I have installed the old program
xsnow with Apt. This program is supposed to make snow (the type of precipitation) appear on the desktop. However, running the program does nothing except return the following code:
Xsnow-1.42resizeable, December 14th 2001 by Rick Jansen (firstname.lastname@example.org) WWW: http://www.euronet.nl/~rja/Xsnow/
This is because the program is designed to draw the snow on the root X window, as stated on the website:
Frequently asked question: I start Xsnow but I don't see any snow? Answer: Xsnow makes it snow on the X-window "root" window. That root window is often obscured by desktop managers, to display icons and tools. So, Xsnow works fine, you just cannot see the snow! See the README for details and possible solutions.
I tried it in an Ubuntu 13.10 VM, Kubuntu 13.10 and 14.04, and a Lubuntu Trusty Live USB. It is working in Xubuntu, because in Xfce we see the root X window by default. In chat, someone reported it working in Ubuntu 12.04, but in my Ubuntu 13.10 VM I don't see snow.
The problem is that, as I mentioned,
xsnow draws solely on the root X Window. The root X window is the "parent" of all the other X windows and is therefore also invisible, because modern desktop environments such as KDE and Unity usually hide the root X window with a desktop effects compositor. So
xsnow still draws snow, (you can get snatches of it when logging in and out due to graphics fragmentation) it's just not visible. On simpler desktops like Openbox and XFCE, the X window (and thus the snow) are completely visible.
Is there any way to view the root X window activity and thus see the snow?