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Commands Reference, Volume 6

xsetroot Command


Sets the root window parameters for the X command.


xsetroot-bg Color ] [  -cursor CursorFile MaskFile ] [  -cursor_name CursorName ] [  -def ] [  -display Display ] [  -fg Color ] [  -help ] [  -name String ] [  -rv ] [  -bitmap FileName -gray -grey -mod X Y -solid Color ]


The xsetroot command allows you to tailor the appearance of the background (root) window on a workstation display running X. Normally, you experiment with the xsetroot command 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 the -def flag is specified, the window is reset to its default state. The -def flag can be specified with other flags and only the unspecified characteristics are reset to the default state.

Only one of the background color (tiling) changing flags (-bitmap, -solid, -gray, -grey, or -mod) can be specified at a time.


-bg Color Uses the Color parameter as the background color.
-bitmap FileName Uses the bitmap specified in the file to set the window pattern. You can make your own bitmap files (little pictures) using the bitmap program. The entire background is made of repeated tiles of the bitmap.
-cursor CursorFile MaskFile Changes the pointer cursor to what you want when it is outside of any window. Cursor and mask files are bitmaps (little pictures) that can be made with the bitmap program. You probably want the mask file to be all black until you get used to the way masks work.
-cursor_name CursorName Changes the pointer cursor to one of the standard cursors from the cursor font.
-def Resets unspecified attributes to the default values. (Restores the background to the familiar gray mesh and the cursor to the hollow x shape.)
-display Display Specifies the server connection. See the X command.
-fg Color Uses the Color parameter as the foreground color. Foreground and background colors are meaningful only with the -cursor, -bitmap, or -mod flags.
-gray Makes the entire background gray.
-grey Makes the entire background grey.
-help Prints a usage message and exits.
-mod X Y Makes a plaid-like grid pattern on your screen. The X and Y parameters are integers ranging from 1 to 16. Zero and negative numbers are taken as 1.
-name String Sets the name of the root window to the String parameter. 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 flag is not used because you cannot iconify the background.
-rv Exchanges the foreground and background colors. Normally the foreground color is black and the background color is white.
-solid Color Sets the background of the root window to the specified color. This flag is only used on color servers.

Related Information

The X command, xset command, xrdb command.

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