Fortune 303 words published on June 26, 2018.

Nothing quite starts a terminal session like fortune. It gives you a nice little quip to ponder as you settle into your groove. The database is filled with a bunch of jokes and philosophy that might just make you think – how novel. I’ve been using it in my (akin to .bashrc) for years now.

The shortest distance between two points is under construction.

– Noelie Alito

But, fortune could be so much better. Mainly, it’s the perfect tool for collecting a personal database of quotes or random thoughts. It’s actually really easy to make your own fortunes. All you really need is a file structured according to the strfile format.

touch personal

The format of this file is simple. Each entry is followed by a % on it’s own line. For example:

A bear is a lot to bear.
I've never met a bare bear.

Finally you need to turn your text file into a .dat with strfile itself.

strfile personal

Now you’ve got yourself a personal database for use in fortune. You can use it by simply passing the file (or directory) as an argument. Larger databases may want to be divided across many files – this is possible.

fortune personal

If you’d like to see some of your own fortunes mixed in with others, the syntax also supports that.

fortune 50% personal 25% love 25% wisdom

Refer to your installation of fortune for what databases you have access to. These are most commonly found in places like /usr/share/fortune.