E.6 Setting Screensavers

A screensaver is an application that replaces the image on a screen when the screen is not in use. The screensaver application for the GNOME Desktop is XScreenSaver. The following sections describe how to set preferences for the XScreenSaver application and how to modify the displays that are available for the screensaver.

E.6.1 Setting Screensaver Preferences

Default screensaver preferences are stored in the XScreenSaver file, located in /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/app-defaults/XScreenSaver.

To modify screensaver application preferences, users can use the Screensaver preference tool. When a user modifies the screensaver preferences, the preferences are stored in the home directory of the user, in the $HOME/.xscreensaver file. For information on screensaver preferences, see the GNOME 2.6 Desktop User Guide.

Users can also run the /usr/X11R6/bin/xscreensaver-demo command to open the XScreenSaver dialog.

To set default screensaver preferences for all users, modify the XScreenSaver file. You can also use the XScreenSaver dialog to create a $HOME/.xscreensaver file, then copy the file to the location of the XScreenSaver file.

To restore the default settings for a user, delete the $HOME/.xscreensaver file from the home directory of the user. If no $HOME/.xscreensaver file is present, the default preferences in the XScreenSaver file are used.

HINT:The default display behavior of XScreenSaver is to display a blank screen. The blank screen might confuse users. You might want to change this default display behavior.

To activate changes to the screensaver preferences, use the following command to reload screensaver preferences:

xscreensaver-command -restart 

E.6.2 Modifying Screensaver Displays

The screensaver application allows users to select one or more screensaver displays. A screensaver display is an application that displays images on the screen of the user when the screen is not in use. The screensaver displays are listed in the XScreenSaver file and in the $HOME/.xscreensaver file.

To add a new screensaver display, copy the executable file for the display to the directory where the displays are located. Add the command for the screensaver display to the XScreenSaver file or the $HOME/.xscreensaver file. Include any arguments that are required to run the screensaver display on the whole screen, rather than in a window. For example, you might want to include the -root option to display the screensaver display on the whole screen.

To disable a screensaver display, add a Minus sign (-) to the start of the command for the screensaver display in the preferences file. The following excerpt from a $HOME/.xscreensaver file shows a disabled Qix (solid) screensaver display:

-  “Qix (solid)”  qix -root -solid -segments 100