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minifortune GitHub release License

minifortune is a minimal fortune-mod clone.

The official fortune-mod (version 1.99.1) depends on the recode library, which in turn has its own dependencies. This basic clone requires only the C library.

The fortunes files and their corresponding .dat files must be provided. minifortune does not generate .dat files, but strfile can be used for this.

Where do I get fortune files?


AUR package:

Use make, make install, make uninstall to build, install, or uninstall minifortune.


$ minifortune --help
Usage: minifortune [path to fortune file or directory]

Version 2.5 -

If no fortune file or directory is specified, minifortune defaults to:

    FORTUNE_PATH         environment variable containing one or more
                         colon-separated files or directories

    /usr/share/fortune   directory



Display a random fortune from the default /usr/share/fortune directory:

$ minifortune

Display a random fortune from paths in the FORTUNE_PATH environment variable:

$ export FORTUNE_PATH=/usr/share/fortune/off:/usr/share/fortune/foo:/usr/share/fortune
$ minifortune

Display a random fortune from a specific directory:

$ minifortune /usr/share/fortune/off/

Display a random fortune from a specific fortune file:

$ minifortune /usr/share/fortune/linux

How Fortune Files Work

Fortune files, e.g. /usr/share/fortune/wisdom, are plaintext files containing fortunes separated by a delimiter, usually "%\n". To allow for fast random access to a fortune, fortune files are usually paired with a corresponding binary .dat file, e.g. /usr/share/fortune/wisdom.dat, which stores metadata about the fortunes, including the number of fortunes and the delimiter used in the fortune file, as well as the file offsets to every fortune in the fortune file.

The packed .dat file header looks like this:

/* Version 2 */
struct fortune_dat_header {
    uint32_t str_version;
    uint32_t str_numstr;
    uint32_t str_longlen;
    uint32_t str_shortlen;
    uint32_t str_flags;
    uint8_t str_delim;
    uint8_t padding[3];
} __attribute__ ((packed));

The header fields are stored in big endian byte order in the .dat file. The header is followed by str_numstr number of 32-bit unsigned integers, which are the file offsets to every fortune in the fortune file.

str_version is 1 or 2. str_flags contains three feature bits: bit 0 indicates the fortune offsets are randomized, bit 1 indicates the fortune offsets are ordered, and bit 2 indicates the fortune text is rot13'd in the fortune file (typically used for offensive fortunes). str_longlen is the longest fortune length, str_shortlen is the shortest fortune length, and str_delim is the delimiting character used to separate fortunes (e.g. %).


minifortune is MIT licensed. See the included LICENSE file.


A more sophisticated Python-based clone of fortune-mod:


A minimal fortune-mod clone, written in C.







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