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Build an awk array with all commands and then select a random one at the end.
This avoids spawning extra processes for counting with wc or generating random numbers.
Explicitly call /bin/ls to avoid interactions with aliases.
There are 5 alternatives - vote for the best!
I'm not sure why you would want to do this, but this seems a lot simpler (easier to understand) than the version someone submitted using awk.
Broaden your knowledge of the utilities available to you in no particular order whatsoever! Then use that knowledge to create more nifty one-liners that you can post here. =p
Takes a random number modulo the number of files in $dir, prints the filename corresponding to that number, and passes it as an argument to man.
Great idea camocrazed. Another twist would be to display a different man page based on the day of the year. The following will continuously cycle through all man pages:
man $(ls /bin | sed -n $(($(date +%j) % $(ls /bin | wc -l)))p)
Maybe not the quicker because of the sort command, but it will also look in other man sections.
updated with goodevilgenius 'shuf' idea
If you can do better, submit your command here.
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