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xscreensaver-getimage-file(6x) XScreenSaver manual xscreensaver-getimage-file(6x)


xscreensaver-getimage-file - select a random image file for use by screen savers


xscreensaver-getimage-file [--verbose] [--no-cache] [--flush-caches] directory-or-URL


The xscreensaver-getimage-file program is a helper program for the xscreensaver hacks that manipulate images. It is invoked by xscreensaver-getimage(6x) as needed.

It prints the name of a randomly-selected image file. The directory is searched recursively. Non-image files and images smaller than 500x500 are excluded.

The directory may also be the URL of an RSS/Atom feed. Enclosed images will be downloaded and cached locally.

The contents of the directory are cached, for performance. The cache is re-generated if 3 hours have passed.


xscreensaver-getimage-file accepts the following options:

Print diagnostics.
Ignore the cache when searching for images. This may be slow.
Discard all caches immediately. They will be re-generated as needed.
If it is a pathname, it will be searched recursively for images.

If it is a URL, it should be an RSS or Atom feed, or an HTML page whose metadata links to its feed. All of the feed's images will be downloaded to a local cache. The URL will be re-polled periodically, downloading any new images and removing expired ones.


Depending on your operating system, the filename cache will be one of:


Images from feeds will be downloaded and cached at one of:



X(1), xscreensaver(1), xscreensaver-settings(1), xscreensaver-getimage(6x)


Copyright © 2001-2022 by Jamie Zawinski. Permission to use, copy, modify, distribute, and sell this software and its documentation for any purpose is hereby granted without fee, provided that the above copyright notice appear in all copies and that both that copyright notice and this permission notice appear in supporting documentation. No representations are made about the suitability of this software for any purpose. It is provided "as is" without express or implied warranty.


Jamie Zawinski <>, 14-Apr-2001.

6.09 (07-Jun-2024) X Version 11