Take the 2-minute tour ×
Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems.. It's 100% free, no registration required.

This question is left open because it was historically allowed, but it is not considered a good, on-topic question for this site and would be closed if asked today.

More info: http://unix.stackexchange.com/faq

I saw a t-shirt reading 'anything you say gets piped to /dev/null', not incredibly funny but amusing at least.

Does anyone else have any good one-liner *nix jokes?

share
show 1 more comment

locked by Michael Mrozek Sep 16 '11 at 12:19

This question exists because it has historical significance, but it is not considered a good, on-topic question for this site, so please do not use it as evidence that you can ask similar questions here. This question and its answers are frozen and cannot be changed. More info: help center.

32 Answers

  • I mount my soul at /dev/null - a colleague

  • image

share
9  
greyfa.de/Makefile –  greyfade Sep 8 '10 at 20:38
2  
AAALT... TEXXXT! –  Hello71 Apr 25 '11 at 20:46
show 1 more comment

Unix is user-friendly. It's just picky about who its friends are.

(I don't know the origin. There are several variant formulations floating around. T-shirt (first google hit)

share
add comment

There are two major products of Berkeley, CA -- LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be strictly by coincidence.

Jeremy S. Anderson

share
1  
I went back and found the original of this quote on Usenet & it is actually as I've edited it. –  delete Sep 10 '10 at 0:45
1  
LSD was synthesized by a Swiss scientist. I would not define it a Berkley product (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LSD) –  Matteo Sep 15 '11 at 15:05
1  
Surely that would be better are "Two things came out fo Berkeley: LSD and BSD. Coincidence?"... –  Sardathrion Sep 16 '11 at 8:06
add comment

Those who do not understand UNIX are condemned to reinvent it, poorly.

— Henry Spencer

share
1  
Henry is an amazingly knowledgeable guy about space stuff too! Very eclectic fellow! –  geoffc Sep 8 '10 at 14:08
1  
By a coincidence, Henry Spencer is also the name of the lead character in the 1977 film "Eraserhead", so googling for this name gives lots of images of someone with electric-shock style hair. –  delete Sep 13 '10 at 13:37
show 1 more comment

UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things.

— Doug Gwyn

share
add comment

FreeBSD make:

$ make love
Not war.
$

or bsdmake on OS X:

$ make love
make: don't know how to make love. Stop
$
share
add comment

These are all taken from here. A lot of these don't seem to work on newer shells, but they're still possible to laugh at.

 % make fire
 Make: Don't know how to make fire. Stop. 

 % why not?
 No match. 

 % gotta light?
 No match. 

 % !1984
 1984: Event not found. # (on some systems) 

 % How's my lovemaking?
 Unmatched '. 

 % "How would you rate Bush's incompetence? 
 Unmatched ". 

 % [Where is Jimmy Hoffa?
 Missing ]. 

 % [Where is my brain?
 Missing ]. 

 % ^How did the sex change^ operation go? 
 Modifier failed. 

 % If I had a ( for every $ Congress spent, what would I have? 
 Too many ('s. 

 % man: why did you get a divorce?
 man:: Too many arguments. 

 % %blow
 %blow: No such job. 

 % \(-
 (-: Command not found. 

 % sh
 $ PATH=pretending! /usr/ucb/which sense 
 no sense in pretending!
 $ mkdir matter; cat >matter
 matter: cannot create 

 % cd /tmp
 % touch this; chmod 000 this
 % ln -s /usr/bin/touch U
 % U this
 U: cannot touch this: no write permission 

 % rm meese-ethics
 rm: meese-ethics nonexistent 

 % ar m God
 ar: God does not exist 

 % make love
 Make: Don't know how to make love. Stop. 

 Supposedly on older Sun's make will also tell you

 Make: Don't know how to make love. How about war instead?

 % sleep with me
 bad character 

 % ^What is saccharine?
 Bad substitute. 

 % drink yellow_pages
 yellow_pages: Is a directory 

 %touch me
 %chmod 000 me
 %touch me
 touch: cannot touch me: permission denied 

 % ar x "my love life"
 ar: my love life does not exist 

 % ar x "matey, the treasure"
 ar: matey, the treasure does not exist 

 % talk Gorvachev@Kremlin
 talk: Kremlin: Can't figure out network address. 

