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bambam(6) Games Manual bambam(6)


bambam - a keyboard mashing and doodling game for babies


bambam [OPTIONS]


Show UPPER-CASE letters.
Produce same sounds on same key presses.
Use a dark background instead of a light one.
Do not play any sounds.
List of sound filename patterns to never play.
List of image filename patterns to never show.
Do not prevent running under Wayland. See the NOTES section.

bambam is a keyboard and mouse game for babies written in Python. Pressing letter keys prints them in random locations and colours. Pressing any other key draws little pictures in random locations. Dragging the mouse while the mouse button is pressed draws in randomly changing colours. The screen is cleared at random.


To quit, directly type the command mentioned in the upper left-hand corner of the window. In the English locales, this is the word: quit.

To turn the sound off and on, type mute and unmute, respectively, in the game.

bambam loads images (GIF, JPEG, PNG and TIFF files) and sounds (WAV and OGG files) from the following directories:

  • the data directory distributed with the game,
  • $XDG_DATA_HOME (usually ~/.local/share/bambam/data)

When scanning directories for files, bambam does follow symbolic links and descend directories. This makes is easy to have bambam use files located elsewhere.

Be aware that there are ways to switch to another application from bambam:

  • when running under Wayland, it is not currently possible for bambam to grab all key presses. A consequence of that is that if you use GNOME Shell, pressing the Windows (a.k.a. Super) key will activate the activities overview. Please check your environment. If that is the case, then you can try running bambam in a dedicated X session, for example by running startx bambam from a text console. As a workaround, starting with version 1.1.2, bambam will try to detect if it is running under Wayland. If this is the case, bambam will display a warning and refuse to work. You can disable this workaround, with the --wayland-ok option.
  • bambam does not block virtual terminal switching (e.g. CTRL+ALT+F1). See the example 50-dont-vt-switch.conf file if you would like to block that.


Spike Burch <> Marcin Owsiany <>

30 December 2020 version 1.1.2