Tis the Season: Instructions for xsnow on Linux

Instructions for xsnow on linux from howtogeek.io

Back in the 80s and 90s there was a desktop with snow falling. In 2001, this was available for Linux desktops. In 2021, the project released a version for current desktops. In November 2023, the project released a new version. More information can be found at:


Here are some instructions for using xsnow on your desktop.

How to Install and Customize xsnow on Linux

What is xsnow?

The application, xsnow, drops snowflakes on your desktop leaving snowfall on open applications, displays an animated Santa and is easily customized using this GUI application.

This is a port of a 1980s MacIntosh application.

Versions after 2.0 for Linux are considered free software.

There are several screens available to customize the experience. There are mouseover guidance messages with information about the options. The mouseover message is detailed in describing the options.

What options are available for customization?

Each menu option includes several options to enhance the experience to your personal preferences.

The options include customization for snow, Santa, scenery, celestial, birds, and settings.

Which Window Manager/Desktop Environments can I use xsnow with?

  • KDE
  • FVWM
  • TWM
  • XFCE
  • LXDE

How can I install xsnow?

xsnow is included in the repos for Mint, Debian, Ubuntu, SuSe and Arch.

The application with dependencies can be installed at the command line using the apt command.

Open a terminal window.

Type the command:

sudo apt install xsnow

Note: The xsnow application can also be downloaded and installed from source on Sourceforge.

Sourceforge: https://sourceforge.net/projects/xsnow/

Packages for different distros are found here:

Debian: https://packages.debian.org/bookworm/amd64/xsnow/download

SuSe: https://packagehub.suse.com/packages/xsnow/

Raspbian: https://www.ratrabbit.nl/ratrabbit/xsnow/

RPM: https://rpmfind.net/linux/RPM/openmandriva/cooker/x86_64/main/release/xsnow- 3.7.6-1.x86_64.html

Arch: https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/xsnow

How can I customize the options.

This simple GUI offers graphical and mouseover guidance for each option.

In each option screen, you can return to defaults, vintage and hide the menu.


Set the color of the snowflakes, the size and where the snow lands.

The snow options include the following.

  • intensity
  • color
  • blow off
  • on windows
  • on bottom
  • on scenery
  • size
  • max flakes


The different Santa options include reindeer and sleigh with or without Rudolph. There is a train option as well.


There are several scenes to choose from. Some scenery options include trees, house, reindeer and polar bear.


If you would like to add stars or a moon, use the celestials option.The options available here are Wind, Stars, Moon, Halo, and Metors.


You can add birds to the experience. Here you can select to show birds, birds only, amount of birds, distance, neighbors, viewing distance, focus to attraction point and the color of the birds.


In the settings screen, you will find the version of xsnow along with options for transparency, lift snow on bottom, lift snow on windows, cpu factor and scale.

The option for colors is available as well as setting the snow below windows.

One important option is on all workspaces.

If you do not see the snow falling immediately after installing xsnow, select On all workspaces.

How to Remove xsnow

To remove xsnow from the system, open a terminal and type:

sudo apt purge xsnow

xsnow includes many customizations for a personalized holiday desktop experience. This is just one of several fun tools you can use to enhance the user experience.

Similar Posts

One Comment

Comments are closed.