From MinesweeperWiki
Jump to navigationJump to search
Author: Andrew Bishop & Others
Initial release: 1.0 (1995-01-15)
Latest release: 2.2a (2009-11-29)
OS: X Windows on various platforms
Language(s): English
Genre: Minesweeper Variations
Status: Open source
Website: Homepage

XBomb is a variant of Minesweeper written by Andrew Bishop for X Windows. It is distributed under the GNU Public License.


XBomb is the most popular Minesweeper game for Unix and Linux systems, using X11 for the user interface. The original version was simply a clone of Windows Minesweeper with the standard three levels with 10, 40 and 99 mines. The first working version was completed 1994-11-08 as a result of the author deciding to program minesweeper to expand his UNIX skills1. Early in 1995 he added Triangle and Hexagonal grids to the game. This Version 2.0 was ready in May but not released until 1996 because the author did not have internet access at home1. Versions since then have added colour to the numbers and enabled the left click to be used as a chord. Highscores remember the best 10 scores with dates for each level and grid pattern, and time is kept to the millisecond.

Differences from the Windows version are that the 1.5 Click trick does not work, squares open when buttons are pressed not released, and F2 is not used to start games. You must also flag all mines to win.


XBomb was the first minesweeper version to use a millisecond timer. It also seems it was first to add other grid types such as Hexagons, but between the time these grids were added and the game publicly released, William Hause (USA) released Hex Minesweeper for Windows.


Official Versions

  • 2009-11-29 (2.2a) - Released.
  • 2009-11-29 - Changed colour of 8 from white to light green.
  • 2008-01-22 (2.2) - Released.
  • 2008-01-05 - Changed descriptions of mouse buttons, allowed left mouse button to act as a chord (previously only middle button), changed how username managed to make it more portable.
  • 2005-10-15 - Minor code changes.
  • 2002-11-25 - Added colours to numbers.
  • 1999-04-10 (2.1a) - Released.
  • 1999-04-10 - Improved resizing of triangles, renamed Start button to "Restart".
  • 1998-02-23 - Changed scaling so smaller grids fit an 800x640 screen.
  • 1998-01-24 (2.1) - Released.
  • 1998-01-21 - Make highscore window highlight even when not popped up, updated README file.
  • 1998-01-16 - Now uses global variables, added default values to highscore table.
  • 1998-01-15 - Added highscore window.
  • 1998-01-11 - Window resizing works better, changed level variables.
  • 1998-01-10 - Added comments.
  • 1998-01-08 - Tidied source code, added comments about variables used.
  • 1998-01-07 - Enable close button on window manager menu as if the quit button was pressed.
  • 1996-01-30 (2.0) - Actually released (6 month delay due to no internet)1.
  • 1996-01-20 - Ready now to upload to Sunsite.
  • 1996-01-20 - Added default CC and CFLAGS.
  • 1995-11-16 - Used rand() instead of random() to work on Solaris.
  • 1995-11-15 - Made work on Solaris 2.3.
  • 1995-07-18 - Fixed minor man page bug.
  • 1995-07-11 - Changed X386 to X11R6.
  • 1995-05-10 (2.0) - Released.
  • 1995-05-10 - Put title on title bar with a copyright message.
  • 1995-03-20 - Changed width and height ratio from 15:13 to 8:7 to allow better resolution.
  • 1995-02-04 - Fixed the Control-Z clock bug.
  • 1995-02-02 - Fixed warning messages when compiling on Sun.
  • 1995-01-21 - Added missing labels.
  • 1995-01-16 - First click is now always safe.
  • 1995-01-15 - Added triangle and hexagonal grids, made many changes.
  • 1995-01-15 (1.0) - Released.
  • 1995-01-11 - Added flag pixmap, changed UNSEEN colour
  • 1994-12-04 - Added app-defaults to install.
  • 1994-12-04 - Improved X-Resources section.
  • 1994-12-04 - Add a LIB and strip when installing.
  • 1994-12-02 - Updated install location to man6 not man1.
  • 1994-11-29 - Better screen updating, changed print formats, stopped rounding time.
  • 1994-11-25 - Highscores now in millseconds, enable printing of highscores.
  • 1994-11-15 - Added install option.
  • 1994-11-08 - First revision.

XBomb Clones

Due to the nature of the GNU license, anyone can modify this program. Each clone incorporates changes from the official release faithfully. These releases are edited by various programmers but each project has one person in charge. Listed in historical order:

  • Chris Waters oversees versions using X11 on Ubuntu and on Debian. (Ubuntu Linux is based on Debian Linux). The project was originally started by Billy Chow (Hong Kong) with Version 2.0-1 released 1996-12-09. Latest version is 2.1a-7.1 released 2010-04-19. There are Ubuntu variations for 3 computer types, and Debian variations for 12 computer types.
  • Dave Ulrich (USA) ported Version 2.1 for the Xfree86 version of X11 running on OS2. Released 1998-02-17.
  • Glen Barber maintains the FreeBSD version. First release 2000-08-16 (2.0), latest 2009-12-13 (2.2a).
  • Adam has written versions using X11 on NetBSD, SunOS and QNX systems. Since 2004-10-14 there have been 39 variations released.
  • Dave Vasilevsky oversees versions using X11 with Fink on Mac OS X. Current release is 2.1a-2 on 2009-01-27. First release is unknown, but game appears to come bundled with the Fink installation. There are 6 variations (for 3 OSX releases on 2 computer types).
  • There is an X11 using Gentoo version available for 4 computer systems, but it is unclear who manages these.



1. Personal correspondence with author dated 2010-08-13.