phosphor - simulates an old terminal with long-sustain phosphor
phosphor [-display host:display.screen] [-window] [-root] [-install] [-visual visual]
[-font font] [-scale int] [-ticks int] [-delay usecs] [-program command]
The phosphor program draws text on the screen in a very large pixellated font that looks
like an old low resolution dumb tty. The pixels flare and fade out as if the phosphor was
phosphor accepts the following options:
-window Draw on a newly-created window. This is the default.
-root Draw on the root window.
Install a private colormap for the window.
Specify which visual to use. Legal values are the name of a visual class, or the
id number (decimal or hex) of a specific visual.
The X font to use. Phosphor can take any font and scale it up to pixellate it.
The default is fixed.
How much to scale the font up: in other words, the size in real pixels of the sim-
ulated pixels. Default 6.
The number of colors to use when fading to black. Default 20.
The speed of the terminal: how long to wait between drawing each character.
Default 50000, or about 1/20th second.
The command to run to generate the text to display. This option may be any string
acceptable to /bin/sh. The program will be run at the end of a pipe, and any
characters that it prints to stdout will be printed on phosphor's window. The
characters will be printed artificially slowly, as per the -delay option above.
If the program exits, it will be launched again after 5 seconds.
Note that phosphor is not a terminal emulator: programs that try to directly
address the screen will not do what you might expect. Phosphor merely draws the
characters on the screen left to right, top to bottom. Lines wrap when they reach
the right edge, and the screen scrolls when characters reach the bottom.
In other words, programs like fortune(1) will work, but programs like top(1)
Here's a good trick, to get phosphor to display recent web search terms:
phosphor -program \
'wget -qO- http://webcrawler.com/cgi-bin/SearchTicker'
DISPLAY to get the default host and display number.
to get the name of a resource file that overrides the global resources stored in
the RESOURCE_MANAGER property.
wget(1), X(1), xscreensaver(1)
Copyright (C) 1999 by Jamie Zawinski. Permission to use, copy, modify, distribute, and
sell this software and its documentation for any purpose is hereby granted without fee,
provided that the above copyright notice appear in all copies and that both that copyright
notice and this permission notice appear in supporting documentation. No representations
are made about the suitability of this software for any purpose. It is provided "as is"
without express or implied warranty.
Jamie Zawinski <email@example.com>, 27-Apr-99.
X Version 11 30-Oct-99 XScreenSaver(1)