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       xsnow - let it snow on your desktop and windows


       xsnow [-option .,..]


       Xsnow lets it snow on your desktop and windows (sic!).


       -display display_name
               Drop the snowflakes on the given display. Make sure the display
               is nearby, so you can hear them enjoy...

       -snowflakes num_snowflakes
               This is the number of snowflakes. Default is 100, max is  1000.

       -sc snowflake_color
               Use the given string as the color for the flakes instead of the
               default "snow".

       -bg background_color
               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 with Xsnow.

               When using solid colored backgrounds specifying this option MAY
               greatly  improve  performance.  (Not  on  SUN Solaris 2.5.1 for

       -tc tree_color
               Use the given string as the color for the trees.

       -slc sleigh_color
               This option is obsolete in version 1.41.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 transportation any more.

       -santa santa_size
               There are 3 sizes of Santa: 0, 1 and 2. Default is 2. Thanks to
               Thomas Linder for the (big) Santa!

       -santaspeed santa_speed
               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.

       -santaupdatefactor factor
               This  is  to  slow down Santa with respect to the snow. Default
               the value is 3, meaning that Santa is moved  only  every  third
               time  the  snow flakes move. Specifying zero here is considered
               very naughty.

       -delay delay
               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, resulting 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.

       -windtimer period
               With  -windtimer  you can specify how often it gets windy. It’s
               sort of a period in seconds, default value is 30.

       -xspeed -yspeed
               These options set the maximum horizontal  and  vertical  speed.
               The  default  X maximum speed is 4, the default maximum Y speed
               is 8.

       -wsnowdepth -ssnowdepth
               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.

               No Rudolf.

               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 specify 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


               Starts xsnow

       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 screen.

       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

       xsnow -bg SkyBlue3 -solidbg
               Sets  the background to a bluish color and specify -solidbg for
               increased performance (depending on your system!).


       See /usr/lib/X11/rgb.txt for the list of colors  and  their  respective
       poetic names, like Chartreuse and SkyBlue3.


       See xroach(1)


       Rick Jansen (


       Copyright    1984,1988,1990,1993-1995,2000-2001    by    Rick    Jansen

       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 necessary
       changes to makefiles etc. to facilitate this.


       Xsnow borrows some code from xroach by J.T. Anderson (

       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 (

       The   idea   and   code   for    wind    are    from    Eiichi    TAZOE

       Xsnow    1.42    works    with    KDE,    thanks    to    Robin   Hogan
       <>, who figured this out for xpenguins 2.2


       System load
       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 standalone 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.

       KDE (etc)
       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:

         /usr/lib/desktop/telldesktop quit

       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-‘hostname‘/4DWm. Example:

       *Global.backgroundDescription:    -execute  /etc/killall  -TERM xsnow ;
       *Desk 1.backgroundDescription:   -execute /etc/killall  -TERM  xsnow  ;
       *Desk  2.backgroundDescription:    -execute  /etc/killall -TERM 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 desktop.

       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

       Snow hovering above windows?
       If you use twm it is possible you see the snow layer hovering a  little
       bit  above  your windows. 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.


       snowplough(1), your_travel_agent(1)