Linux fun: cowsay and lolcat

While browsing the latest WSL release notes, I learned of the linux utilities cowsay and lolcat. You can see the effect below:


These utilities will be great additions to anyone's toolbox of nerd party tricks.

In UNIX spirit, these guys operate on standard i/o and can be piped and composed. Moreover, each of these utilities have tons of additional options to further tweak their behavior. For instance, cowsay can be a truly generic cow-speaking tool since it allows the user to specify the eye and tongue appearance (using the -e and -t switches, respectively)

The lolcat utility only works on terminals that support 256 (or more) colors. The OSX/macOS Terminal, putty, and most Linux terminals do. Bash for Windows will also have support in the next update.

If you are unsure about your terminal color settings, a useful tool for testing terminal color settings is the colortest package that comes with Ubuntu.