Linux Candy

Linux Candy: lolcat – rainbows and unicorns

Last Updated on May 25, 2022

If you think being at the command-line is rather mundane and lacking a touch of sparkle, you couldn’t be further from the truth. We’ve looked at some really fun candy in our Linux Candy series. And there’s lots more to come.

Continuing in the theme of showing the lighter side of Linux, here’s a curious program. It’s called lolcat, an oddity that applies rainbow colors to text output in the terminal. It works in a similar way to the venerable cat command but jazzes things up with configurable rainbow colors.

There’s cross-platform support, with the software running on Linux, BSD, and OS X.


As you’ve got full access to the source code, you can clone the project’s repository.

$ cd ~
$ git clone

The lolcat script is in ~/lolcat/bin/.

Alternatively, you can install the program with the command:

$ gem install lolcat

And if you prefer, lolcat is available in the repositories of popular Linux distros.

There’s a few dependencies. You’ll need the following software installed on your system: Ruby, ruby-paint, and ruby-optimist.

Next page: Page 2 – In Operation

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Installation
Page 2 – In Operation
Page 3 – Summary

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