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Linux Easter eggs – What to do when you’re bored!!!

Linux Easter eggs - What to do when you're bored - blackMORE Ops

Every once in a while I get bored and try to find something funny in Linux. I found few Linux Easter eggs, you might find them funny or just to pass sometime while you’re thinking of something else … So here goes … 

Firefox/IceWeasel Robots

Type “about:robots” in the Firefox or IceWeasel address bar to find out what the robots are upto.

Free the Fish

On GNOME, press Alt-F2 to launch the “run application” window and type “free the fish” to free a cute little fish, that will start swimming across your screen. Restart and the fish will go away..

Apt Commands

Apt-get Cows

On Ubuntu and Debian, the apt-get package manager has had an embedded easter egg for a long time now.

If you type the help command for apt-get, you will get a hint:

apt-get help
. . .
. . .
  -c=? Read this configuration file
  -o=? Set an arbitrary configuration option, eg -o dir::cache=/tmp
See the apt-get(8), sources.list(5) and apt.conf(5) manual
pages for more information and options.
                       This APT has Super Cow Powers.

The last line tells us that the easter egg is active in this version of apt. Type:

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

Aptitude Cows?

With apt-get’s affinity for cows, users may be curious as to whether aptitude, another apt tool, also implements a fun easter egg.

We can check the help like before:

aptitude help
. . .
. . .
 -u             Download new package lists on startup.
                  (terminal interface only)
 -i             Perform an install run on startup.
                  (terminal interface only)

                  This aptitude does not have Super Cow Powers.

Well that is disappointing. Let’s try it anyways though:

aptitude moo
There are no Easter Eggs in this program.

A fairly straight forward answer. But persistence is important. Let’s add some verbosity:

aptitude -v moo
There really are no Easter Eggs in this program.

And again…:

aptitude -vv moo
Didn't I already tell you that there are no Easter Eggs in this program?

If you keep adding more “verbosity”, you will eventually get this:

aptitude -vvvvv moo
All right, you win.

                       -------/      \
                      /               \
                     /                |
   -----------------/                  --------\

It doesn’t look like too much. Let’s add another “v”:

aptitude -vvvvvv moo
What is it?  It's an elephant being eaten by a snake, of course.

This is a reference to the book The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Vim and Douglas Adams

Those of you familiar with Douglas Adams, writer of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, will appreciate a relevant help option included in the vim text editor.

If you haven’t already, install vim. In Ubuntu/Debian, you can type:

sudo apt-get install vim

In CentOS/Fedora, you can type:

sudo yum install vim

Open the editor from the command line:


Type the following to access a special vim help menu:

:help 42
What is the meaning of life, the universe and everything?  *42*
Douglas Adams, the only person who knew what this question really was about is
now dead, unfortunately.  So now you might wonder what the meaning of death

Type the following, twice, to exit vim:


Script Kiddie Output for Nmap

Nmap is a commonly used network exploration tool that can be used to perform security audits on your system.

Install it on Kali/Ubuntu/Debian with the following command:

sudo apt-get install nmap

On CentOS/Fedora, install it by entering:

sudo yum install nmap

Nmap provides you with the unusual option of being able to output its data in “script kiddie” format.

Let’s see what the normal output looks like first, by running the command against the Nmap website itself:

nmap scanme.nmap.org
Starting Nmap 5.21 ( http://nmap.org ) at 2013-09-18 17:43 UTC
Nmap scan report for scanme.nmap.org (
Host is up (0.072s latency).
Not shown: 998 closed ports
22/tcp open  ssh
80/tcp open  http

Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 1.40 seconds

Now, let’s enable the alternate output with these options:

nmap -oS - scanme.nmap.org
$tart|ng NMap 5.21 ( http://Nmap.org ) at 2013-09-18 17:45 UTC
Nmap $cAn r3p0rt F0r scanM3.nmaP.oRg (
Ho$t 1z Up (0.071z laT3ncy).
Not sh0wN: 998 cl0$Ed p0rt$
22/tcp opEn  Ssh
80/tcP 0p3n  HtTp

Nmap d0n3: 1 iP AddrESz (1 h0$t Up) $canNed !n 1.34 secondz

Basically, it replaces certain letters with similar looking characters to emulate “pentester” language.


If you know more Linux Easter eggs that works in Debian or Kali Linux, let me know via comment.


Thanks for reading. Please share with your bored friends.

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