lavalite - Man Page

3D OpenGL simulation of a Lavalite.


lavalite [--display host:display.screen] [--window] [--root] [--window-id number] [--visual visual] [--delay microseconds] [--fps] [--style style ] [--spin xyz ] [--no-spin ] [--speed float ] [--resolution integer ] [--count integer ] [--no-smooth ] [--wireframe ] [--impatient ] [--lava-color color ] [--fluid-color color ] [--base-color color ] [--table-color color ] [--fluid-texture filename ] [--base-texture filename ] [--table-texture filename ]


The lavalite program displays a 3D simulation of the famous lamp of the same name.  It requires a fast computer with fast OpenGL support.


lavalite accepts the following options:


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


Draw on the root window.

--window-id number

Draw on the specified 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.

--style style

Specify which model of lamp to draw.  Available models  are: Classic, Giant, Cone, and Rocket. Default: random.

--spin xyz

Around which axes the model should auto-spin.  Defaults to "Z", meaning it rotates horizontally, but otherwise pitch or roll.


Same as --spin ''.

--speed float

A number controlling the frequency at which new blobs launch: you can think of this as being related to the the heat of the lightbulb in the base.  Default: 0.003.

--delay usecs

The delay between steps of the animation; default is 30000 (0.03 second.)

--resolution integer

The size of the grid from which the mesh is created that is used to polygonize the blobs.  higher values will give very smooth looking blobs, at the expense of speed.  Default: 40.

The options "-resolution 10 -no-smooth" look kind of interesting.


Display the current frame rate, CPU load, and polygon count.

--count integer

The maximum number of blobs that can be in motion at once. Default: 3.


Turn off smoothing: the objects in the scene will be facetted.


Render all objects in wireframe instead of as solids.


Provide this option if you are.  This will pre-warm the lamp, so when it starts up, the first frame will show a blob already halfway up the lamp.

--lava-color color

Specifies the color of the blobbies.  Default: red.

--fluid-color color

Specifies the color of the fluid that the blobbies float in. Default: light blue.

--base-color color

Specifies the color of the lamp base, and the cap on top of the bottle. Default: very dark gray.

--table-color color

Specifies the color of the table that the lamp is sitting on. Default: black (meaning it is invisible.)

--fluid-texture filename

An image file to wrap around the glass.

Note that on most systems, GL textures must have dimensions that are a power of two.

Note also that colors and textures are both applied: so, if you apply a texture and it isn't showing up, try specifying the corresponding color as "white".  Otherwise, the combination of the two might be too dark to see.

--base-texture filename

An image file to wrap around the base of the lamp, and the cap on top of the bottle.

--table-texture texture

An image file to spread across the table that the lamp is sitting on.



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.


The window ID to use with --root.

See Also

X(1), xscreensaver(1),


Jamie Zawinski <>


6.08-2.fc40 (27-Jan-2024) X Version 11 XScreenSaver manual