How to make your Linux terminal more colorful with lolcat

By default, the Linux terminal comes with a matte color scheme. Add colors to your Linux command line by installing lolcat.

The terminal can seem a little boring compared to flashier graphical Linux apps. lolcat is a program that adds some flair to your Linux terminal sessions. How to install and use lolcat on Linux.

What is lolcat?

lol cat has nothing to do with lolcats. It’s a program that displays text in rainbow colors on your terminal. It is similar to the cat utility: you can pass it files from command-line arguments or pipe output to it.

How to install lolcat on linux

lolcat is easy to install using standard Linux package managers. For example on Debian or Ubuntu:

sudo apt install lolcat

On RHEL, Fedora and CentOS:

sudo dnf install lolcat

And on Arch Linux:

sudo pacman -S lolcat

Using lolcat to add colors to the terminal

lolcat is simple enough to use in the terminal. You can use it like a cat as mentioned earlier. It takes standard input, which means you can invoke it from the Linux command line or give files as input. When you run “lolcat” on the shell, all the lines you type are printed out in color.

You can also specify a filename and lolcat will also print its contents in rainbow colors:

lolcat file.txt

The real fun comes when you use it in pipelines. You can print directory listings in bright colors:

ls -laR | lolcat

Like many other command line utilities, lolcat has options that you can tweak to customize the output. That -a Option displays a color change animation before the line is printed. That -i.e and -s Options control the length and speed of this animation.

That – p Option controls the inclination of the stripes. That -F Option controls the frequency of the rainbow effect. That -t Option enabled 24-bit color while -f Forces color output (options are case-sensitive like many other Linux commands). That -I Option inverts the foreground and background colors and gives your terminal text a rainbow background.


The Linux command line can be fun!

While the command line is productive, you can dress up your Linux terminal and have fun with the right tools like lolcat. The Linux terminal offers many ways to goof up, such as fun commands to use when you’ve run out of things to do in the terminal.

About Willie Ash

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