April 5, 2011

We have today another in our occasional series of re-implementations of Unix V7 commands. The fortune command prints a random aphorism on the user’s terminal; many people put the fortune command in their login script so they get a new aphorism every time they login. Here’s the man page:




fortune [ file ]


Fortune prints a one-line aphorism chosen at random. If a file is specified, the sayings are taken from that file; otherwise they are selected from /usr/games/lib/fortunes.


/usr/games/lib/fortunes - sayings

The fortunes are stored in a file, one fortune per line. The original Unix V7 fortunes file, available from, is reproduced at the end of the exercise.

Your task is to implement the Unix V7 fortune program. When you are finished, you are welcome to read or run a suggested solution, or to post your own solution or discuss the exercise in the comments below.

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