UNIX / Linux: Display Large Colourful Text Banner On Screen

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 SXI LLC
Sample output:

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

figlet fonts

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

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

$ figlet -f slant "SXI LLC"
The -ct options centers the text and makes it take up the full width of the terminal:
$ figlet -ctf slant "SXI LLC"
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 SXI LLC
$ toilet -f mono12 -F metal SXI LLC

Sample output:

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 SXI LLC' >> ~/.bashrc

echo ‘echo "Welcome to"’ >> ~/.bashrc
echo ‘toilet -f mono12 -F metal SXI LLC’ >> ~/.bashrc

Recommended readings:

  • figlet home page.
  • Both commands offers lots of options, fonts and filters. Please read the man page for further details.

Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of SXI LLC and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.