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       xcowsay - Display a cute cow and speech bubble.


       xcowsay [-h] [-t time] [-r speed] [-d] [-f font] [text]...


       Display  a  cow  with  a speech bubble containing some text. If text is
       specified it will be displayed in the bubble. Otherwise the  text  will
       be  read  from  the  standard  input  and displayed when end of file is

       The cow is displayed for either a fixed amount of time, or an amount of
       time  calculated from the size of the text. Click on the cow to dismiss
       it immediately.

       If xcowsay is started with --daemon it will fork away from the terminal
       and   run   in   daemon  mode.  The  daemon  provides  a  DBus  service that responds to ShowCow  requests.  The  daemon  can
       queue up any number of requests and displays them in order.

       When  xcowsay starts it checks to see if a daemon is running, and if it
       is, sends a ShowCow request and returns immediately. Otherwise  xcowsay
       will block until the cow has disappeared.


       xcowsay  reads a configuration file on startup.  The configuration file
       can be stored in the XDG compliant location  $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/xcowsayrc
       (which  will  default  to  $HOME/.config/xcowsayrc)  or  in  your  home
       directory at  $HOME/.xcowsayrc.   If  the  --config=FILE  command  line
       option   is   passed   FILE  will  be  processed  after  your  personal
       configuration file.

       The configuration file consists of ’option  =  value’  pairs,  one  per
       line.   The  valid keys are given in the next section. For example, the
       following line sets display time to 10 seconds:

              display_time = 10000

       The character ’#’ begins a comment which lasts until  the  end  of  the


       Note that these options override any settings in the config file.

       -h, --help
              Display usage information.

       -t time, --time=time
              Display  the  cow for time seconds. This overrides any value set
              for reading_speed.  The  corresponding  config  file  option  is

       -r speed, --reading-speed=speed
              Number  of  milliseconds to display the cow for each word in the
              input text. This is clamped to a minimum of min_display_time and
              a maximum of max_display_time.  The defaults are 1 second and 30
              seconds respectively. The corresponding config  file  option  is

       -f font, --font=font
              Font for the speech bubble text. Accepts Pango font strings. The
              corresponding config file option is font.

       -d file, --dream=file
              Display an image instead  of  text  in  the  cow’s  bubble.  The
              dream_time  config file option sets the numer of milliseconds to
              display the image for. The default is 10 seconds.

              Display a thought bubble instead of a speech bubble.

              Run xcowsay in daemon mode if DBus support has been enabled. See
              the description for more information.

              Size  of  the  cow  image.   Current  choices are small, med, or
              large.  The corresponding config file option is cow_size.

              Use a different image instead of  the  cow.   The  corresponding
              config file option is alt_image.

              Make the cow appear on monitor N.

              Force  that  cow to appear at screen location (X,Y).  The config
              file options are at_x and at_y.

              Change position of bubble relative to where  it  would  normally
              appear.   This  is  most useful when combined with the alt_image
              option to create your own characters.  The config  file  options
              are bubble_x and bubble_y.

              Print  messages  about what xcowsay is doing. Useful for finding
              out why the daemon fails.

       -v, --version
              Print version information.


       Written by Nick Gasson.


       Report  all  bugs  to    The  xcowsay  home  page  is




       There are a few issues I am aware of:

       The  cow and speech bubble have jagged edges which would be improved by

       Very long strings will disappear off the right-hand side of the screen.
       This could be fixed e.g. by using Pango’s word wrapping.