binaryhorizon - Man Page

A system of path tracing particles evolves continuously from an initial horizon.


binaryhorizon [-fps] [-install] [-noinstall] [-mono] [-root] [-visual visual] [-window]  [-window-id window-id] [-color] [-no-color] [-growth-delay delayms] [-particle-number particles] [-duration secs] [-bicolor] [-monocolor]


A system of path tracing particles evolves continuously from an initial horizon, alternating between colors.

Ported (with some extensions) from the code by J. Tarbell at


binaryhorizon accepts the following options:


Display the current frame rate and CPU load.


Install a private colormap for the window.


If on a color display, pretend we're on a monochrome display.


Don't install a private colormap for the window.


Draw on the root window.

-visual visual

Specify which visual to use. Legal values are the name of a visual class or the id number (decimal or hex) of a specific visual.


Draw on a newly-created window. This is the default.

-window-id window-id

Specify which window id to use.

-color (Default)

Particles have random generated colors that gradually change over time.


Use the original black and white visualization.

-bicolor (Default)

Particles have 2 random colors, starting as white and black.


Particles have 2 colors, one starting as white and gradually changing, and one staying black.

-fade (Default)

Particles gradually fade between colors over time.


Every particle is a random color.

-growth-delay delayms (Default: 10000)

Delay in ms between growth cycles. More delay, slower (but less CPU intensive).

-particles-number particles (Default: 5000)

The number of particles in the system. With more particles the fps can also be affected.

-duration secs (Default: 30)

How long between full resets.



to get the default host and display number.


to get the name of a resource file that overrides the global resources stored in the RESOURCE_MANAGER property.

See Also

X(1), xscreensaver(1)


Patrick Leiser <>, Mar-20

J. Tarbell <>, Jun-03

Emilio Del Tessandoro <>, Aug-14


6.02-4.fc36 (04-Nov-2021) X Version 11 XScreenSaver manual