FreeWRL Users Guide
freewrl -- run the FreeWRL VRML97 browser on the command line, or, if the plugin
is installed, via an HTML browser.
freewrl [options] url [debugcode ...]
This command runs the FreeWRL VRML browser.
FreeWRL supports, as per VRML97 spec, several different navigation modes.
In each mode, the meanings of mouse movements and keystrokes are different.
Mouse button 2 + motion is usually unbound so if you want to click
and drag something in the scene, use it.
In addition to the keys described below, there are some keys
which work in all the modes:
Display this man page in a window
Switch to the Fly (Keyboard input) navigation mode
Switch to the Fly (External Sensor input) navigation mode
Switch to the Examine navigation mode
Switch to the Walk navigation mode
Go to the next viewpoint in the scene
Go to the previous viewpoint in the scene
Print out the position and orientation of the current viewpoint
in the current Viewpoint node's local coordinate system.
You can add the view you currently see in the window by creating a new
Viewpoint node (in the same coordinate system as the one you used to
go to this viewpoint) with these values.
Save a snapshot.
By default, snapshots are saved to
option ``-snapb'' for directory specification. While saving images, freewrl is
- h / NumLock
Toggle the headlight on or off.
Toggle collision detection on or off.
Quit the browser
Drag the mouse while mouse button 1 is pressed to move forwards/backwards
For translation in the x-y plane press mouse button 3 and drag.
This mode allows translation/rotations in all planes. There are two
keymappings: those from the game Descent, and a mapping using the
All motion is controlled
by 12 keys, two for each of your 6 degrees of freedom (3 translations,
The keymap in this mode is
- '8'/'k' and 'Keypad Down'/'Keypad Up'
- 'u'/'o' and 'Keypad Left'/'Keypad Right'
- '7'/'9' and 'Keypad 7'/'Keypad 9'
rotation about the Z axis
- 'a'/'z' and 'Keypad 0'/'Keypad .'
- 'j'/'l' and 'Arrow left'/'Arrow right'
- 'p'/';' and 'Arrow up'/'Arrow down'
It may take a while to get used to the FLY navigation mode but it is the only
one with full freedom of motion currently.
This mode is entered via the ``f'' key. It takes input from the file /tmp/inpdev:
this file contains x,y,z and Quaternion-based rotation information, and puts the viewpoint there.
It is possible to force this mode in a NavigationInfo mode by making type ``EXFLY''.
The examine navigation mode is analogous to holding an object in your
hand and rotating it to see it from various sides: your line of view
always goes through the same point but you can rotate the object and
translate yourself closer and farther away.
Currently, dragging with mouse button 1 pressed
rotates the scene and dragging up or down mouse button 3 pressed
translates you towards and away from the scene. There are no other controls.
The center around which you rotate is determined by taking the initial
position and orientation of the viewpoint given in the VRML file.
A ray is cast along your line of view and the closest that ray comes
to the origin of the local coordinate system is defined as the origin
of the rotations.
As the name says, there is nothing you can do in the NONE navigation mode.
Prints out the current FreeWRL version.
Forces FreeWRL to run in fullscreen mode. Note that if your graphics drivers
have an alternate way to enable fullscreen rendering it may be best to use that
way instead. The fullscreen flag will not enable hardware acceleration if it has
not already been enabled. (see also --big option)
Forces FreeWRL to run in 800x600 mode. See also --fullscreen option
Starts FreeWRL without the on-screen status bar. See the ``.'' key definition
for how to toggle this status bar display when running.
Tells FreeWRL that it is running within a web browser, and thus to get all URLs
from the browser, use the browser for EAI, not to handle the ``q'' key, pass the
XID (see X11 header file X.h) of the parent window, and to use the PID as the
Set the initial window geometry with the usual X window format string.
Specify base name for the snapshot files. Default is
``freewrl.snap''. Unsets the ``--seq'' option.
Specify base name for the sequence temporary files. Default is
Forces FreeWRL to start in shutterglas stereo mode via GLX_STEREO in
attributs of glXChooseVisual. This needs software and hardware like
XIG DX Platiuum Xserver on a Linux PC with 3DRelevator shutterglasses or
IRIX on a SGI Indigo2 Impact with crystal eyes shutterglasses.
On some SGI machines, you need to switch to a stereo capable visual
as root with setmon/xsetmon and then restart the X Server.
Distance between the eyes of the viewer in shutter mode, default 0.06
Distance between screen and the eyes of the viewer in shutter mode,
The browser will try to connect to the socket at host:port to obtain
an EAI connection. This option is mostly for internal use by
the EAI libraries.
FreeWRL will behave as a server : it spawns a child browser, prints
its PID on STDOUT and exits. The child then reloads the url given on
the command line upon receipt of a SIGUSR1 signal.
Reload the URL given on the command line upon receipt of a SIGUSR1 signal.
If Netscape is installed, and the entries in vrml.conf are correct, the
FreeWRL plug-in will be installed in Netscape's system plugins folder.
If you go to Netscape's Help menu and select the About Plug-ins,
there should be an entry for FreeWRL with Mime Type x-world/x-vrml.
This project is managed by John Stewart.
Please send bug reports to
freewrl-09 --at-- rogers.com
including the word ``freewrl''
on the subject line will make sure that I'll notice it. Also,
see the FreeWRL home page at
There is absolutely no warranty, express or implied for this software.
For details on the conditions of use, see the FreeWRL distribution.
FreeWRL is Copyright (C) 1998, 1999...2005 Tuomas J. Lukka,
John Stewart and others.
This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
modify it under the terms of the GNU Library General Public
License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either
version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
This library is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU
Library General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU Library General Public
License along with this library; if not, write to the Free
Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA