A collection of fortune database files for Chinese users.
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What is Fortune?

Fortune is a simple Unix program that displays a random message from a database of quotations.

$ fortune

"What we see is mainly what we look for."

This repo contains some fortune database files, especially useful for Chinese user.

  • fortunes: quotes in English, 5437 items
  • chinese: quotes in Chinese, 25919 items
  • tang300: poems of Tang Dynasty in Chinese, 313 items
  • song100: poems of Song Dynasty in Chinese, 95 items
  • diet: diet proverbs in Chinese, 123 items



First install fortune package. If your computer has already installed it, skip this step.

# Debian/Ubuntu
$ sudo apt-get install fortune

# Mac
$ brew install fortune

Then install the repo.

# Debian/Ubuntu
$ git clone git@github.com:ruanyf/fortunes.git
$ sudo mv fortunes/data/* /usr/share/games/fortunes/

# Mac
$ git clone git@github.com:ruanyf/fortunes.git
$ strfile fortunes/data/fortunes
$ strfile fortunes/data/chinese
$ strfile fortunes/data/tang300
$ strfile fortunes/data/song100
$ strfile fortunes/data/diet
$ sudo mv fortunes/data/* /usr/local/share/games/fortunes/


$ fortune [OPTIONS] [/path/to/fortunes]


- -c     Show the cookie file from which the fortune came.
- -f     Print out the list of files which would be searched, but don't print a fortune.
- -e     Consider all fortune files to be of equal size.

Example of -c

$ fortune -c

"Don't waste life in doubts and fears."
  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Example of -f

$ fortune -f

100.00% /usr/share/games/fortunes
    17.21% fortunes
    81.51% chinese
     0.98% tang300
     0.30% song100

Example of -e

$ fortune -e chinese fortunes
#  is equivalent to
$ fortune 50% chinese 50% fortunes

$ fortune -e chinese fortunes tang300 song100
#  is equivalent to
$ fortune 25% chinese 25% fortunes 25% tang300  25% song100

How to automatically launch fortune when opening a shell window

Depending on which shell you use, at the end of your ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc file, copy the following lines into it.

echo "=============== Quote Of The Day ==============="
echo "================================================"

How to make your own fortune database file

(1) Write your fortune items into a file.

(2) Append a percent sign (%) after each item. The percent sign should take a new line. The following is an example.

A day for firm decisions!!!!!  Or is it?
A few hours grace before the madness begins again.
A gift of a flower will soon be made to you.
A long-forgotten loved one will appear soon.

Buy the negatives at any price.
A tall, dark stranger will have more fun than you.

(3) Generate the index file.

strfile -c % your-fortune-file your-fortune-file.dat

(4) Move the fortune file and its index file into /usr/share/games/fortunes/.


BSD licensed