Adding Some Pizzazz To Your Terminal

Nov 30, 2016

How many times have you bashed numbers and letters into your basic old terminal, thrown the keyboard down to the ground, and yelled about a lack of pizzazz? You wouldn’t be alone. Lack of pizzazz, or panache, is one of the top reasons programmers find themselves agitated and depressed (this is not true at all). A brand new Tribe Called Quest album can only make you so happy it’s time to have some fun in terminal!

Note: most of these command-line utilities can be installed using brew on Mac OS X, gem, or your package manager of choice on Linux. This article focuses mainly on Mac OS X.


gem install lolcat

An oldie but goldie, lolcat allows you to pipe any output to a symphony of righteous rainbows!

Was hoping one day an alternative currency would be cat gifs.


brew install cowsay

Cowsay let’s you pipe any output to a speaking cow. This is particularly useful if you only take orders from talking cows.


Cowsay also has several Easter eggs, allowing you to change from the cow to other characters you only answer to.

 When I travel to the Sun I roll with the squadron!

Here is a list of the other characters with a few removed to make it safe for work:

beavis.zen bud-frogs bunny cheese cower daemon default dragon dragon-and-cow elephant elephant-in-snake eyes flaming-sheep ghostbusters head-in hellokitty kiss kitty koala kosh luke-koala meow milk moofasa moose mutilated ren sheep skeleton small stegosaurus stimpy supermilker surgery telebears three-eyes turkey turtle tux udder vader vader-koala www


brew install fortune

Sick and tired of going to Chinese restaurants to steal fortune cookies? You’re in luck, there’s a package just for you! Pipe fortune through cowsay and lolcat for extra fun!

Stimpy you eeeediot.

Steam Locomotive

brew install sl

Choo-choo! All aboard the terminal train! This package is mainly for preventing the misspelling of ls, which lists directory contents. Instead, if you accidentally type sl, a steam locomotive will pass by FANTASTICALLY.

Choo-choo! All aboard the terminal train! I bet you won't mispell ls again.


brew install asciiquarium

Don’t have the time to head to the local aquarium? Download ASCIIQuarium and add a little aquatic pizzazz to get your life back on track.

Under the sea.

Now that you’ve added these wonderful packages to terminal, consider adding them to the next Linux instance you spin up, too you’ll be glad you did!


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