Content of the material
1) Use Linux Terminal
If you really want to learn the Linux than you must know the power of Linux terminal. You can do everything including, creating and removing file and directory, browsing the web, sending mail, setting up network connection, format partition, monitoring system performance using the command-line terminal. Compare to other operating systems, Linux gives you a feeling that it is your system and you own it.
Here is some basic command that you should know:
• ls : List the content of the current directory.• mkdir : Create a directory.• touch : Create a file.• df -h : Display your system partition with size.• free -m : Display memory usage.• cat : View the content of the file.• cd : Change the directory to another directory.• w : Show you currently login user in your system.
If you have seen the Hollywood movie Matrix, then you will relate easily to this command. Install cmatrix using the script:
sudo apt install cmatrix
Run it by typing
cmatrix in your terminal.
Lolcat is a program that concatenates files, or standard input, to standard output (like the generic cat) and adds rainbow coloring to it. You can pipe the output of other commands to
lolcat, which provides a rainbow hue to the result.
Here’s the result of
lolcat -h for its help output:
Don Watkins, CC BY-SA 4.0
Image by: Don Watkins, CC BY-SA 4.0
Cowsay and Cowthink
Cowsay is a configurable talking/thinking cow! Simply issue either cowsay or cowthink followed by some words and an ASCII image will be displayed along with your text message. If you don’t like cows, then you can select one of around forty alternative characters. To install “cowsay” from a Debian based system, you can issue: sudo apt install cowsay
Examples of cowsay in action:
Alternative characters are called by passing the “-f” parameter: cowsay -f ghostbusters Who you Gonna Call
If you are tired of hearing the everyday voices around you, this command could be your escape. You can listen to your computer talk by installing
espeak using this command:
sudo apt install espeak
After, run espeak using the command:
espeak "Type what your computer says"
Note that whatever you type within the double quotation marks is what your computer will say.
10) Install Command Line Mail Client
We all know the importance of emails in our day-to-day tasks. There are a lot of graphical email clients available for Linux now a day that provides a graphical interface to send and receive emails. However, you will all need to send emails from the command line if you are working on a headless server. In this case, you can install and configure command line email client in your server to send and receive emails.
There are a lot of command line email clients are available for Linux. Among them, Mutt is a small and lightweight email client for Linux operating systems. It offers a rich set of features including, easy to install, color support, IMAP and POP3 support, multiple message tagging and many more.
For Ubuntu/Debian operating systems, you can install Mutt with the following command:
For CentOS/RHEL/Fedora operating systems, you can install Mutt with the following command:
After installing Mutt, you will need to configure the SMTP setting in Mutt to send and receive emails.
Be sure to consult the man pages of all these commands to explore all the possibilities and iterations. What are your favorite silly commands, and do they have real-world uses as well? Share your favorites in the comments.
Fancy snow on your desktop, well now you can with “xsnow“. To install xsnow simply issue the command:
sudo apt install xsnow
To run “xsnow” simply type xsnow into your terminal. You should now be visited by Santa and his Reindeer, snow and lots of Christmas trees!
Numerous options are available to adjust the settings for the snow, the size and speed of Santa, wind speed and background colour. For a full list of options available, type man xsnow in your terminal.
Strange Options for Common Programs
There are some strange options available in some common programs that you may wish to check out.
Insult Users with Sudo
You can configure
sudo, used to elevate the privileges of a command, to insult users when they type in an incorrect password.
To do so, edit the sudoers file with a tool called
visudo, which edits and validates modifications to the sudo configuration file.
Near the top, add a line that reads:
Save and close the file.
Next, empty the cache that stores your password for a certain amount of time and then mistype your password for a sudo command:
<pre> [sudo] password for demo: <span class=“highlight”># Type an incorrect password here</span> Have you considered trying to match wits with a rutabaga? [sudo] password for demo: My pet ferret can type better than you! [sudo] password for demo: Wrong! You cheating scum! </pre>
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 Ubuntu/Debian with the following command:
On CentOS/Fedora, install it by entering:
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:
Now, let’s enable the alternate output with these options:
Basically, it replaces certain letters with similar looking characters to emulate “hacker” language or leet-speak.
Installing More Fun
There are a few programs that you probably don’t need for any other purpose, but can be fun if you have some time.
Learn from your Typos
If you’ve ever accidentally typed
sl when you meant to list a directory’s contents with
ls, then you may want to install a program “sl”.
Now, whenever you accidentally type “sl” instead of “ls”, you’ll have to smile:
A train will chug across your screen each time.
Fun with Cowsay and Fortune
If you need some more cheap amusement at the command line, and didn’t get your fill of cows from the “apt” easter egg, you can download
Cowsay inserts any input into a word bubble and draws an ASCII cow to talk to you:
The fortune program spits out quotations, fortunes, jokes, nonsense that can be piped into cowsay:
If you’re not too fond of cows, you can get other characters as well:
For a full list of the available characters, type:
My personal favorite is the stegosaurus:
As you can see, not very useful, but pretty fun.
Linux Mint is a powerful operating system. It contains everything out of the box to satisfy your everyday needs. For your extra needs, it provides an elegant way of fulfilling them. It’s a great distro to learn the basics of Linux itself. For Linux newcomers, Linux Mint is one of the best options with a simple learning curve. You can also try it out in a virtual environment before making it your default OS.