Eee 701 Planetoid

2010/09/19

Quick Ubuntu tip: Better screensaver config options

Filed under: Linux, Software — Tags: , , , — Tim @ 21:43
XScreensaver preferences window

XScreensaver preferences window

Ever wondered why the screensaver settings in Ubuntu Linux (and derivatives like my Eee 701’s Eeebuntu) seem rather limited? Would you prefer to have a greater choice of setup options—e.g. automatic randomisation of screensavers, and configuration of individual modules—as you can see in the screenshot here?

It is fairly well-known that xscreensaver is the basis for Ubuntu’s screensaver facility, and also that the GNOME desktop environment uses its own configuration utility—gnome-screensaver—rather than xscreensaver’s own. (xscreensaver‘s creator Jamie Zawinski is, frankly and probably justifiably, quite scathing about this change.)

Fortunately, all is not lost. To get the full range of screensaver config options:

  1. Use your preferred package manager to remove gnome-screensaver and install xscreensaver.
  2. From the GNOME desktop, go to System > Preferences > Startup Applications.
  3. Choose the “Add…” option. In the “Name” field, add xscreensaver, and in the “Command” field, insert the text xscreensaver -nosplash. Select “OK”.

Now, when you access the screensaver options, you should have the full range of settings that xscreensaver has to offer. I found this worked for me, but you may wish to do your own research before trying it yourself—I take no responsibility if anything goes awry!

(I take no credit for discovering this tip, having found it on the Web somewhere, though I forget exactly where. Hope it helps someone, anyway 🙂 )

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