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Cool, but obscure X11 tools

A small collection of tools for the X Window System. For cool terminal tools, see Kristof Kovacs’ Cool, but obscure Unix tools. All applications have been tested on FreeBSD but should run on other Unix-like operating systems as well.

3D Pong

3dpong

3D Pong is three-dimensional version of the first arcade game, “Pong”, for the X Window System.

# pkg install games/3dpong

To play against the computer, run:

$ 3dpong :0 --computer --sound

Angband

angband

A roguelike game derived from Moria, based loosely on the books of J. R. R. Tolkien. The ultimate aim of the game is to advance in skill and strength, collecting better and more powerful magical items until you are ready to face the Master of the dungeon: Morgoth himself! Start the X11 mode with angband -mx11.

# pkg install games/angband

AppRes

appres

Prints the resources seen by an application. It can be used to determine which resources a particular program will load.

# pkg install x11/appres

ASClock

asclock

AfterStep clock with some language extensions.

# pkg install x11-clocks/asclock

Battalion

battalion

Battalion is a 3D game from 1994, originally written for the Silicon Graphics Indy UNIX workstation. The player controls a monster to blow up a city. The author dedicated a website to the game.

Depending on the perspective, the controls are a little awkward. You may want to change the camera with key 1, 2, 3, or 4. Use the mouse to rotate and to move forward/backward. The arrow keys only work if the mouse cursor is placed in the center of the screen. Shoot with the left control key or the left mouse button, and tilt the head with A and Z to target helicopters and jets. The camera can be rotated with I, J, K, and L. Alter the rendering details with D. Press G to grab the mouse cursor and P to pause the game.

I made a quick & dirty FreeBSD port based on the Linux version (no sound). Build and run Battalion with:

$ tar xfvz battalion1.4b-freebsd.tar.gz
$ cd battalion1.4b-freebsd/
$ gmake battalion CC=gcc9
$ ./battalion

Free42

free42

Simulation of the HP-42S scientific calculator and HP-82240 printer.

# pkg install misc/free42

FSV2

fsv2

A 3D filesystem visualiser, like fsn for SGI IRIX. Prone to crashing (perhaps, UTF-8 issues).

# pkg install x11-fm/fsv2

GLXGears

glxgears

A simple OpenGL tool for testing your graphics adapter.

# pkg install graphics/mesa-demos

GMixer

gmixer

Audio mixer for X11, based on GTK+ 1.2.

# pkg install audio/gmixer

GVIM

gvim

Improved version of the vi editor. The graphical front-end can be compiled with either X11, Motif, Xaw, or GTK+ 2/3.

# pkg install editors/vim

HP-15C

HP-15C

Emulator of the HP-15C programmable calculator, written in Tcl/Tk. The source-code is available on the official website.

$ unzip HP-15C_4.1.00_Source.zip
$ tclsh8.6 ./HP-15C.tcl

Ico

ico

Displays wire-framed rotating polyhedrons.

# pkg install x11/ico

Mgdiff

mgdiff

Motif-based front-end to the Unix diff command. The appearance of mgdiff is based upon a program called gdiff, which runs only on Silicon Graphics workstations and for which source code is not provided.

# pkg install textproc/mgdiff

MxIco

mxico

Maho’s eXtended Ico is a simple demo for X, rotating polyhedra in the window. See this table for reference and start MxIco with, for example, mxico -sleep 1 -obj n65.

# pkg install x11/mxico

Micropolis

Micropolis

Open-source version of the famous computer game SimCity. Available on GitHub.

$ git clone https://github.com/interkosmos/micropolis.git

NEdit

nedit

X11/Motif GUI text editor for programs and plain text files.

# pkg install editors/nedit

Plan

plan

Plan is a schedule planner based on X/Motif.

# pkg install deskutils/plan

Sunclock

sunclock

A fancy clock for the X Window system, providing local time (legal time and solar time), sunrise, sunset and various geographical data through a point and click interface.

# pkg install astro/sunclock

Ted

ted

A simple RTF editor for X11. Can either be compiled with Motif or GTK+ 2. The binary starts with an upper-case letter (Ted). Prone to crashing.

# pkg install editors/ted

TiEmu

tiemu

Emulator for Texas Instruments TI-89/TI-92 (Plus)/Voyage 200 graphical calculators. ROM files not included. TIGCC is a compatible C compiler, based on GCC, and available as a FreeBSD port as well.

