The fortune file, on a Unix system, is the standard repository of witticisms, quotes, lame puns, and lore. The fortune(1) program, when invoked, displays one extract (a "fortune cookie") from the fortune file.

The fortune file may, on modern systems, actually be several files, with fortunes divided up by topic. In Debian GNU/Linux, for instance, the fortune databases are kept in /usr/share/games/fortunes.

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