Can You Find it? 7 Easter Eggs on Linux / UNIX related software

by Ramesh Natarajan on April 2, 2010

Here is a list of few Easter eggs on Linux/UNIX and related software.

How did your Easter egg hunt go? Did you find anything? Share it with us.

1. Free the Fish

On Ubuntu (actually, on GNOME), press Alt-F2 to launch the “run application” window and type “free the fish” to free a cute little fish, that will start swimming across your screen.

Free the fish

2. Gegls from outer space

On Ubuntu (actually, on GNOME), press Alt-F2 to launch the “run application” window and type “gegls from outer space” to launch the hidden game.

Gegls from outer space

3. Cow hidden in apt-get

# apt-get moo
  / |    ||
 *  /\---/\
    ~~   ~~
...."Have you mooed today?"...

4. Firefox Robots

Type “about:robots” in the firefox address bar to find out what the robots are upto.


5. Openoffice Spreadsheet Hidden Games

Open openoffice calc -> Type =GAME(“StarWars”) inside a cell, which will launch the hidden star wars game.

Star-Wars game inside openoffice calc

Also, try entering the following in any of the openoffice spreadsheet cell and see what happens.

  • =GAME(A2:C4;”TicTacToe”)
  • =GAME()
  • =GAME(“Froggie”) – Try this on two difference cells
  • =TTT()

On openoffice word processor, create a new document, type “StarWriterTeam” and press F3 to see the team picture.

6. aptitude asks: Have you mooed today?

# aptitude moo
There are no Easter Eggs in this program.

# aptitude -v moo
There really are no Easter Eggs in this program.

# aptitude -v -v moo
Didn't I already tell you that there are no Easter Eggs in this program?

# aptitude -v -v -v moo
Stop it!

# aptitude -v -v -v -v moo
Okay, okay, if I give you an Easter Egg, will you go away?

# aptitude -v -v -v -v -v moo
All right, you win.

                       -------/      \
                      /               \
                     /                |
   -----------------/                  --------\
# aptitude -v -v -v -v -v -v moo
What is it?  It's an elephant being eaten by a snake, of course.

7. Few other eggs

Open the Vim editor, and do the following:

# vim
:help 42

Randomly try few curse word and see what you find in the linux source code.

# grep -R <your-favorite-curse-word> /usr/src/*

Try your birthdate on ddate and see what it has to say. Check out discordian calendar to understand what this means.

# ddate
Today is Setting Orange, the 17th day of Discord in the YOLD 3176

# ddate 1 4 2003
Sweetmorn, Discord 18, 3169 YOLD

# ddate 13 4 2010
Pungenday, Discord 30, 3176 YOLD

# ddate 18 11 2010
Boomtime, The Aftermath 30, 3176 YOLD

For those who celebrate this weekend, Happy Easter!

What is your favorite software Easter egg?

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like..

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  3. Top 25 Best Linux Performance Monitoring and Debugging Tools
  4. Mommy, I found it! – 15 Practical Linux Find Command Examples
  5. Linux 101 Hacks 2nd Edition eBook Linux 101 Hacks Book

Bash 101 Hacks Book Sed and Awk 101 Hacks Book Nagios Core 3 Book Vim 101 Hacks Book

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jameslee April 2, 2010 at 3:06 am

very nice and funny..Thank u for made this easter happy!

2 Rick Stanley April 2, 2010 at 8:32 am

Please don’t mention Ubuntu or other distro names unless the feature is specific to that particular distro. It confuses less experienced users. I think Gnome is available on at least a couple of Distros! ;^)

“# aptitude -v -v -v -v -v moo”

Can also be written as:

“# aptitude -vvvvv moo”

This applies to a basic series of command line options in most Linux applications. There are exceptions such as options that require additional parameters.

Thanks for the list! I hope there are more!

3 hakmn April 2, 2010 at 11:08 am

hey dude,nice i like the fish

4 Abhinav Raghunandan April 2, 2010 at 11:30 am

Good one!!!!

5 Abreu April 2, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Very cool. Thanks!

6 cbt April 2, 2010 at 1:32 pm

the fish gets annoying after a while, how do you make it go away?

7 Egor April 3, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Please advice how to kill the fish.

8 raktarok April 3, 2010 at 9:35 pm

You can kill the fish by doing this from the terminal:
killall gnome-panel

But please, let the fish live. It is easter ;)

9 Rick Stanley April 4, 2010 at 7:51 am

“Please advice how to kill the fish.”

“Catch” the fish! Just click on the fish and they “swim” off the screen! Nice!

10 Surendra Kumar Anne April 13, 2010 at 4:30 am

to kill the fish just wait for 5 mins automatically it will disapperies other wise just try to click on the fish.. it will go away…….. :)

11 NetSpider April 13, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Oh no, please, don’t kill the fish, let it live! ))

12 PRASHANT SHARMA January 3, 2013 at 9:57 pm

i am trying to see the team photo in open office spread sheet by write=starcalcteam but it shown 42 in cell.
plese some one help me to short out this…

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