# pkg install emulators/tiemu3

WMY2K

wmy2k

Dock app that simply counts down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds left until 00:00 January 1, 2000.

$ fetch http://www.cs.mun.ca/~gstarkes/wmaker/dockapps/files/wmy2k-2.0beta1.tar.gz
$ tar xfvz wmy2k-2.0beta1.tar.gz
$ cd wmy2k-2.0beta1/
$ make CC=gcc9
$ ./wmy2k

WordNet

wordnet

WordNet is a lexical reference system that combines aspects of dictionaries and thesauri with psycholinguistic theories of human lexical memory. It is developed by the Cognitive Science Laboratory at Princeton University.

The graphical WordNet browser wnb depends on Tcl/Tk:

# pkg install x11-toolkits/tk86 textproc/wordnet

X026

x026

X026 is an keypunch emulator, simulating the IBM 026. Perfect for writing FORTRAN code on Hollerith punch cards and getting a clearer picture of how laborious data input back then was. The default character set is BCD-H.

# pkg install deskutils/x026

X48

x48

Emulator of the HP 48GX graphing calculator. ROM image is included.

# pkg install emulators/x48

XAbacus

xabacus

Simply an abacus for the X Window System.

# pkg install games/xabacus

XAntfarm

xantfarm

Ant hill simulation on the X11 root window.

# pkg install x11/xantfarm

XArchiver

xarchiver

XArchiver is a GTK+ 2 front-end to various archiving tools (tar, zip, 7z, …).

# pkg install archivers/xarchiver

XASCII

xascii

XASCII displays the ASCII table in hex, decimal, and octal.

# pkg install x11/xascii

XBiff

xbiff

XBiff shows a small mailbox with its flag raised when new mail arrives in your inbox. It simply monitors the size of a given file. For instance, the cache of the Sylpheed e-mail client can be watched with:

$ xbiff -file $HOME/.sylpheed-2.0/imapcache/<server>/<address>/INBOX/.sylpheed_cache

You can change the pixmap in ~/.Xdefaults:

xbiff*flip: false
xbiff*fullPixmap: mailfull
xbiff*emptyPixmap: mailempty
xbiff*fullPixmapMask: mailfullmsk
xbiff*emptyPixmapMask: mailemptymsk
xbiff*shapeWindow: true

Install it with:

# pkg install x11/xbiff

XBill

xbill

XBill is an arcade game from 1994 in which the player has to prevent an evil computer hacker named “Bill” from installing a popular operating system on various machines. The OS can spread over networks and purges existing systems (BSD, Solaris, SGI IRIX, …). A contemporary modification of the game is known as XLennart.

# pkg install games/xbill

XBoard

xboard

XBoard is a graphical front-end for chess engines like GNU Chess. Start it with xboard -fcp 'gnuchess --xboard'.

# pkg install games/xboard

XCalc

xcalc xcalc xcalc

A simple and clean scientific calculator for X11. Additional colour styles imitating the Texas Instruments TI-30 and the Hewlett-Packard 10C are listed in the file /usr/local/share/X11/app-defaults/XCalc-color. Just copy one of the styles into your ~/.Xdefaults.

# pkg install x11/xcalc

XCalendar

xcalendar

A calendar with an integrated notebook.

# pkg install deskutils/xcalendar

XCHM

xchm

Microsoft Windows help file viewer for Unix.

# pkg install deskutils/xchm

XChomp

xchomp

Clone of the famous arcade game Pac-Man for X. See also the unofficial homepage.

# pkg install games/xchomp

XClipboard

xclipboard

A client for clipboard management in X.

# pkg install x11/xclipboard

XClock

xclock

An analog and digital clock for X.

# pkg install x11-clocks/xclock

XClock/Cat Clock

xclock-cat

A Motif-based variant of MIT xclock from 1990 that features a “cat” mode. Available on GitHub.

# git clone https://github.com/BarkyTheDog/catclock.git

XColorSel

xcolorsel

Grabs the colours of X windows.

# pkg install x11/xcolorsel

XConsole

xconsole

XConsole shows system console messages.

# pkg install x11/xconsole

XCrySDen

xcrysden

XCrySDen is a crystalline and molecular structure visualisation program aiming at display of isosurfaces and contours, which can be superimposed on crystalline structures and interactively rotated and manipulated.

# pkg install science/xcrysden

XDiary

xdiary

XDiary will help you keep track of your meetings, appointments and plan your time.

