Happy System Administrator Appreciation Day

Linux is a pleasure to use, and system administrators agree, especially on the last Friday in July, a.k.a. System Administrator Appreciation Day (a.k.a. SysAdmin Day, a.k.a. Sysmas).

In honor of Sysadmin Day, we’ve put together a list of our favorite features and Easter eggs in Linux. Enjoy!

Steam Engine

Install and launch the command sl:

sudo apt-get install sl

Choo choo! Enjoy as this little engine that could chugs its way across your console.

Star Wars

Install telnet:

sudo apt-get install telnet

Run the command:

telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl

Sit back and relax while watching A New Hope in ASCII format:

The Matrix


sudo apt-get install cmatrix

Enter the command:


“I don’t even see the code. All I see is blonde, brunette, redhead…”

Weather and Moon Phases

You can view a weather forecast by entering the command:

curl wttr.in

You can enter a specific city by adding /[your city] after the command:

curl wttr.in/London

You can also view the phases of the moon:

curl wttr.in/moon


To view a standard calendar, run the command:

cal -3


You can print out a colorful clock in the console by running the following command with the given parameters:

while true; do echo "$(date '+%D %T' | toilet -f term -F border --gay)"; sleep 1; done

To stop the clock, hit Ctrl+C.


Who needs a fireplace when you’ve got the terminal?


sudo apt install libaa-bin

Run the command:



The command ‘toilet’ prints any text in ASCII format. Install:

sudo apt-get install toilet

Enter the command and text:

toilet Selectel

If you want to color your banner, you can use the following commands:

toilet -F metal Selectel
toilet -f mono12 -F metal Selectel
toilet -f bigmono9 -F gay "Selectel"

Command Combinations

One of the most well-known Easter eggs is moo:

apt-get moo

It’s another story with this command:

aptitude -v moo

This will actually print “There are no Easter Eggs in this program.” Naturally, this means the moo program does in fact have an Easter egg. By adding more ‘v’s to the command, we get other messages, including the picture of an “…elephant being eaten by a snake, of course.”

We can also draw a talking cow by running the command:

cowsay 'hi'

If you don’t like cows, you can see what other animals are available by running the command:

cowsay -l

You can also print out a random quote in your console.
In Ubuntu, install:

sudo apt-get install fortune

Running the command ‘fortune’ with the -s option will print a random, short, and maybe even useful fortune or quote.

fortune -s

By combining the ‘cow’ and ‘fortune’, we can a fortune-telling cow:

fortune | cowsay

We can hear what other animals have to say by running commands like:

fortune | cowsay -f turtle

We’d like to wish admins everywhere a happy System Administrator Appreciation Day (or Merry Sysmas!). We wish you all nerves of steal, stable connections, maximum uptime, reliable processors, and a crash-free future!

If you’d like to write your own well-wishes, please feel free to do so in the comments below.

And may the force be with you!