I have installed tmux on Linux Mint Debian Edition and every time I start it or create a new pane/window it displays a random quote or message above the prompt. It's driving me crazy and I cannot seem to find where the messages are coming from. Can someone tell me how to turn them off? Here are some of the messages it shows:

The difference between a Miracle and a Fact is exactly the difference between a mermaid and a seal. -- Mark Twain

FORTUNE PROVIDES QUESTIONS FOR THE GREAT ANSWERS: #15 A: The Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Q: What was the greatest achievement in taxidermy?

Q: What lies on the bottom of the ocean and twitches? A: A nervous wreck.

You have a deep interest in all that is artistic.

Q: What is the sound of one cat napping? A: Mu.

Beware of Bigfoot!

Live in a world of your own, but always welcome visitors.

  • 2
    apt-get uninstall fortune and then remove it from your ~/.{,bash_}profile...
    – jasonwryan
    Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 9:24
  • Thank you! That has been driving me crazy for ages. I had to run apt-get remove fortune-mod. And fortune was being called in ~/.zlogin which comes from me installing prezto, but now it's gone. If you add this as an answer, I'll accept :) Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 13:06

1 Answer 1


Those messages are generated by the fortune program, a database of quotations that hails from the UNIX days.

The fact that they are appearing when you start tmux (or open a new window or pane) suggests that they are called for your login shell.

You can stop this behaviour by removing fortune: apt-get uninstall fortune, and then looking through your shell initialisation files (for example, depending on your setup, with bash check ~/.bash_profile or ~/.profile, and for zsh look at ~/.zprofile or ~/.zlogin) and removing the call to fortune.

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