# pkg install deskutils/xmdiary

XDigger

xdigger

Boulderdash-like game for the X Window System. Originally written for the East-German KC 85/3 and KC 85/4 computers in 1988 (see also the author’s website). Unfortunately, the game suffers from a major bug that prevents the rocks from falling.

# pkg install games/xdigger

XEarth

xearth

Renders the earth in 3D on the root window, making itself an animated backdrop. To show it inside a window, run:

$ xearth -geometry 800x600 -shade -nolabel -wait 1 -timewarp 50 -noroot -twopix

Similiar tools are XWorld, XGlobe and XPlanet, which also texture the earth.

# pkg install astro/xearth

XEdit

xedit

A simple text editor for X. The automated backup function for edited files can be disabled by adding xedit*enableBackups: off to ~/.Xdefaults.

# pkg install x11/xedit

Xev

xev

Prints contents of X events to the terminal.

# pkg install x11/xev

XEyes

xeyes

Eyes following the mouse cursor.

# pkg install x11/xeyes

XFishtank

xfishtank

Make fish swim in the background of your screen to waste CPU cycles.

# pkg install x11/xfishtank

Currently, the port is unfetchable. I patched the Linux version manually to run on FreeBSD:

$ tar xfvz xfishtank-2.2.tar.gz
$ cd xfishtank2.0/
$ gmake CC=gcc9
$ ./xfishtank -d

XFontSel

xfontsel

Lists installed fonts and available font options.

# pkg install x11-fonts/xfontsel

XGalaga

xgalaga

Clone of the classic game Galaga for X11.

# pkg install games/xgalaga

Xgc

xgc

X11 program that demonstrates various features of the X graphics primitives.

# pkg install x11/xgc

XInfocom

xinfocom

Infocom game interpreter for X11.

# pkg install games/xinfocom

XInvaders 3D

xinvaders3d

A 3D vector-graphics Space Invaders clone for X11.

# pkg install games/xinvaders3d

XKill

xkill

Command-line tool to kill X applications.

# pkg install x11/xkill

XLaby

xlaby

Daemonic X Labyrinth played directly with the mouse pointer.

# pkg install games/xlaby

XLennart

xlennart

XLennart is a modification of the arcade game XBill. An evil and unpopular computer hacker named “Lennart” tries to install his malicious init system on various BSD and Linux systems. Like in XBill, the player has to hit him and restore infected machines.

# pkg install games/xlennart

XLess

xless

XLess is less for X.

# pkg install misc/xless

XLife

xlife

Cellular automaton for X11 simulating Conway’s Game of Life.

# pkg install games/xlife

XLoad

xload

XLoad shows the current CPU load.

# pkg install x11/xload

XLock

xlock

XLock locks the screen and optionally shows a screen saver. It can be combined with XAutoLock to activate it after a user defined time of inactivity.

A more simple approach is used by XTransparentLock. Jamie Zawinski, the author of XScreenSaver, has listed some reason why you should use XScreenSaver instead of XLock.

# pkg install x11/xlockmore
xlogo

XLogo simply draws the logo of the X Window System. The background and foreground colours can be altered in ~/.Xdefaults.

# pkg install x11/xlogo

XMahjongg

xmahjongg

Classic Mahjongg game for X11. Several tile sets are available.

# pkg install games/xmahjongg

XMan

xman

XMan displays system man pages.

# pkg install x11/xman

XMascot

xmascot

XMascot displays a moving mascot on your X11 screen. It can talk, set an alarm, or check your mail.

# pkg install x11/xmascot

XMaxima

xmaxima

XMaxima is a Tcl/Tk front-end to Maxima, a Computer Algebra System written in Common Lisp.

# pkg install math/xmaxima

XmBibTeX

xmbibtex

XmBibTeX is a Motif reference manager based on the BibTeX file format. It allows to add, delete, and edit references. The references can be saved in the BibTeX file format and also written on a LaTeX file that can be printed using LaTeX and BibTeX. No Unicode support.

# pkg install print/xmbibtex

XMessage

xmessage

XMessage displays arbitrary text messages.

# pkg install x11/xmessage

XmGrace

xmgrace

A WYSIWYG 2D plotting tool for the X Window System and Motif. Features polynomial regression, splines, running averages, DFT/FFT, and cross/auto-correlation.

# pkg install math/grace

XMH

xmh

Graphical user interface to the MH Message Handling System.

# pkg install x11/xmh

XMixer

xmixer

Audio mixer for X11.

# pkg install audio/xmixer

XmMix

xmmix

Motif-based audio mixer for X11.

