Provided by: fortune-mod_1.99.1-7.1_amd64 bug


       fortune - print a random, hopefully interesting, adage


       fortune [-acefilosuw] [-n length] [ -m pattern] [[n%] file/dir/all]


       When fortune is run with no arguments it prints out a random epigram. Epigrams are divided
       into several  categories,  where  each  category  is  sub-divided  into  those  which  are
       potentially offensive and those which are not.

       The options are as follows:

       -a     Choose  from  all  lists of maxims, both offensive and not.  (See the -o option for
              more information on offensive fortunes.)

       -c     Show the cookie file from which the fortune came.

       -e     Consider all fortune files to be of equal size (see discussion  below  on  multiple

       -f     Print out the list of files which would be searched, but don't print a fortune.

       -l     Long dictums only.  See -n on how ``long'' is defined in this sense.

       -m pattern
              Print  out  all  fortunes  which  match  the basic regular expression pattern.  The
              syntax of these expressions depends  on  how  your  system  defines  re_comp(3)  or
              regcomp(3), but it should nevertheless be similar to the syntax used in grep(1).

              The  fortunes are output to standard output, while the names of the file from which
              each fortune  comes  are  printed  to  standard  error.   Either  or  both  can  be
              redirected;  if  standard  output  is  redirected  to a file, the result is a valid
              fortunes database file.  If standard error is also redirected  to  this  file,  the
              result  is  still  valid,  but there will be ``bogus'' fortunes, i.e. the filenames
              themselves, in parentheses.  This can be useful if you wish to remove the  gathered
              matches  from  their  original  files,  since each filename-record will precede the
              records from the file it names.

       -n length
              Set the longest fortune length (in characters)  considered  to  be  ``short''  (the
              default  is  160).   All  fortunes  longer  than  this are considered ``long''.  Be
              careful!  If you set the length too short and ask for short fortunes, or  too  long
              and ask for long ones, fortune goes into a never-ending thrash loop.

       -o     Choose  only  from  potentially offensive aphorisms.  The -o option is ignored if a
              fortune directory is specified.

              Please, please, please request a potentially offensive fortune if and only  if  you
              believe,  deep in your heart, that you are willing to be offended. (And that you'll
              just quit using -o rather than give us grief about it, okay?)

              ... let us keep in mind the basic  governing  philosophy  of  The  Brotherhood,  as
              handsomely  summarized in these words: we believe in healthy, hearty laughter -- at
              the expense of the whole human race, if needs be.  Needs be.
                     --H. Allen Smith, "Rude Jokes"

       -s     Short apothegms only.  See -n on which fortunes are considered ``short''.

       -i     Ignore case for -m patterns.

       -w     Wait before termination for an  amount  of  time  calculated  from  the  number  of
              characters  in the message.  This is useful if it is executed as part of the logout
              procedure to guarantee that the message can be read before the screen is cleared.

       -u     Don't translate UTF-8 fortunes to the locale when searching or translating.

       The user may specify alternate sayings.  You can specify  a  specific  file,  a  directory
       which  contains  one  or  more  files,  or  the special word all which says to use all the
       standard databases.  Any of these may be preceded by a percentage, which  is  a  number  n
       between  0  and  100  inclusive,  followed  by  a  %.  If it is, there will be a n percent
       probability that an adage will be picked from that file or directory. If  the  percentages
       do not sum to 100, and there are specifications without percentages, the remaining percent
       will apply to those files and/or directories, in which case the probability  of  selecting
       from one of them will be based on their relative sizes.

       As an example, given two databases funny and not-funny, with funny twice as big (in number
       of fortunes, not raw file size), saying

              fortune funny not-funny

       will get you fortunes out of funny two-thirds of the time.  The command

              fortune 90% funny 10% not-funny

       will pick out 90% of its fortunes from funny (the ``10% not-funny'' is unnecessary,  since
       10% is all that's left).

       The -e option says to consider all files equal; thus

              fortune -e funny not-funny

       is equivalent to

              fortune 50% funny 50% not-funny


       Note: these are the defaults as defined at compile time.

              Directory for innoffensive fortunes.
              Directory for offensive fortunes.

       If  a  particular  set  of  fortunes  is particularly unwanted, there is an easy solution:
       delete the associated .dat file.  This leaves the data intact, should the  file  later  be
       wanted, but since fortune no longer finds the pointers file, it ignores the text file.


       The  supplied fortune databases have been attacked, in order to correct orthographical and
       grammatical errors, and particularly to reduce redundancy and repetition  and  redundancy.
       But  especially  to  avoid repetitiousness.  This has not been a complete success.  In the
       process, some fortunes may also have been lost.

       The fortune databases are now  divided  into  a  larger  number  of  smaller  files,  some
       organized  by  format  (poetry,  definitions),  and  some by content (religion, politics).
       There are parallel files in the main directory and in the offensive files directory (e.g.,
       fortunes/definitions  and  fortunes/off/definitions).   Not  all the potentially offensive
       fortunes are in the offensive fortunes files, nor are all the fortunes  in  the  offensive
       files  potentially  offensive,  probably, though a strong attempt has been made to achieve
       greater consistency.  Also, a better division might be made.

       When passing files to fortune, directories must be specified by  absolute  pathnames,  and
       filenames   starting   with   a   dot   are   ignored.   See:


       This version of fortune is based on the NetBSD fortune 1.4, but with a number of bug fixes
       and enhancements.

       The  original  fortune/strfile  format  used a single file; strfile read the text file and
       converted it to null-delimited strings, which were stored after the table of  pointers  in
       the  .dat  file.   By NetBSD fortune 1.4, this had changed to two separate files: the .dat
       file was only the header (the table of pointers, plus flags; see strfile.h), and the  text
       strings  were  left  in their own file.  The potential problem with this is that text file
       and header file may get out of synch, but the advantage is that  the  text  files  can  be
       easily  edited  without resorting to unstr, and there is a potential savings in disk space
       (on the assumption that the sysadmin kept both .dat file with strings and the text file).

       Many of the enhancements made over the NetBSD version assumed a  Linux  system,  and  thus
       caused  it  to  fail under other platforms, including BSD.  The source code has since been
       made more generic, and currently works on SunOS 4.x as well as  Linux,  with  support  for
       more  platforms expected in the future.  Note that some bugs were inadvertently discovered
       and fixed during this process.

       At a guess, a great many  people  have  worked  on  this  program,  many  without  leaving


       re_comp(3), regcomp(3), strfile(1), unstr(1)