 % talk Comrade Khruchev
 [Your party is not logged on] 
share
1  
Haha: '$ ar m God ar: creating God` (GNU ar (GNU Binutils) 2.20.1.20100303) –  al. Nov 10 '10 at 22:49
add comment

I didn't see this for a while now:

Unix is sexy: who | grep -i blonde | date; cd ~; unzip; touch; strip; finger; mount; gasp; yes; uptime; umount; sleep

share
1  
I think " date cd ~;" should be "date ;cd ~;". :) –  Hemant Sep 7 '10 at 8:36
4  
gasp is an assembly preprocessor (Gnu ASsembly pre Processor) –  echox Sep 9 '10 at 8:33
show 2 more comments

If you have any trouble sounding condescending, find a UNIX user to show you how it's done.

— Scott Adams, Dilbert Cartoonist

share
show 1 more comment

Here are a couple of T-shirt slogans:

There is no place like ~

My favorite:
Thou shalt not kill -9

share
7  
There is no place like ~ is so much better than There is no place like 127.0.0.1 which makes no sense... –  Josh Dec 10 '10 at 17:14
add comment

From Linus Torvalds : "Software is like sex: it's better when it's free".

share
add comment

Here's a nickel, kid. Get yourself a better computer.

That line, from an old Dilbert cartoon, is now famous enough that you don't even need the rest of the cartoon anymore.

Here it is anyway:

share
add comment

OK, this is cheating, but still a lot of fun!

Play around with the command line version of xkcd webcomic:
http://uni.xkcd.com/

Go ahead, type in your commands!

Here's what you you can expect:

alt text

share
show 2 more comments

You don't exist. Go away.

Message from various programs when they try to look up your user info by user ID and that fails.

Reasons that can happen:

  • /etc/passwd is corrupt
  • the user got deleted between the program getting its doomed ID and attempting the lookup
  • various weirdnesses involving the utmp file
share
add comment

Found in early Unix sources:

/*
 * You are not expected to understand this.
 */
if(rp->p_flag & SSWAP) {
    rp->p_flag =& ~SSWAP;
    aretu(u.u_ssav);
}

(Lightly edited.)

share
1  
Note the now-obsolete =& instead of &= –  Neil Mayhew May 27 '11 at 3:08
add comment
stop@hammertime:~> touch /this
touch: cannot touch "/this": Permission denied
share
add comment

Seen on a t-shirt a while back:

rm -rf /bin/laden
share
add comment

My favorites:

UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to 
understand the simplicity.
    Dennis Ritchie

And:

One of my most productive days was throwing away 1000 lines of code.
    Ken Thomson
share
add comment

From http://q4td.blogspot.com/

“Unix never says ‘please’”
    — Rob Pike

share
add comment
Sex Drugs and UNIX (Usenix '83)

From the cover of the book 'A quarter Century of Unix' by Peter H. Salus

share
add comment

when installed :

fortune

share
2  
I really don't get this one –  Stefan Nov 11 '10 at 19:05
4  
You mean "fortune -o" to get the offensive ones :) –  Johan Nov 13 '10 at 18:40
show 2 more comments

Microsoft is not the answer. Microsoft is the question. NO (or Linux) is the answer.

  • taken from here

    $ man woman
    No manual entry for woman

share
4  
If Windows is the answer, it must have been a very silly question. –  XTL Nov 28 '10 at 12:27
6  
well... Microsoft is the answer on many occasions... like 'who is to blame?' –  Stefan Nov 28 '10 at 15:50
add comment
joe@joebox:~$ whatis linux
share
add comment

The Sad Story

[root@localhost root]# gcc homework.c -o homework.c
[root@localhost root]#
[root@localhost root]# ls
homework.c
[root@localhost root]# 

The Contradiction

less > more

The name came from the joke of doing "backwards more." To help remember the difference between less and more, a common joke is to say, "less > more," implying that less has greater functionality than more. - from wikipedia

share
show 1 more comment

I read your mail.

share
1  
@new123456, It is a pun because the sentence is semantically ambiguous. A BOFH knows that lusers think 'ah nice guy, he is reading my mail I send him - how thoughtful!' - and at the same time he is recognized by fellow BOFHs as one of them (BOFHs don't care about the privacy of correspondence because they are BOFHs - they read the all the mail of their lusers if they are bored). –  maxschlepzig Feb 27 '11 at 10:07
show 1 more comment

A more traditional version of the dirty joke echox posted:

TOUCH GREP UNZIP MOUNT FSCK FSCK FSCK UMOUNT

share
add comment

hm, maybe this one:

In a world without walls or fences who needs windows or gates.

I know it's lame but true too :)

share
add comment

Not specific to *nix but related to coders:

Code is like fart, you support only yours.

share
add comment

[root@satish:~/Desktop]$ whatis linux

linux: nothing appropriate.

share
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.