Section: XScreenSaver manual (6)
Updated: 5.40 (12-Aug-2018)
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gltext - draws text spinning around in 3D  


gltext [-display host:display.screen] [-window] [-root] [-visual visual] [-delay microseconds] [-text string] [-program command] [-wander] [-no-wander] [-spin axes] [-no-spin] [-front] [-no-front] [-wireframe] [-fps]  


The gltext program draws some text spinning around in 3D, using a font that appears to be made of solid tubes.  


gltext accepts the following options:
Draw on a newly-created window. This is the default.
Draw on the root window.
Install a private colormap for the window.
-visual visual
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.
-text string
The text to display. This may contain newlines, but it shouldn't be very long. The default is to display the machine name and OS version.

This may also be a format string acceptable to date(1) and strftime(3), in which case, it will be updated once a second. So to make this program display a spinning digital clock, you could do this:

gltext -text "%A%n%d %b %Y%n%l:%M:%S %p"

To include a literal `%', you must double it: `%%'.

See the man page for strftime(3) for more details.

-program command
The given program is run, and its output is displayed. If specified, this overrides -text. The output of this program will be repeatedely displayed, with new pages of text shifting in every few seconds. Lines should be relatively short. You might try:

-program 'xscreensaver-text --cols 20'

Set the number of lines of text to display. By default, gltext will print 8 lines of text at a time. Use this option to increase or decrease that number. Be aware that gltext is designed to work with a fairly small amount of text, so setting this value too high might result in slow performance or strange behaviour stemming from buffer overflows. Increase at your own risk.
Display the text in a monospace font. Default is a variable-width font.
Display the text in a variable-width font. This is the default.
Move the text around the screen. This is the default.
Keep the text centered on the screen.
Sets the speed at which the text wanders around. Default is 0.02.
Which axes around which the text should spin. The default is "XYZ", meaning rotate it freely in space. "-spin Z" would rotate the text in the plane of the screen while not rotating it into or out of the screen; etc.
Don't spin the text at all: the same as -spin "".
When spinning, never spin all the way around or upside down: always face mostly forward so that the text is easily readable.
Allow spins to go all the way around or upside down. This is the default.
Render in wireframe instead of solid.
Display the current frame rate, CPU load, and polygon count.
Sets the scale at which the text is rendered. Bigger values will result in bigger text; smaller values will result in smaller text. The default value is 0.01.


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.


X(1), xscreensaver(1) xscreensaver-text(1)  


Copyright © 2001-2014 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 <>