Tech Tip: Using Figlet to Spice Up Your Scripts

Shell Scripts are very useful but not all that fun to look at. They have simple user input and output text. But, there is a way to spice up your scripts and make them a bit more eye catching with a simple program called "Figlet".

Figlet is in the repositories for most distributions of Linux and is very simple to use. If you've used the "echo" command (which you probably have) you already know how to use the basic functionality of Figlet. Here's an example of "echo" and "Figlet" next to each other:

Figure 1

You can see that Figlet's ASCII art style output will catch someone's attention more then the regular echo output would.

You can display the content of a file using Figlet like this:

Figure 2

If you would like to display the output of a command using Figlet simply pipe the command into Figlet:

Figure 3

Figlet comes with a few different font styles. To see a list of available fonts use the "figlist" command. To choose a font use the "-f" switch:

Figure 4

Here is a little script I wrote to display what each font looks like.

#!/bin/bash

figlist | while read font
do
        figlet -f $font "$font"

done

If you would like to have a nice looking clock in your terminal window you can use this script

#!/bin/bash

while [ 1 ];
do
        clear
        date +%r | figlet
        sleep 1
done
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