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FORTUNE(6)                     BSD Games Manual                     FORTUNE(6)

     fortune -- print a random, hopefully interesting, adage

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

     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
           below on multiple files).

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

     -i    Ignore case for -m patterns.

     -l    Long dictums only.

     -m pattern
           Print out all fortunes which match the regular expression pattern.
           See re_format(7) 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
           offended.  (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 believe 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.

     -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 '%' character.  If it is, there will be an N percent proba-
     bility that an adage will be picked from that file or directory.  If the
     percentages do not sum to 100, and there are specifications without per-
     centages, the remaining percent will apply to those files and/or directo-
     ries, 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%'' is unnecessary,
     since 10% is all that's left).  The -e option says to consider all files
     equal; thus

           $ fortune -e

     is equivalent to

           $ fortune 50% funny 50% not-funny

     Datafiles for fortune are created by a utility called strfile.  Although
     not installed by default, the source code and a manual page for this
     utility can be found in /usr/src/games/fortune/strfile/, if it exists.

     /usr/share/games/fortune/*    Fortune files.

     random(6), rot13(6), re_format(7)

BSD                            February 6, 2015                            BSD