xsnow - let it snow on your desktop and windows
xsnow [-option .,..]
Xsnow lets it snow on your desktop and windows (sic!).
Drop the snowflakes on the given display. Make sure the display is nearby, so you
can hear them enjoy...
This is the number of snowflakes. Default is 100, max is 1000.
Use the given string as the color for the flakes instead of the default "snow".
Use the given string as the color for the background. Note that the usual default
desktop pattern consisting of 50% white 50% black doesn't particularly look good
When using solid colored backgrounds specifying this option MAY greatly improve
performance. (Not on SUN Solaris 2.5.1 for example!)
Use the given string as the color for the trees.
This option is obsolete in version 1.41. Used to be the color for the sleigh.
Santa has decided not to have you interfere with the color of his means of trans-
portation any more.
There are 3 sizes of Santa: 0, 1 and 2. Default is 2. Thanks to Thomas Linder for
the (big) Santa!
The speed Santa should not exceed if he doesn't want to get fined. The default
speed for Santa size 0 is 1, for Santa 1 it's 2 and for Big Santa it's 4.
This is to slow down Santa with respect to the snow. Default the value is 3, mean-
ing that Santa is moved only every third time the snow flakes move. Specifying
zero here is considered very naughty.
This is the number of milliseconds delay after updating everything. Default is 50
milliseconds, i.e. 20 updates per second max.
If you specify this option the snowflakes will 'whirl' more dramatically, result-
ing in a somewhat jerkier movement.
-whirl This sets the whirl factor, i.e. the maximum adjustment of the horizontal speed.
The default value is 4.
-nowind Default it gets windy now and then. If you prefer it quiet specify -nowind.
With -windtimer you can specify how often it gets windy. It's sort of a period in
seconds, default value is 30.
These options set the maximum horizontal and vertical speed. The default X maximum
speed is 4, the default maximum Y speed is 8.
This sets the maximum thickness of the snow on top of windows and at the bottom of
the display respectively. The default snowdepth for windows is 15, at the bottom
of the screen the default is 50.
-offset With -offset you can specify that snow starts building up a number of pixels lower
or higher. This is handy if you use twm and squeezed window titles.
Do not display the trees.
Do not display Santa Claus running all over the screen.
Do not have snow sticking anywhere.
Do not keep snow on top of the windows.
Do not keep snow at the bottom of the screen.
Xsnow takes care to not let it snow on Pop-up windows, due to their nature. If
however, you use an Xserver that has backing store on for all windows, then spec-
ify this option. Symptom would be that no snow is kept on any window, but only at
the screen bottom.
Prints the current Xsnow version and does not start Xsnow. The current version
(of this man page) is 1.42, December 14th 2001
xsnow& (Mind the empersand) Starts xsnow as a background process. Use this if you start
xsnow from a script. To stop xsnow find the process id (pid) as follows: ps
-ef|grep xsnow and use the kill command to stop xsnow.
xsnow -bg SkyBlue3 -sc snow
Sets the background to a bluish color and lets it snow white.
xsnow -ssnowdepth 100
Starts with a thin layer of snow that gradually builds up at the bottom of the
xsnow -santa 2 -santaspeed 10
Gives you the biggest Santa at a speed that is hardly legal.
xsnow -delay 100 -notrees
For slow systems use longer delay and don't draw the trees.
xsnow -snowflakes 1000 -delay 0
Uses the maximum number of snowflakes and runs as fast as possible.
xsnow -bg SkyBlue3 -solidbg
Sets the background to a bluish color and specify -solidbg for increased perfor-
mance (depending on your system!).
See /usr/lib/X11/rgb.txt for the list of colors and their respective poetic names, like
Chartreuse and SkyBlue3.
Rick Jansen (email@example.com)
Copyright 1984,1988,1990,1993-1995,2000-2001 by Rick Jansen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Xsnow is available freely and you may give it to other people as is, but I retain all
rights. Therefore it does not classify as 'Public Domain' software. However, it *is*
allowed to package Xsnow for Unix/Linux distributions, CD-Roms etc, and to make the neces-
sary changes to makefiles etc. to facilitate this.
Xsnow borrows some code from xroach by J.T. Anderson (email@example.com)
Xsnow uses vroot.h for use with virtual window managers. vroot.h is copyright 1991 by
Andreas Stolcke, copyright 1990 by Solbourne Computer Inc. (stolcke@ICSI.Berkeley.EDU)
The big Santa was made by Thomas Linder (Thomas.Linder@gmx.net)
The idea and code for wind are from Eiichi TAZOE (firstname.lastname@example.org,
Xsnow 1.42 works with KDE, thanks to Robin Hogan <R.J.Hogan@reading.ac.uk>, who figured
this out for xpenguins 2.2
Xsnow itself doen't use very much CPU time, but it can load the X server and/or network
quite substantially. Use less snowflakes and a bigger delay in such a case. On a stand-
alone workstation there usually will not be be any problem. Another improvement can be to
specify a solid background color with -bg and with this also specify the option -solidbg.
This may greatly improve performance! DO check this though, on some systems (SUN Solaris
2.5.1) performance is much WORSE.
Xsnow now works with KDE, and some other root window occupying desktop management systems.
On KDE your icons will be snowed away magnificently, although that is not harmful for your
icons really. Simply wipe with a small window where you thought your trash was, and see it
appear. Now you need to scrape your computer screen too, not just your car's.
SGI Irix 5.x
Silicon Graphics and Irix 5.x users may not see any snow or Santa at all, as long the
desktop icons are visible. To circumvent this problem issue this command:
The icons will disappear and Xsnow will work perfectly. To restart the desktop just start
/usr/lib/desktop/startdesktop or select Desktop->Home Directory from the toolchest.
It's even possible to have both - desktop icons and xsnow (and even multiple desks). You
need to modify the window manager's resource file 4DWm, the file ~/.desktop-`host-
*Global.backgroundDescription: -execute /etc/killall -TERM xsnow ; /usr/local/bin/xsnow
*Desk 1.backgroundDescription: -execute /etc/killall -TERM xsnow ; /usr/local/bin/xsnow
*Desk 2.backgroundDescription: -execute /etc/killall -TERM xsnow ; /usr/local/bin/xsnow
Restart the window manager (4Dwm) from the toolchest and Xsnow should appear. What this
does is stop the currently running Xsnow and start a new one when you switch to another
HP and hp-ux
HP also uses a Workspace Manager which may interfere with Xsnow. If Xsnow does not
appear: In the "Style Manager", choose "Backdrop" and select "NoBackdrop". You should now
be able to run Xsnow.
Snow does not stick?
On black-and-white X terminals snow may not stick to windows because backing store is on.
Try specifying the option -nonopopup when starting Xsnow.
Snow hovering above windows?
If you use twm it is possible you see the snow layer hovering a little bit above your win-
dows. In that case set BorderWidth 0 in your .twmrc file. If you use windows with
'squeezed title bars' specify a -offset to get the snow on the windows itself.
X Version 11 Release 6 XSNOW(1)