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FORTUNE(6)		     UNIX Reference Manual		    FORTUNE(6)

NAME
       fortune - print a random, hopefully interesting, adage

SYNOPSIS
       fortune [-aefilosw] [-n length] [ -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.

   Options
       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.

       -l     Long  dictums  only.   See -n on how ``long'' is defined in this
	      sense.

       -m pattern
	      Print out all fortunes which match the basic regular  expression
	      pattern.	 The  syntax  of these expressions depends on how your
	      system defines re_comp(3) or regcomp(3), but it should neverthe‐
	      less be similar to the syntax used in grep(1).

	      The  fortunes  are output to standard output, while the names of
	      the file from which each fortune comes are printed  to  standard
	      error.   Either or both can be redirected; if standard output is
	      redirected to a file, the result is a  valid  fortunes  database
	      file.   If  standard  error is also redirected to this file, the
	      result is still valid, but there	will  be  ``bogus''  fortunes,
	      i.e. the filenames themselves, in parentheses.  This can be use‐
	      ful if you wish to remove the gathered matches from their origi‐
	      nal  files,  since each filename-record will precede the records
	      from the file it names.

       -n length
	      Set the longest fortune length (in characters) considered to  be
	      ``short''	 (the  default is 160).	 All fortunes longer than this
	      are considered ``long''.	Be careful!  If you set the length too
	      short  and  ask for short fortunes, or too long and ask for long
	      ones, fortune goes into a never-ending thrash loop.

       -o     Choose only from potentially offensive aphorisms.

	      Please, please, please request a potentially  offensive  fortune
	      if  and  only  if	 you believe, deep in your heart, that you are
	      willing to be offended. (And that	 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.  See -n on which fortunes  are  considered
	      ``short''.

       -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  executed  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
       preceded	 by a percentage, which is a number n between 0 and 100 inclu‐
       sive, 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 per‐
       centages do not sum to 100, and there are specifications	 without  per‐
       centages, the remaining percent will apply to those files and/or direc‐
       tories, 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 (in number of fortunes, not raw file size), 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 consider all files equal; thus

	      fortune -e funny not-funny

       is equivalent to

	      fortune 50% funny 50% not-funny

       This  fortune also supports the BSD method of appending ``-o'' to data‐
       base names to specify offensive fortunes.  However this is not how for‐
       tune stores them: offensive fortunes are stored in a seperate directory
       without the ``-o'' infix.  A plain name (i.e., not a path to a file  or
       directory) that ends in ``-o'' will be assumed to be an offensive data‐
       base, and will have its suffix stripped off  and	 be  searched  in  the
       offensive  directory  (even if the neither of the -a or -o options were
       specified).  This feature is not only for backwards-compatibility,  but
       also  to	 allow	users to distinguish between inoffensive and offensive
       databases of the same name.

       For example, assuming there is a database named definitions in both the
       inoffensive  and	 potentially offensive collections, then the following
       command will select an inoffensive definition 90% of the	 time,	and  a
       potentially offensive definition for the remaining 10%:

	      fortune 90% definitions definitions-o

FILES
       Note: these are the defaults as defined at compile time.

       /usr/share/games/fortune
	      Directory for innoffensive fortunes.
       /usr/share/games/fortune/off
	      Directory for offensive fortunes.

       If  a  particular set of fortunes is particularly unwanted, there is an
       easy solution: delete the associated .dat file.	This leaves  the  data
       intact,	should	the  file later be wanted, but since fortune no longer
       finds the pointers file, it ignores the text file.

BUGS
       The division of fortunes into offensive and non-offensive by directory,
       rather than via the `-o' file infix, is not 100% compatible with origi‐
       nal BSD fortune. Although the `-o' infix is recognised as referring  to
       an offensive database, the offensive database files still need to be in
       a seperate directory.  The workaround, of course, is to move  the  `-o'
       files  into  the offensive directory (with or without renaming), and to
       use the -a option.

       The supplied fortune databases have been attacked, in order to  correct
       orthographical  and  grammatical	 errors,  and  particularly  to reduce
       redundancy and repetition and  redundancy.   But	 especially  to	 avoid
       repititiousness.	  This	has  not  been	a  complete  success.	In the
       process, some fortunes may also have been lost.

       The fortune databases are now divided into a larger number  of  smaller
       files, some organized by format (poetry, definitions), and some by con‐
       tent (religion, politics).  There are parallel files in the main direc‐
       tory  and  in the offensive files directory (e.g., fortunes/definitions
       and fortunes/off/definitions).  Not all the potentially offensive  for‐
       tunes  are in the offensive fortunes files, nor are all the fortunes in
       the offensive files potentially offensive, probably,  though  a	strong
       attempt	has  been made to achieve greater consistency.	Also, a better
       division might be made.

HISTORY
       This version of fortune is based on the NetBSD fortune 1.4, but with  a
       number of bug fixes and enhancements.

       The  original  fortune/strfile  format used a single file; strfile read
       the text file and converted it to null-delimited	 strings,  which  were
       stored after the table of pointers in the .dat file.  By NetBSD fortune
       1.4, this had changed to two separate files: the .dat file was only the
       header (the table of pointers, plus flags; see strfile.h), and the text
       strings were left in their own file.  The potential problem  with  this
       is  that text file and header file may get out of synch, but the advan‐
       tage is that the text files can be easily edited without	 resorting  to
       unstr,  and  there is a potential savings in disk space (on the assump‐
       tion that the sysadmin kept both .dat file with strings	and  the  text
       file).

       Many  of	 the enhancements made over the NetBSD version assumed a Linux
       system, and thus caused it to fail  under  other	 platforms,  including
       BSD.   The  source code has since been made more generic, and currently
       works on SunOS 4.x as well as Linux, with support  for  more  platforms
       expected in the future.	Note that some bugs were inadvertantly discov‐
       ered and fixed during this process.

       At a guess, a great many people have worked on this program, many with‐
       out leaving attributions.

SEE ALSO
       re_comp(3), regcomp(3), strfile(1), unstr(1)

BSD Experimental	     19 April 94 [May. 97]		    FORTUNE(6)
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