Updated: 2021/Apr/14

FORTUNE(6)                       Games Manual                       FORTUNE(6)

     fortune - print a random, hopefully interesting, adage

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

     When fortune is run with no arguments it prints out a random epigram.
     Epigrams are divided into several categories, where each category is
     subdivided 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 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 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 executed as part of the logout procedure to guarantee that
              the message can be read before the screen is cleared.

     The user may specify alternative 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
     inclusive, followed by a `%' character.  If it is, there will be an 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 remaining 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%' 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 the strfile(8) utility.

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

     regex(3), random(6), rot13(6), strfile(8)

NetBSD 9.99                      July 22, 2019                     NetBSD 9.99