unknownpleasures man page

unknownpleasures — an animation of the signal from the pulsar PSR B1919+21.


unknownpleasures [-display host:display.screen] [-visual visual] [-window] [-root] [-delay number] [-speed percent] [-count integer] [-resolution percent] [-no-ortho] [-fps]


PSR B1919+21 (AKA CP 1919) was the first pulsar ever discovered: a spinning neutron star emitting a periodic lighthouse-like beacon. An illustration of the signal received from it was published in Scientific American in 1971, and later in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy in 1977, where it was seen by Stephen Morris, the drummer of Joy Division, and was consequently appropriated by Peter Saville for the cover of the band's album "Unknown Pleasures".


-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.


Draw on the root window.

-delay number

Per-frame delay, in microseconds.  Default: 30000 (0.03 seconds.).

-speed number

Animation speed. 2 for twice as fast, 0.5 for half as fast.

-count number

Scanlines (vertical resolution).  Default: 80.

-count number

Horizontal Resolution, Default: 100%.

-ortho | -no-ortho

Whether to use an orthographic projection.

-fps | -no-fps

Whether to show a frames-per-second display at the bottom of the screen.



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)


Jamie Zawinski.


5.40-1.fc30 (15-Aug-2018) X Version 11 XScreenSaver manual