mini example image This program is intended as an alternative to the great xphoon program (X PHase of mOON), which was written by Jef Poskanzer and Craig Leres and is available from: xphoon is a program that displays the actual phase of the moon on the X11 root window. Nowadays all desktop systems like KDE hide the X11 rootwindow with an own background image, so xphoon could paint as much in the root window as it likes to, but nothing was to been seen.

Modern desktops have an advanced interface for programs to dynamically provide background images in png format. Alternatively they just track when the background image file has been changed. That is what this program was originally written for. Here is an example in full size. The image must have a width of at least 760 pixels to place the moon. If the image is smaller just the stars will be drawn. And by the way: it is pronounced "pingphoon" (like "typhoon").

And the image format is pronounced "ping", NOT "pee-en-gee". Wikipedia and Oxford's Dictionaries, you are just plain wrong. (Source:, see "Pronunciation", at the bottom.)



Setting up for most current desktops:

Setting up pngphoon for KDE 3.x:

Setting up pngphoon for KDE 4.x:

This cannot be done yet. There are two bugs filed about this problem:

I remember reading a statement in the bugtracker, that this will not be fixed in KDE 4.x, but is planned for KDE 5.x to be fixed...

Setting up pngphoon for Gnome 2.x:

Setting up pngphoon for Mac OS X:

I just don't know. I tried to set it up, but failed. If you know how it's done, please let me know, so I can update this page.
If you've got knowledge on how to set the background image on any other desktop, please drop me an email: (lame spam protection, replace the first "." with "@").


Minor update (1.3).
Surprisingly I'm not the only one still using this software:
Lars Löfving provided two patches Thanks, Lars!
Other changes include:
Noticed that the last update wasn't put online, whoops!
The official debian-package is now "orphan". Can anyone tell me how to notify them of this update?
Minor update (1.2), with two bugfixes:
Updated info about KDE.
Minor update (1.1), with two bugfixes:
Added Gnome setup info.
Minor update (1.0), with only two new features:A Windows binary is now also provided.
Initial release.

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