Linux is not really the OS of choice for just absolutely nerdy coders. It has a number of hidden features that will get a chuckle or two out of you at the very least, and give you a great way to kill some time too! These hidden features are called Easter eggs, and Linux has a rather funny assortment of them!
1. An alien goat game!
To be exact, it is a game of GEGLs. In case you have absolutely no idea about what that stands for, it expands to ‘Genetically Engineered Goat, Large’. This hidden game in GNOME is called ‘Killer GEGLs from Outer Space’ and has creatures that resemble goats, only with an extra, alien looking paw by their side. All you need to do to start this game is to hit Alt+F2 on your keyboard, and type ‘gegls from outer space’ in the window that comes up. Have fun!
2. Free the Fish
You need to type Alt+F2 on your keyboard to bring up a window first. In the window, you can type ‘free the fish’ to give a pretty goldfish a chance at freedom! You can also hit the ‘F’ key thrice on your keyboard in the ‘About’ dialog to free her. Her name’s Wanda and she will keep floating around your desktop without really intruding with your work. The funny bit is that she has a personality too! She is extremely shy (try getting your mouse near her, for instance). The inside joke here is that it’s a play on ‘A Fish Called Wanda’, a 1995 movie.
3. The hidden cow!
Open the Linux terminal and simply type ‘apt-get moo’ there. You will get a funny looking version of a cow (entirely made of ASCII characters), that will ask you, “Have you mooed today?”
4. Firefox Easter eggs
Mozilla’s hugely popular Firefox browser comes preinstalled in almost every Linux distribution. It happens to have a quirky Easter egg or two too!
Type “about:robots” in the address bar and hit “Enter”. Firefox will open a page with a small dialog, and a rather intimidating robot. It says “Welcome Humans, we have come to visit you in peace!” It might just be a gem of a find for a fan of the Transformers franchise!
You can also type “about:mozilla” to get a few quotes in Biblical style, that reference the death of the Netscape Navigator, the domination of Internet Explorer, and the rapid ascent of Mozilla Firefox subsequently. The sheer gravity with which the Book of Mozilla is written makes it an almost legendary Easter egg!
5. OpenOffice games
Create a new OpenOffice spread sheet, and type – GAME(“StarWars”) inside any cell. It will open up a hidden Star Wars game. You can also try entering GAME(A2:C4;”TicTacToe”) in a cell for a bout of cross and noughts when you feel like it.
There is another thing that you can do just out of curiosity, though it isn’t a game per se. Open a new OpenOffice document and type ‘StarWriterTeam’ and hit F3. You will get to see a picture of the team behind OpenOffice on your screen!
This is not an exhaustive list of Easter eggs by any means, and it’s up to you to find more in the Linux OS. The sheer sense of satisfaction at finding one yourself is unmatched!