Provided by: xsnow_1.42-9_amd64 bug


       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 example!)

       -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               This  option  is  obsolete  in version 1.41.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

       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
               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 ; /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
       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)