man helix () - draw helical string-art patterns


helix - draw helical string-art patterns


helix [-display host:display.screen] [-foreground color] [-background color] [-window] [-root] [-mono] [-erase-speed usecs] [-erase-mode integer] [-delay seconds] [-install] [-visual visual]


The helix program draws interesting patterns composed of line segments in random colors.


helix accepts the following options:

Draw on a newly-created window. This is the default.
Draw on the root window.
If on a color display, pretend we're on a monochrome display.
-erase-speed usecs
This controls the speed at which the screen will be erased. Lower numbers erase faster.
-erase-mode integer
This sets the erase mode. Mode -1 chooses a random mode each time. There are currently 6 modes defined (0-5).
-delay seconds
This sets the number of seconds that the helix will be on the screen.
-subdelay microseconds
This sets the amount of time to pause periodically while drawing.
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.


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.



Copyright © 1992 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 <>, 13-aug-92. Screen eraser improved by Johannes Keukelaar <>, 18-sep-97.