Wednesday, April 27, 2011

XScreenSaver on Ubuntu

The screensavers on my Ubuntu desktop and laptop installs silently ceased launching power management over the past few months. As an eco-frienly aspirator, I realized that this simply cannot be, and decided to fish out an alternate screensaver source.

Fortunately, a screensaver with working power management that could be installed with only a few steps proved readily available. If you find yourself in this situations, feel free to follow the template outlined below. And if it saves you a few cents on electricity costs, don't forget to re-invest that in a Prius.

  1. Install xscreensaver and uninstall gnome-screensaver. The Synaptic Package Manager will do just fine for the job.
  2. Launch xscreensaver. The easiest way is to open a terminal and simply launch, "xscreensaver".
  3. Changes settings to your delight. For me, I used the Advanced > Display Power Management tool to enable power management controls so that my display went to standby in a timely manner. Note that "standby", "suspend", and "off" here refer to the display, even though those names are so acutely reminiscent of the entire computer.
  4. To ensure that xscreensaver launches automatically, open a terminal and run the command, "sudo ln -sf /usr/bin/xscreensaver-command /usr/bin/gnome-screensaver-command".
And voila, your brand-new 2009 software is ready to take your monitor into the next decade!
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