xcowsay displays a cute cow and message on your Linux desktop. Inspired by the original cowsay.

xcowsay includes all these amazing features:

  • Fully configurable!
  • Calculates display time from amount of text
  • Dream mode — display images in the bubble
  • Can draw thought and speech bubbles
  • Daemon mode! Send your cow messages over DBus!
  • Three different sized cows provided
  • fortune(6) wrapper program: xcowfortune — cow will deliver pearls of wisdom!
  • Replace the naffness that is xmessage(1)
  • Should work with any window manager
  • Supports UTF-8 characters properly
  • Automatic word wrapping
  • Use alternative non-cow images if you like

It works on Macs and *BSD too!

Latest version: xcowsay-1.3.tar.gz

(Previous version xcowsay-1.2.tar.gz.)

You can also follow xcowsay development from my GitHub page.

xcowsay’s unexpected popularity means it’s now available directly from some Linux distributions and BSDs!

  • Mandriva RPMs for i586 and x86_64.
  • Fedora packages are here.
  • FreeBSD port is here
  • NetBSD users can install it via ports too – package here.
  • OpenBSD port is here.
  • Arch Linux users can get it from AUR.
  • Gentoo users can get it from the main Portage tree.
  • Debian and Ubuntu users should install xcowsay via apt. Note that Ubuntu doesn’t have 1.2 yet.

Big thank you to everyone who’s packaged it for different platforms, made translations, or just commented!

Here’s a screen shot of the new dream mode:

Check out the xcowsay page on Freshmeat.