UNIX / Linux: Display Large Colourful Text Banner On Screen

by on February 8, 2009 · 16 comments· LAST UPDATED February 10, 2009

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I know how to use old banner command to print a large, high quality banner on the screen or printer. Recently, I saw colorful banner on friends laptop. How do I display large colourful characters on screen, especially on terminal? How do I create colorful text banners on screen?

You can use following two programs to create colourful text banner:

a] figlet - Display large characters made up of ordinary screen characters.

b] toilet - Prints text using large characters made of smaller characters. It is similar in many ways to FIGlet with additional features such as Unicode handling, colour fonts, filters and various export formats.

Install figlet and toilet

Use yum or apt-get to install the tools:
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install toilet figlet

How do I use figlet?

Simply use it as follows:
$ figlet nixCraft
Sample output:

       _       ____            __ _
 _ __ (_)_  __/ ___|_ __ __ _ / _| |_
| '_ \| \ \/ / |   | '__/ _` | |_| __|
| | | | |>  <| |___| | | (_| |  _| |_
|_| |_|_/_/\_\\____|_|  \__,_|_|  \__|

figlet fonts

The -f option can be used to specify font:
$ figlet -f big "nixCraft"
Sample output:

       _       _____            __ _
      (_)     / ____|          / _| |
 _ __  ___  _| |     _ __ __ _| |_| |_
| '_ \| \ \/ / |    | '__/ _` |  _| __|
| | | | |>  <| |____| | | (_| | | | |_
|_| |_|_/_/\_\\_____|_|  \__,_|_|  \__|

$ figlet -f slant "nixCraft"
The -ct options centers the text and makes it take up the full width of the terminal:
$ figlet -ctf slant "nixCraft"
If you don’t want FIGlet to smush FIGcharacters into each other, use the -k (kerning) option:
$ figlet -k "cyberciti"
If figlet gets its input from a file, it is often a good idea to use -p:
$ figlet -p < /path/to/file

To lists figlet fonts and control files, enter:

$ figlist
Sample output

Default font: standard
Font directory: /usr/share/figlet
Figlet fonts in this directory:
banner
big
block
bubble
digital
ivrit
lean
mini
mnemonic
script
shadow
slant
small
smscript
smshadow
smslant
standard
term
....
..

How do I use toilet command?

Use command as follows:
$ toilet -f bigmono9 -F gay nixCraft
$ toilet -f mono12 -F metal nixCraft

Sample output:

toilet UNIX / Linux command screenshot

toilet UNIX / Linux command screenshot


Where,

  • -F filter-name: Set filter
  • -f fontname : Set font name

To list installed filter, type:
$ toilet -F list
Sample output:

Available filters:
"crop": crop unused blanks
"gay": add a rainbow colour effect
"metal": add a metallic colour effect
"flip": flip horizontally
"flop": flip vertically
"rotate": perform a 180 degrees rotation

Running figlet / toilet automatically

Add command to your ~/.bashrc command so that banner get displayed every time you open terminal or console:

echo 'echo "Welcome to"' >> ~/.bashrc
echo 'toilet -f mono12 -F metal nixCraft' >> ~/.bashrc

Recommended readings:

  • figlet home page.
  • Both commands offers lots of options, fonts and filters. Please read the man page for further details.
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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mark Sanborn February 8, 2009 at 8:16 pm

That is awesome, while I have used figlet before I have never heard of toilet. Thanks for the article.

Reply

2 Mark Fisher March 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Same here; cheers fella.

Reply

3 Amit Agarwal February 9, 2009 at 2:28 am

Thats cool. I use fedora and do not seem to have both of them in the repos. I could install figlet from the source but am unable to locate the toilet. Could you post the home page of toilet.

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4 mike April 14, 2013 at 2:23 pm

“unable to locate the toilet”? LoL

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5 sugato August 4, 2013 at 6:57 am

that’s frigging hilarious lol :P

Reply

6 nixCraft February 9, 2009 at 7:43 am

@Amit

Try: http://caca.zoy.org/toilet.html

I think figlet is available from EPEL or RPMForege REPO.

Reply

7 Shoaibi February 9, 2009 at 11:28 am

great, Thanks… now i dont have to search for “make OR generate ascii map OR image” on google anymore whenever i setup a new server.

Reply

8 prasanna February 10, 2009 at 4:49 am

Is it working good in RHEL5? Should I use the same package for that or not?

Reply

9 ashu February 10, 2009 at 7:21 am

Hi

Cool stuff but i get this when i applied this command echo ‘Welcome to’ >> ~/.bashrc

bash: Welcome: command not found
bash: Welcome: command not found

Reply

10 nixCraft February 10, 2009 at 11:24 am

@ashu,

I’ve updated the faq. Open your ~/.bashrc and change Welcome to line as:

echo "Welcome to"

Reply

11 SamHenderson February 27, 2009 at 6:24 pm

I’m using Fedora 10 and am getting an error trying to configure TOIlet:

configure: error: you need libcucul version 0.99.beta10 or later

Whats the best way to go about solving this since I am pretty certain that libcucul was merged into libcaca? (I have the latest version of libcaca)

Reply

12 Ershad September 4, 2009 at 10:14 am

Wonderful !!

Reply

13 Saved0ne April 27, 2011 at 6:47 pm

sooo…. this looks amazing! though i get this error:

[root@chris ~]# yum install toilet figlet
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
* addons: mirrors.versaweb.com
* atomic: www5.atomicorp.com
* base: mirror.hmc.edu
* extras: mirrors.versaweb.com
* updates: mirror.hmc.edu
Excluding Packages in global exclude list
Finished
Setting up Install Process
No package toilet available.
No package figlet available.
Nothing to do

Reply

14 marshell August 25, 2013 at 6:03 am

Plz give me source code to display the message in enlarged characters in unix language.

Reply

15 Tanner April 19, 2014 at 8:58 pm

Here is a list of the different fonts available for toilet from the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS package list.

ascii12
ascii9
bigascii12
bigascii9
bigmono12
bigmono9
circle
emboss
emboss2
future
letter
mono12
mono9
pagga
smascii12
smascii9
smblock
smbraille
smmono12
smmono9
wideterm

Reply

16 mahmud July 12, 2014 at 7:38 am

how to remove banner text?

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