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Linux / UNIX Desktop Fun: Let it Snow On Your Desktop

Feeling lonely this holiday season? Try Xsnow. This little app will let it snow on the Unix / Linux desktop. Santa and his reindeer will complete your festive season feeling with moving snowflakes on your desktop, with Santa Claus running all over the screen.

I first installed this 13 or 14 years ago. It was was originally created for Macintosh systems in 1984. You can install it as follows:

Install xsnow

Debian / Ubuntu / Mint users type the following command:
$ sudo apt-get install xsnow
Freebsd users type the following command to install the same:
# cd /usr/ports/x11/xsnow/
# make install clean

OR, try to add the package:
# pkg_add -r xsnow

A Note About Other Distros

  1. Fedora / RHEL / CentOS Linux desktop users may find the package using rpmfusion repo.
  2. Gentoo user try Gentoo portage i.e. emerge -p xsnow
  3. OpenSuse Linux user try Yast and search for xsnow.

How Do I Use xsnow?

Open a command-line terminal (select Applications > Accessories > Terminal), and then type the following to starts xsnow:
$ xsnow
Sample outputs:

Fig.01: Snow for your Linux and Unix desktop systems

Fig.01: Snow for your Linux and Unix desktop systems

You can set the background to a blue color and lets it snow white, type:
$ xsnow -bg blue -sc snow
To set the maximum number of snowflakes and runs as fast as possible, type:
$ xsnow -snowflakes 10000 -delay 0
Do not display the trees and Santa Claus running all over the screen, enter:
$ xsnow -notrees -nosanta
For more information about xsnow and other options, please see the manual page by typing man xsnow from the command line:
$ man xsnow

Recommended readings:

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This entry is 3 of 5 in the Linux / Unix Desktop Fun series. Keep reading the rest of the series:
  1. Terminal ASCII Aquarium
  2. Steam Locomotive
  3. Let it Snow On Your Desktop
  4. Summon Swarms Of Penguins To Waddle About The Desktop
  5. Text Mode Box and Comment Drawing

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • LeftMeAlone December 20, 2011, 1:48 pm

    Debian squeeze 64 bit user download xsnow manually as it will not install on the 64- bit system using the apt-get and friends. So get the 32-bit version and install it:

    wget http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/pool/non-free/x/xsnow/xsnow_1.42-8_i386.deb
    dpkg -i --force-architecture xsnow_1.42-8_i386.deb
  • Pothi Kalimuthu December 20, 2011, 2:38 pm

    Good to see something colorful on my desktop. Works great on my CrunchBang Linux box.

  • Synical December 20, 2011, 6:34 pm

    OpenIndiana users: package can be installed with “pkgutil” from OpenCSW:

    pkgadd -d http://get.opencsw.org/now

    /opt/csw/bin/pkgutil -i xsnow (or add /opt/csw/bin to ~/.profile)

    Recommended: xsnow -bg SkyBlue3

    Happy Holidays Solaris nerds! :D

  • Bruce December 23, 2011, 10:05 pm

    doesn’t seem to work on enlightenment. :(

  • om thakur January 2, 2012, 7:20 am

    its good

  • EPUB April 9, 2012, 1:48 pm

    Wow, it looks beautiful. Already Installed it on my Ubuntu box. Pretty simple

  • Keith Hedger December 8, 2014, 1:21 am
  • Dave December 15, 2014, 11:10 am

    Doesnt work on Debian at all………xsnow exists in usr/games. When i run it from a terminal nothing happens!

    Shame, i was looking forward to some snow!!!