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RANDOM(6)		       BSD Games Manual			     RANDOM(6)

     random -- random lines from a file	or random numbers

     random [-elrUuw] [-f filename] [denominator]

     Random has	two distinct modes of operations.  The default is to read in
     lines from	the standard input and randomly	write them out to the standard
     output with a probability of 1 / denominator.  The	default	denominator
     for this mode of operation	is 2, giving each line a 50/50 chance of being

     The second	mode of	operation is to	read in	a file from filename and ran-
     domize the	contents of the	file and send it back out to standard output.
     The contents can be randomized based off of newlines or based off of
     space characters as determined by isspace(3).  The	default	denominator
     for this mode of operation	is 1, which gives each line a chance to	be
     displayed,	but in a random(3) order.

     The options are as	follows:

     -e	     If	the -e option is specified, random does	not read or write any-
	     thing, and	simply exits with a random exit	value of 0 to
	     denominator - 1, inclusive.

     -f	filename
	     The -f option is used to specify the filename to read from.
	     Standard input is used if filename	is set to `-'.

     -l	     Randomize the input via newlines (the default).

     -r	     The -r option guarantees that the output is unbuffered.

     -U	     Tells random(6) that it is	okay for it to reuse any given line or
	     word when creating	a randomized output.

     -u	     Tells random(6) not to select the same line or word from a	file
	     more than once (the default).  This does not guarantee uniqueness
	     if	there are two of the same tokens from the input, but it	does
	     prevent selecting the same	token more than	once.

     -w	     Randomize words separated by isspace(3) instead of	newlines.

     random(3),	fortune(6)

     The functionality to randomizing lines and	words was added	in 2003	by
     Sean Chittenden <>.

     No	index is used when printing out	tokens from the	list which makes it
     rather slow for large files (10MB+).  For smaller files, however, it
     should still be quite fast	and efficient.

BSD			       February	8, 2003				   BSD


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