more color (probably). By far the easiest way for your terminal to “taste the rainbow” is using . This handy little utility will accept and paint whatever you pass it in a rainbow gradient effect. Look we can even combine it with :

Piping Cowsay text to lolcat.

And if that isn’t fun enough, we can even make animate the text we pass it too by using the flag:

Using the animate flag with lolcat.

Colorize some of that drab text output by installing :

# Debian
sudo apt install lolcat# MacOS
brew install lolcat

Thank you for reading! I hope you could blow off a little steam and maybe even have a chuckle with some of these amusing utilities. Don’t forget to take some breaks during those coding marathons and entertain yourself!