Running a Train in the Linux Terminal to Amuse Your Friends and Family

You can do a lot of serious work in the terminal. That’s not a secret.

But did you know that you can also do a lot of fun stuff in the Linux terminal? Like running a train in it?

Sounds amusing right? I found this short video of children having fun with Linux terminals in their computer lab at school. I do not know where do they belong to, but I guess it is either in Indonesia or Malaysia.

Run train in Linux terminal

There is no magic here. It’s just a small command line fun tool called ‘sl’.

I presume that it was developed entirely to have some fun when command ls is wrongly typed. If you ever worked on Linux terminal, you know that ls is one of the most commonly used commands and perhaps one of the most frequently mistyped command as well.

sl is a popular command and you should be able to install it in most Linux distributions using the package manager.

On Debian and Ubuntu based distributions, use the following command:

sudo apt install sl

To run the terminal train, just type sl in the terminal. You’ll see a steam train going from the right to the left side. It automatically stops as soon as the train “crosses the terminal”.

linux terminal train

You may have more fun with the train in the terminal by using the following options.

  • -a : Accident mode. You can see people crying help
  • -l : shows a smaller train but with more coaches
  • -F : A flying train
  • -e : Allows interrupt by Ctrl+C. In other mode you cannot use Ctrl+C to stop the train. But then, it doesn’t run for long.

The program was written to sound whistle as well but it doesn’t work in most Linux distributions.

Enjoy riding the Linux train :P

If you want more fun with Linux, you can play terminal games, use ASCII art or use a vintage Linux terminal.

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  • Run the ‘sl’ command and pipe the output through lolcat. Just thought of that a few days ago and it’s kind of psychedelic.

  • Just WOW blog, can;t say how many times mis-typed common bash commands I kept them fewer [as server admin]. But never before had fun like this sl / ls ;)

  • Why me?

    The command could not be located because ‘/usr/games’ is not included in the PATH environment variable.
    sl: command not found