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. One cab create a snowy and Santa-y desktop. You can install it as follows:

Install xsnow

Debian / Ubuntu / Mint Linux users type the following apt command/apt-get 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 binary package using pkg command:
# pkg_add -r xsnow
# pkg install xsnow
OpenBSD users type the following pkg_add command:
# pkg_add -v 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:

If you enjoyed this desktop fun app, you may also like to use the following apps on Linux:

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🐧 9 comments so far... add one
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9 comments… add one
  • LeftMeAlone Dec 20, 2011 @ 13:48

    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:

    dpkg -i --force-architecture xsnow_1.42-8_i386.deb
  • Pothi Kalimuthu Dec 20, 2011 @ 14:38

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

  • Synical Dec 20, 2011 @ 18:34

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

    pkgadd -d

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

    Recommended: xsnow -bg SkyBlue3

    Happy Holidays Solaris nerds! 😀

  • Bruce Dec 23, 2011 @ 22:05

    doesn’t seem to work on enlightenment. 🙁

  • om thakur Jan 2, 2012 @ 7:20

    its good

  • EPUB Apr 9, 2012 @ 13:48

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

  • Keith Hedger Dec 8, 2014 @ 1:21

    For all your holiday decorations try this:

  • Dave Dec 15, 2014 @ 11:10

    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!!!

  • Willem Vermin Oct 26, 2020 @ 2:29

    An updated xsnow, working on legacy (FVWM, …) and new (GNOME, KDE, …) desktops is available here:

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