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cloudlife(6x) XScreenSaver manual cloudlife(6x)


cloudlife - a cellular automaton based on Conway's Life


cloudlife [--display host:display.screen] [--foreground color] [--background color] [--window] [--root] [--window-id number][--mono] [--install] [--visual visual] [--ncolors integer] [--cycle-delay microseconds] [--cycle-colors integer][--cell-size integer] [--initial-density integer] [--max-age integer]



The cloudlife program draws a cellular automaton based on Conway's Life, except that cells have a maximum age, and only one pixel per cell is drawn every tick.


cloudlife 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.
If on a color display, pretend we're on a monochrome display.
Install a private colormap for the window.
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.
Time in microseconds to sleep between ticks. Default 25000.
How many ticks should elapse between cycling colors. 0 to disable color cycling. Default 2.
How many colors should be used (if possible). Default 64. The colors are chosen randomly.
Size of each cell, in powers of 2. Default 3 (8-pixel cells).
Percentage of cells that are alive at start and when the field is repopulated. Default 30.
Maximum age for a cell. Default 64.
Display the current frame rate and CPU load.


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.


X(1), xscreensaver(1), xlock(1)


Copyright © 2003 by Don Marti. Based on examples from the hacks directory of xscreensaver, Copyright (c) 1997, 1998, 2002 Jamie Zawinski <>

This man page based on the man page of sierpinski, Copyright © 1996 by Desmond Daignault.

Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and its documentation for any purpose and without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above copyright notice appear in all copies and that both that copyright notice and this permission notice appear in supporting documentation.


Don Marti <> 20 May 2003.

6.09 (07-Jun-2024) X Version 11