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
         (__)
         (oo)
   /------\/
  / |    ||
 *  /\---/\
    ~~   ~~
...."Have you mooed today?"...

4. Firefox Robots

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

about:robots

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”)
  • =STARCALCTEAM()
  • =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?


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{ 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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