deco — draw tacky 70s basement wall panelling


deco [-display host:display.screen] [-foreground color] [-background color] [-window] [-root] [-mono] [-install] [-visual visual] [-delay seconds] [-max-depth int] [-min-width int] [-min-height int] [-line-width yIint] [-smooth-colors] [-golden-ratio] [-mondrian] [-fps]


The deco program subdivides and colors rectangles randomly. It looks kind of like Brady-Bunch-era rec-room wall paneling. (Raven says: "This screensaver is ugly enough to peel paint.") Can also produce more aesthetically pleasing displays via options.


deco 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.
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.
-delay seconds
How long to wait before starting over. Default 5 seconds.
-max-depth integer
How deep to subdivide. Default 12.
-min-width integer
-min-height integer
The size of the smallest rectangle to draw. Default 20x20.
-line-width integer
Width of lines drawn between rectangles. Default zero (minimal width).
Whether to use a smooth color palette instead of a random one. Less jarring. Default False.
Whether to subdivide rectangles using the golden ratio instead of 1/2. This ratio is supposed to be more aesthetically pleasing. Default false.
Whether to imitiate style of some famous paintings by Piet Mondrian. Overrides line-width and colormap options. Default false.
Display the current frame rate and CPU load.


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.


Jamie Zawinski <>, 26-Apr-97, based on code by Michael D. Bayne <>. Golden ratio and Mondrian settings by Lars Huttar.