xsetroot - root window parameter setting utility for X
xsetroot [-help] [def] [-display display] [cursor cursor-file maskfile] [-cursor_name cursorname] [-bitmap filename] [-mod x y] [-gray] [-grey] [-fg color] [-bg color] [-rv] [solid color] [-name string]
The various options are as follows:
Print a usage message and exit.
Reset unspecified attributes to the default values. (Restores
the background to the familiar gray mesh and the cursor to the hollow x shape.)
This lets you change the pointer cursor to whatever you want
when the pointer cursor is outside of any window. Cursor and mask files are
bitmaps (little pictures), and can be made with the
You probably want the mask file to be all black until you get used to the
way masks work.
This lets you change the pointer cursor to one of the standard
cursors from the cursor font. Refer to appendix B of the X protocol for the
names (except that the XC_ prefix is elided for this option).
Use the bitmap specified in the file to set the window pattern.
You can make your own bitmap files (little pictures) using the
program. The entire background will be made up of repeated "tiles" of the
This is used if you want a plaid-like grid pattern on your
integers ranging from 1 to 16. Try the different combinations. Zero and negative
numbers are taken as 1.
Make the entire background gray. (Easier on the eyes.)
Make the entire background grey.
as the foreground color.
Foreground and background colors are meaningful only in combination with
as the background color.
This exchanges the foreground and background colors. Normally
the foreground color is black and the background color is white.
This sets the background of the root window to the specified
color. This option is only useful on color servers.
Set the name of the root window to
There is no default value. Usually a name is assigned to a window so that
the window manager can use a text representation when the window is iconified.
This option is unused since you cannot iconify the background.
Specifies the server to connect to; see
The setroot program allows you to tailor the appearance of the background ("root") window on a workstation display running X. Normally, you experiment with xsetroot until you find a personalized look that you like, then put the xsetroot command that produces it into your X startup file. If no options are specified, or if -def is specified, the window is reset to its default state. The -def option can be specified along with other options and only the non-specified characteristics will be reset to the default state.
Only one of the background color/tiling changing options (-solid,
-mod) may be specified at a time.
Mark Lillibridge, MIT Project Athena