Funny Unix commands

When you have been doing Unix systems administration for several years, you start to gather a stash of comical commands that get passed around from sysadmin to sysadmin. The torch is passed between the old and the new, the torch that lights up the day of what commonly can be perhaps a day of drudgery. What follows is a list that I have gathered over the years. Some copied from other sources, some from IRC, some of my own creation. Granted, given the various flavors of Unix and Linux, your millage may vary, but they are fun to read nonetheless.

>From the csh (c shell):

% make love
Make: Don’t know how to make love. Stop.

% got a light?
No match.

% sleep with me
bad character

% man: Why did you get a divorce?
man:: Too many arguments.

% rm God
rm: God nonexistent

% make ‘heads or tails of all this’
Make: Don’t know how to make heads or tails of all this. Stop.

% make sense
Make: Don’t know how to make sense. Stop.

% make mistake
Make: Don’t know how to make mistake. Stop.

% make
Make: Don’t know how to make Stop.

% \(-
(-: Command not found.

% rm -i God
rm: remove God? y
% ls God
God not found
% make light
Make: Don’t know how to make light. Stop.

% date me
You are not superuser: date not set
Thu Aug 25 15:52:30 PDT 1988

% man rear
No manual entry for rear.

% If I had a ) for every dollar Reagan spent, what would I have?
Too many )’s.

% * How would you describe George Bush
*: Ambiguous.

% %Vice-President
%Vice-President: No such job.

% ls Meese-Ethics
Meese-Ethics not found

% “How would you rate Reagan’s senility?
Unmatched “.

% [Where is Jimmy Hoffa?
Missing ].

->/opt> man sex
No manual entry for sex.

% ^How did the^sex change operation go?
Modifier failed.

% cp /dev/null sex;chmod 000 sex
% more sex
sex: Permission denied
% mv sex show
% strip show
strip: show: Permission denied

% who is my match?
No match.

% set i=”Democratic_Platform”;mkdir $i;chmod 000 $i;ls $i
Democratic_Platform unreadable

% awk “Polly, the ship is sinking”
awk: syntax error near line 1
awk: bailing out near line

% %blow
%blow: No such job.

% ‘thou shalt not commit adultery’
thou shalt not commit adultery: Command not found.

And from the bourne shell (sh):

$ drink < bottle;opener bottle: cannot open opener: not found $ test my argument test: too many arguments $ "Amelia Earhart" Amelia Earhart: not found $ PATH=pretending! /usr/ucb/which sense no sense in pretending! $ man -kisses dog dog: nothing appropriate $ mkdir "Yellow Pages";fiYellow Pages $ mkdir matter;cat > matter
matter: cannot create

$ lost
lost: not found

$ found
found: not found

$ i=Hoffa ;>$i ;$i ;rm $i ;rm $i
Hoffa: cannot execute
rm: Hoffa nonexistent

The following are ones that I can’t get to work on my BSD 4.3, so I
suppose that they are stuff from ATT SysV or some other such:

% strip bra
bra: Cannot open

% sccs what bottle
can’t open bottle (26)

$ cat “door: paws too slippery”
can’t open door: paws too slippery

$ cat food_in_tin_cans
cat: can’t open food_in_tin_cans

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