XSNOW(6) User Commands XSNOW(6)
xsnow - Snow and Santa on your desktop
Xsnow shows an animation of Santa and snow on your desktop. Xsnow can
also run in one or more windows, see options -xwininfo, -id . (These
options only work satisfactorily in an X11 environment.) Xsnow depends
on an X11 environment. This is forced by setting the environment
variable GDK_BACKEND=x11 before initializing the GTK. Hopefully, this
will ensure that xsnow also runs in a Wayland environment for some
If xsnow is misbehaving, try to remove the file $HOME/.xsnowrc.
Below: <n> denotes an unsigned decimal (e.g 123) or octal (e.g. 017) or
hex (e.g. 0x50009) number. <c> denotes a string like "red" or
print this text.
print man page.
prints version of xsnow.
Drop the snowflakes on the given display. Make sure the display
is nearby, so you can hear them enjoy...
Run xsnow in vintage settings.
Do not read config file (see FILES).
Do not read or write config file (see FILES).
Start with hidden interactive menu.
Do not start and show interactive menu.
Apply scalefactor (default: 100).
1: use double buffering; 0: do not use double buffering
(default: 1). Only effective with '-root' or '-id' or
1: use xsnow theme for menu; 0: use system theme (default: 1)
0: Do not check gtk version before starting the user interface.
1: Check gtk version before starting the user interface.
-id <n>, -window-id <n>
Snow in window with id (for example from xwininfo).
Act as if window is a desktop.
0: use one desktop for snow, 1: use all desktops (default: 1).
-above Snow above your windows. Default is to snow below your windows.
NOTE: in some environments this results in an un-clickable
Use a cursor to point at the window you want the snow to be
Stop xsnow after so many seconds.
-root Force to paint on (virtual) root window.
Use this for xscreensaver: in ~.xscreensaver add:
On some systems you need to add the flag -nomenu to disable the
xsnow -root -nomenu
Probably, you want to start xscreensaver as follows:
-noisy Write extra info about some mouse clicks, X errors etc, to
How busy is your system with xsnow: the higher, the more load on
the system (default: 100).
The higher, the more snowflakes are generated per second.
(Default) Animate blow-off snow.
Do not animate blowing snow from trees or windows
Use the given string as color for the flakes (default: snow).
Multiply the speed of snow with this number/100 (default: 100).
Set size of (non-vintage) snow flakes (default: 8).
-snow (Default) Show snow.
Do not show snow.
Maximum number of active flakes (default: 300).
The higher, the more snow is generated in blow-off scenarios
-treetype <n>[,<n> ...]
Choose tree types: minimum 0, maximum 7 (default:
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,). Thanks to Carla Vermin for numbers >=3!
Credits: Image by b0red on Pixabay.
(Default) Use all non-vintage available tree types.
Use the given string as the color for the vintage tree (default:
chartreuse). Works only for treetype 0.
Do not display the trees.
(Default) Display the trees.
Desired number of trees. Default 10.
Region in percents of the height of the window where trees grow
(Default) Display Santa running all over the screen.
Do not display Santa running all over the screen.
(Default) With Rudolph.
The minimum size of Santa is 0, the maximum size is 4. Default
is 3. Thanks to Thomas Linder for the (big) Santa 2! Santa 3
is derived from Santa 2, and shows the required eight reindeer.
The appearance of Santa 4 may be a surprise, thanks to Carla
Vermin for this one.
The speed Santa should not be excessive if he doesn't want to
get fined. The appropriate speed for the Santa chosen will be
multiplied by santaspeedfactor/100 (default: 100).
-wind (Default) It will get windy now and then.
By default it gets windy now and then. If you prefer quiet
weather specify -nowind.
This sets the whirl factor, i.e. the maximum adjustment of the
horizontal speed. The default value is 100.
With -windtimer you can specify how often it gets windy. It's
sort of a period in seconds, default value is 30.
The number of stars (default: 20).
(Default) Show meteorites.
Do not show meteorites.
1: show moon, 0: do not show moon (default: 1).
Picture of moon thanks to Pedro Lasta on Unsplash.
Speed of moon in pixels/minute (default: 120).
Realtive size of moon (default: 100).
1: show halo around moon, 0: do not show halo (default: 1).
Brightness of halo (default: 25).
Fallen snow options:
Maximum thickness of snow on top of windows (default: 30).
Maximum thickness of snow at the bottom of the screen (default:
Maximum number of flakes on trees. Default 200.
(Default) Keep snow on top of the windows.
Do not keep snow on top of the windows.
(Default) Keep snow at the bottom of the screen.
Do not keep snow at the bottom of the screen.
(Default) Keep snow on trees.
Do not keep snow on trees.
(Default) Have snow sticking anywhere.
Do not have snow sticking anywhere.
(Default) Create fluff on fallen snow.
Do not create fluff on fallen snow.
Correction for window-manager provided x-coordinate of window.
Correction for window-manager provided y-coordinate of window.
Correction for window-manager provided width of window. Default
Correction for bottom coordinate of your screen. A negative
value lifts the xsnow screen up. Default 0.
Anarchy factor ( 0..100 default: 50).
Use the given string as color for the birds (default: #361A07).
Show only birds ( 0/1 default: 0).
Speed of birds ( 0..300 default: 100).
Eagerness to keep desired distance ( 0..100 default: 20).
Eagerness to fly to the focus ( 0..300 default: 100).
Eagerness to follow neighbours ( 0..100 default: 30).
Number of birds ( 0..400 default: 70).
Number of neighbours to watch ( 0..20 default: 7).
Preferred distance to neighbours ( 0..100 default: 40).
Show birds ( 0/1 default: 1).
Show attraction point ( 0/1 default: 0).
Birds like Santa ( 0/1 default: 0).
Viewing distance ( 0..95 default: 40).
Settings are read from and written to this file. See flags
-noconfig and -defaults how to influence this behaviour.
NOTE: the following settings are not read or written:
-above -defaults -desktop -fullscreen -noconfig -id
-nomenu -stopafter -xwininfo -display -noisy
If present, xsnow will try this file for displaying the trees.
The format must be xpm (X PixMap) format, see
NOTE: when this file is present, no menu will appear.
where <n> = 1,2,3,4. If present, xsnow will try this files (4
of them) for displaying Santa. The format must be xpm (X PixMap)
format, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X_PixMap .
NOTE: when these files are present, no menu will appear.
$ xsnow -defaults # run with defaults.
$ xsnow # run using values from the config file.
$ xsnow -treetype 1,2 # use tree types 1 and 2.
- Xsnow needs a complete rewrite: the code is a mess.
- The flags are not consistent, caused by trying to be
compatible with older versions.
- Xsnow stresses the Xserver too much.
- Xsnow does run in Wayland, but will not snow on all windows.
- Xsnow tries to create a click-through window. This is not successful
in for example FVWM/xcompmgr. In that case, xsnow tries to keep
the snow window below all others, resulting in a transient effect
when you click on the desktop. Sadly, no FVWM menu will appear...
- Remnants of fluffy snow can persist after removing the
fallen snow. These will gradually disappear, so no big deal.
- Remnants of meteorites can persist after passage of Santa.
These will eventually be wiped out by snow or Santa.
- Xsnow tries to adapt its snowing window if the display
settings are changed while xsnow is running.
This does not function always well.
- In multi-screen environments, it depends on the display settings
if it is snowing on all screens. Experiment!
This is free software; see the source for copying conditions. There is
NO warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR
xsnow-3.3.2 2021 XSNOW(6)