# pkg install audio/xmmix

XMore

xmore

XMore is more for X.

# pkg install x11/xmore

XMosaic

xmosaic

NCSA Mosaic, one of the first graphical web browsers, for X. The source code of version 2.7b is available on GitHub.

# git clone https://github.com/alandipert/ncsa-mosaic.git

XMOTD

xmotd

XMOTD shows the message of the day. Run it with xmotd -always /etc/motd. The appearance can be altered in ~/.Xdefaults.

# pkg install x11/xmotd

XMountains

xascii

XMountains renders a mountain scene into the root window. Also available as an XScreenSaver module.

# pkg install graphics/xmountains

XNeko

xneko

Neko (猫) is a cat chasing the mouse cursor all over the screen. Oneko is a modified version of xneko for BSD and Linux. In the port games/oneko-sakura several other creatures can be choosen, like tora-neko, Sakura Kinomoto, Tomoyo Daidouji, the BSD daemon, or a dog.

# pkg install games/xneko

Or:

# pkg install games/oneko

Or:

# pkg install games/oneko-sakura

XOdometer

xodometer

XOdometer tracks the total distance of your pointing device. The source code of the version from January 1996 is available on GitHub

# git clone https://github.com/interkosmos/xodo.git

XOJ

xoj

XOJ lets the O. J. Simpson chase relive on your X root window.

# pkg install games/xoj

XOSView

xosview

XOSView is a visual system monitor for X11.

# pkg install sysutils/xosview

Xplore

xplore

Yet another Motif-based file manager. Prone to crashing (probably, encoding issues).

# pkg install x11-fm/xplore

XPostIt

xpostit

The most ugly note taking application on earth.

# pkg install deskutils/xpostit

XRoach

xroach

XRoach displays disgusting cockroaches on your root window. These creepy crawlies scamper around until they find a window to hide under. Whenever you move or iconify a window, the exposed beetles again scamper for cover.

# pkg install games/xroach

XScreenSaver

xscreensaver

Jamie Zawinski’s famous screen saver for X.

# pkg install x11/xscreensaver

XSnow

xsnow

Let it snow on your desktop. Shows snow flakes, trees, and santa.

# pkg install x11/xsnow

XSol

xsol

Motif-based solitaire game from 1998, similar to Klondike. Another implementation with the same name from 1987 had been ported to FreeBSD, but was later removed due to dependencies to the deprecated X10 headers. I haven’t found a port of this XSol, but the game can still be compiled from source:

$ tar xfvz xsol-0.3.1.tar.gz
$ cd xsol/
$ make
$ ./xsol

XSpread

xspread

XSpread is a simple spreadsheet application based on math/sc. It can be started without X11 by using the parameter -X.

# pkg install math/xspread

XStarRoll

xstarroll

XStarRoll is a simple demonstration program for X11. Letters and pixmaps fly far, far, far away, optionally on the root window. Start with: ls -al | xstarroll -font "-*-courier-medium-r-*-*-20-*-*-*-*-*-*-*" -bg "black" -fg "yellow" -geometry 640x400 -noblur.

# pkg install x11/xstarroll

Xtacy

xtacy

A trippy colour-cycling toy for X11. Displays various graphical effects and fractals, like bouncing quadrilaterals, plasma clouds, or phased sine waves. May run too fast on modern computers. See also the official website.

# pkg install x11/xtacy

XTar

xtar

XTar is a Motif-based tool for viewing and manipulating (compressed) tar archives.

# pkg install misc/xtar

XTerm

xterm

Terminal emulator for the X Window System.

# pkg install x11/xterm

XTide

xtide

Harmonic tide clock and tide predictor for X.

# pkg install astro/xtide

XTrojka

xtrojka

A Tetris-like game where the player has to control and place falling blocks to create three patterns or colors in a row, horizontally or diagonally.

# pkg install games/xtrojka

Xv

xv

Image viewer that displays various formats.

# pkg install graphics/xv

Xvkbd

xvkbd

Virtual keyboard for X applications.

# pkg install x11/xvkbd

XWorld

xworld

Earth as seen from the direction of the sun.

# pkg install astro/xworld

XWPE

xwpe

A Borland-like integrated development environment (IDE).

# pkg install devel/xwpe

XZoom

xzoom

Tool to magnify, rotate, and mirror a section of the X screen.

# pkg install x11/xzoom

Last Update: Sat, 12 Sep 2020 18:53:38 +0200