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I don't mind the idea of quotes when I load the Mint console, however the OEM text leaves much to be desired. I'd like to update the quote text with inspirational or otherwise useful quotes.

How would I go about doing that?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Editing Linux Mint fortunes! (Mint 13) has some good information for how to tweak what "fortunes" are displayed.

In specific, it appears they are stored in /usr/share/cowsay/cows (as plain text, preformatted) with .cow extension.

There's more information in the link.

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Under Mint, there's a little script, mint-fortune, which is called at the end of /etc/bash.bashrc.

It's essentially a wrapper around the program fortune, which is the base program for printing fortunes, and the programs responsible for drawing the fortune-teller.

Unfortunately for you, the script does not accept arguments, so you'll have to remove it or comment it out in /etc/bash.bashrc, and write your own solution:

  • Either you want to keep the little animal (Yay!), and you'll have to write a modified version of mint-fortune

  • Or you simply use fortune

In either case, you write your fortune in a file with the appropriate format (apparently simply a text file where fortunes are separated by a % on a line) and call whatever makes you happy in your .bashrc.

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If you are writing your own fortunes file, see the man page for strfile(1) -- it creates the accompanying .dat file. – hhaamu Jun 21 '12 at 20:49

(since these answers didn't work in my case)

i wrote simple alnternative to fortune, here:


  • it's dead simple to change the quotes database
  • there's no "installer" yet, but installing is also easy.
  • it's python - easy to modify the source
  • no bells or whistles,

it's good enough for me. You're welcome to suggest new features :)

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