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Manual Reference Pages  -  XFRACTINT (1)


xfractint - fractal generation program



xfractint [options] [; comments]


Xfractint draws a wide variety of fractals. Xfractint is a port of the IBM PC program fractint. Xfractint has online documentation which should be referenced for most operation information. Note that the online documentation is from fractint, and does not always accurately describe xfractint. A text version of the online documentation can be generated by running ‘‘make doc’’.


-display display_name
  Specifies the X11 display to use.
-onroot Indicates the resulting images should appear on the root window. Note: rubberband zoom boxes don’t work on the root window.
-private Indicates that xfractint should allocate as many colors as possible in a private colormap. Normally xfractint will use 128 colors; this flag will let you use all 256, but may mess up the colors in other windows. This is not necessary if you are using greater than 8-bit color.
  Indicates that the machine has a slow display, so the scrolling window should be updated infrequently. Use this flag if xfractint hangs on the title screen.
-fast Indicates that xfractint should use the faster drawing mode. Instead of drawing each pixel immediately, xfractint will save up pixels and then refresh the screen every 5 seconds. Depending on your X implementation, this may make drawing twice as fast.
-disk Use disk video. That is, generate the picture in memory instead of to the screen. The resulting picture can be saved as a gif file or printer file.
-fixcolors num
  Specifies the number of colors to use. This number must be a power of two. Also, this number can’t be greater than the number of colors available. And, it can’t be greater than 256.
-geometry WxH[{+-X}{+-Y}]
  This sets the size and position of the image window. The default is 800x600 pixels.
-share Indicates that xfractint should share the current colormap. That is, xfractint uses as many colors as possible, but doesn’t modify the colormap. This is not necessary with greater than 8-bit colors.
-simple Uses simpler keyboard handling. Use this flag if you wish to debug xfractint with gdb, or else you may get "(gdb)" repeated infinitely.
  Sets variable xxx to value yyy. See the online documentation for more details on the possible variables.
  Loads parameters from the specified file.
  Reads a named group of parameters from the specified file.
  Allows the user to change the default postscript viewer. The viewer is called when the user prints an image with ctrl-p. The default viewer is gv.
  Allows the user to have a separate control window similar to the ncurses interface.
-font Loads the selected font.
  Loads the selected bold font.


There are many bugs and things that haven’t been implemented.

Boundary tracing sometimes locks up.
Passes=2 has problems??
Symmetry that is offset slightly doesn’t always complete the image.
The top of the help screens are messed up. Starting your xterm with
  -geometry 80x25 fixes this.

Xfractint uses a bizarre (to Unix users) user interface which was directly copied from the IBM version. If you don’t have the appropriate keys, use the following key mappings:

IBM             Unix
F1 to F10       Shift-1 to Shift-0
INSERT          I
DELETE          D
PAGE_UP         U
UP_ARROW        K
HOME            O
END             E
CTL_PLUS        }
CTL_MINUS       {


Copyright 1991 - 2015 by The Stone Soup Group


The original Unix port was done by Ken Shirriff (
Xfractint was updated to Fractint 19.5 by Tim Wegner (
under Linux 2.0. Please report updates for other platforms to Tim Wegner.
The current official release is 20.0.
The primary authors of Fractint 20.0 are:
Timothy Wegner
Jonathan Osuch
George Martin
Robin Bussell

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XFRACTINT (1) 20.04

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