The following documentation was found:
xsnow - create a snowy and Santa-y desktop
xsnow [-option .,..]
Xsnow displays lovely moving snowflakes on your desktop.
-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. -tc tree_color Use the given string as the color for the trees. -slc sleigh_color Use the given string as the color for the sleigh. Note that the default color is black, so not much of Santa will be seen on a black background. -santa santa_size There are 3 sizes of Santa: 0, 1 and 2. Default is 1. -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. -delay delay This is the number of milliseconds delay after updating everything. Default is 50 milliseconds, i.e. 20 updates per second max. -unsmooth 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. -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 8, at the bottom of the screen the default is 50. -notrees Do not display the trees. -nosanta Do not display Santa Claus running all over the screen. -norudolf No Rudolf. -nokeepsnow Do not have snow sticking anywhere. -nokeepsnowonwindows Do not keep snow on top of the windows. -nokeepsnowonscreen Do not keep snow at the bottom of the screen. -version Prints the current Xsnow version.
xsnow -bg LightSkyBlue3 -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 possible.
See /usr/lib/X11/rgb.txt for the list of colors and their respective poetic names, like Chartreuse and LightSkyBlue3.
Copyright 1984, 1988, 1990, 1993 by Rick Jansen (firstname.lastname@example.org) Some code borrowed from xroach by J.T. Anderson (email@example.com) 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 with the nice moving antlers and reins was made by Holger Veit (Holger.Veit@gmd.de).
Rick Jansen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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 won't be any problem. For slow servers specify the -notrees option.