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maze - Man Page

an automated X11 demo repeatedly creating and solving a random maze


maze [--display host:display.screen] [--foreground color] [--background color] [--window] [--root] [--window-id number][--install] [--visual visual] [--grid-size pixels] [--live-color color] [--dead-color color] [--solve-delay usecs] [--pre-delay usecs] [--post-delay usecs] [--generator integer] [--max-length integer] [--fps]


The maze program creates a "random" maze and then solves it with  graphical feedback.


maze 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.


Install a private colormap for the 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.

--grid-size pixels

The size of each block of the maze, in pixels; default is 0, meaning pick a random grid size.  Minimum meaningful value is 2.

--live-color color

The color of the path.

--dead-color color

The color of the failed path (it is also stippled with a 50% pattern.)

--skip-color color

The maze solver will choose to not go down a path if it can "see" (in a straight line) that it is a dead end.  This is the color to use for paths that are skipped for this reason.

--surround-color color

If the maze solver ever completely encloses an area within the maze, then it knows that the exit is not in there (and in fact the interior of that area might not even be reachable.)  It will mark out those cells using this color.

--solve-delay integer

Delay (in microseconds) between each step of the solution path. Default 5000, or about 1/200th second.

--pre-delay integer

Delay (in microseconds) between generating a maze and starting to solve it. Default 2000000 (2 seconds.)

--post-delay integer

Delay (in microseconds) after solving a maze and before generating a new one. Default 4000000 (4 seconds.)

--generator num

Sets the algorithm that will be used to generate the mazes. The default is -1, which randomly selects an algorithm for each maze that is generated. Generator 0 is the original one, and works by walking around randomly until we hit a place we've been before, then backtracking and trying a new direction somewhere. Generator 1 picks a random spot in the maze, then draws a straight wall from that spot in a random direction until it hits another wall (and continues until the maze is complete). Generator 2 is based on sets. Initially all cells are in different sets. Then two neighboring cells are chosen and if they are in different sets, their sets are joined. If they were in the same set, a wall is built between them. This continues until the maze is complete.

All generators generate mazes with a certain 'characteristic'. See if you can spot them!

The three algorithms are essentially Kruskal, Prim, and a depth-first recursive backtracker.

--max-length num

Controls the maximum length of walls drawn in one go by generator 1.

Clicking the mouse in the maze window controls it.


Clears the window and restarts maze.


Pause or unpause the program.




Display the current frame rate and CPU load.


Expose events force a restart of maze.

Mouse actions are based on "raw" values (Button1, Button2 and Button3) instead of using the pointer map.



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)


Zack Weinberg [ Smarter maze-solver ] zack@rabi.phys.columbia.edu
Johannes Keukelaar [ Generators 1 and 2 ] johannes@nada.kth.se 
  Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
Jim Randell	[ XScreenSaver version ] jmr@mddjmr.fc.hp.com
  HPLabs, Bristol
Richard Hess	[ X11 extensions ]  	{...}!uunet!cimshop!rhess
  Consilium, Mountain View, CA
Dave Lemke	[ X11 version ]		lemke@sun.COM
  Sun MicroSystems, Mountain View, CA
Martin Weiss	[ SunView version ]
  Sun MicroSystems, Mountain View, CA


6.09-1.fc41 (11-Jun-2024) X Version 11 XScreenSaver manual