FORTUNE(6)                   UNIX Reference Manual                  FORTUNE(6)

NAME
     fortune - print a random, hopefully interesting, adage

SYNOPSIS
     fortune [-aefilosw] [-m pattern] [[N%] file/dir/all]

DESCRIPTION
     When fortune is run with no arguments it prints out a random epigram.
     Epigrams are divided into several categories, where each category is sub-
     divided into those which are potentially offensive and those which are
     not.  The options are as follows:

     -a    Choose from all lists of maxims, both offensive and not.  (See the
           -o option for more information on offensive fortunes.)

     -e    Consider all fortune files to be of equal size (see discussion be-
           low on multiple files).

     -f    Print out the list of files which would be searched, but don't
           print a fortune.

     -l    Long dictums only.

     -m    Print out all fortunes which match the regular expression pattern.
           See regex(3) for a description of patterns.

     -o    Choose only from potentially offensive aphorisms.  Please, please,
           please request a potentially offensive fortune if and only if you
           believe, deep down in your heart, that you are willing to be of-
           fended.  (And that if you are, you'll just quit using -o rather
           than give us grief about it, okay?)

                 ... let us keep in mind the basic governing philosophy of The
                 Brotherhood, as handsomely summarized in these words: we be-
                 lieve in healthy, hearty laughter -- at the expense of the
                 whole human race, if needs be.  Needs be.
                             --H. Allen Smith, "Rude Jokes"

     -s    Short apothegms only.

     -i    Ignore case for -m patterns.

     -w    Wait before termination for an amount of time calculated from the
           number of characters in the message.  This is useful if it is exe-
           cuted as part of the logout procedure to guarantee that the message
           can be read before the screen is cleared.

     The user may specify alternate sayings.  You can specify a specific file,
     a directory which contains one or more files, or the special word all
     which says to use all the standard databases.  Any of these may be pre-
     ceded by a percentage, which is a number N between 0 and 100 inclusive,
     followed by a %. If it is, there will be a N percent probability that an
     adage will be picked from that file or directory.  If the percentages do
     not sum to 100, and there are specifications without percentages, the re-
     maining percent will apply to those files and/or directories, in which
     case the probability of selecting from one of them will be based on their
     relative sizes.

     As an example, given two databases funny and not-funny, with funny twice
     as big, saying

           fortune funny not-funny

     will get you fortunes out of funny two-thirds of the time.  The command

           fortune 90% funny 10% not-funny

     will pick out 90% of its fortunes from funny (the ``10% not-funny'' is
     unnecessary, since 10% is all that's left).  The -e option says to con-
     sider all files equal; thus

           fortune -e

     is equivalent to

           fortune 50% funny 50% not
           -funny

FILES
     /usr/share/fortune

SEE ALSO
     regex(3),  regcmp(3),

BSD Experimental                April 19, 1994                               1

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