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Linux Screensavers - How to Get More Eye-Candy

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Jason Jones

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Posted: 2 Dec 2004

One of the first things I noticed when I started playing with Linux was the amount of screensavers that comes with it. It literally comes with about 200 screen savers by default.

As some of them are better than others, I'll walk you through the process of how to access the plethora of screensavers and how to find ones you like.

Both KDE and Gnome use the same program to run their screensavers, but getting to the program is a bit different.

Getting to the screensavers in Gnome

In Gnome, click on System on the main toolbar and go down to Personal Settings.
click on Personal Settings

When you click, you should see this window open.

Personal Settings menu

Click on Screensavers and you'll see the following menu open which will allow you to control all your screensavers.

Screensaver menu

You'll notice on mine, the GLPlanet screensaver is chosen. This one is basically a turning globe moving around on your desktop.

Before I get too deep into which screensavers are cool, let's get the KDE folks to the screensaver menu too.

Getting to the screensavers in KDE

In KDE, getting to the screensaver menu is even easier. Simply right-click on a blank area on your desktop, where no windows are open. Just right click somewhere in the middle of your blank desktop. When you right-click, you should see this window appear.

Right-click on your Desktop.

Scroll down and click on Configure Desktop. This menu will appear.

Right-click on your Desktop.

Click on the Screensavers button on the left-hand nav, and you'll see the right-hand window content change to the screensaver menu.

There are some minor differences between the screensaver program in Gnome, and KDE but they both use the same screensavers, so you should see the same screensavers in both.

KDE organizes the screensavers by category, while Gnome does it alphabetically.

They both have buttons to preview the screensaver, so you don't have to wait to view what it's like, and they both have buttons to control the settings of each screensaver.

Instead of going into the depths of how configurable the screensavers are, I'll leave you up to your own devices to play with the settings of each screensaver.

Oh, also - before I go into a list of my favorite screensavers, know that some of the screensavers require something called "OpenGL" for it to work. If you have a fairly new computer, you probably already have it. Also, you might want to read this article on how to enable OpenGL.

Here are a few of my favorites.


It's geometry / trigonometry in action! Play with the settings a bit, to set up liquid environments, gaseous environments, or just about anything else!


A truly entrancing display of colors... Requires OpenGL.


If you've seen the Mac OS-X default screensaver, you'll like this one.


Another trance inducing saver. Keep your eyes on this one, it takes a bit to get going.


Kinda of fun to watch.

Remember - almost every screensaver has a settings page which allows you to do even more with each one.

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