Cowsay? Madoxsay! Fun (or oh so wrong) things in Ubuntu…

It started with a colleague walking by my desk today and asking me if I had ‘cowsays’ installed on my machine, never having heard of it before he dared me to just try run it.  A short command not found and a subsequent apt-get install later… I didn’t know whether to burst out laughing or slap my forehead.

/ This is a very very useful and         \
| productive program available in Ubuntu |
\ and other Debian distributions...      /
        \   ^__^
         \  (oo)\_______
            (__)\       )\/\
                ||----w |
                ||     ||

I actually found a legitimate use for it!  It just happened that I was supposed to get a thermal printer to work over a RS232 RS485 converter over a Ethernet link all powered from 24V powered by an isolated 110V-24V converter which was fed by 240V…. Yup… Cowsay was the perfect print test material!

How do you get it?

sudo apt-get install cowsay

Usage is pretty self explanatory and the man page, but one nifty feature is that you can replace the cow with a library of animals using the ‘-f‘ option.  The list of animals is stored in (for Ubuntu anyway) in /usr/share/cowsay/cows/

List of animals…

madox@madox-laptop:~$ ls /usr/share/cowsay/cows/
apt.cow             elephant-in-snake.cow  milk.cow             supermilker.cow
beavis.zen.cow      eyes.cow               moofasa.cow          surgery.cow
bong.cow            flaming-sheep.cow      moose.cow            telebears.cow
bud-frogs.cow       ghostbusters.cow       mutilated.cow        three-eyes.cow
bunny.cow           head-in.cow            ren.cow              turkey.cow
cheese.cow          hellokitty.cow         satanic.cow          turtle.cow
cower.cow           kiss.cow               sheep.cow            tux.cow
daemon.cow          kitty.cow              skeleton.cow         udder.cow
default.cow         koala.cow              small.cow            vader.cow
dragon-and-cow.cow  kosh.cow               sodomized.cow        vader-koala.cow
dragon.cow          luke-koala.cow         sodomized-sheep.cow  www.cow
duck.cow            mech-and-cow.cow       stegosaurus.cow
elephant.cow        meow.cow               stimpy.cow

Now you simply use it by typing the following command

cowsay -f animal whatyouwanttheanimaltosayhere

The perfect case of a bad example…

madox@madox-laptop:~$ cowsay -f sodomized WTF? This is sooo wrong...
< WTF? This is sooo wrong... >
      \                _
       \              (_)
        \   ^__^       / \
         \  (oo)\_____/_\ \
            (__)\       ) /
                ||----w ((
                ||     ||>>

Ok…maybe not so fun…but other more sane selections exist!  Tweaks on the animal eyes and more if you explore the man pages.

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