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How To Configure Screensaver in Ubuntu

Ubuntu 12

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover how to configure a screensaver in Ubuntu. This article will be useful for both beginners and advanced users. We will start from the basics and gradually move to more advanced configurations.

Quick Answer

To configure a screensaver in Ubuntu, you can install XScreenSaver as an alternative to the default gnome-screensaver. Ubuntu versions 12.04 and later do not come with a screensaver by default, so you’ll need to uninstall gnome-screensaver and install XScreenSaver. For Ubuntu 11.10 and earlier, you can configure the screensaver through the System Settings.

Introduction

Ubuntu, by default, does not come with a screensaver. Instead, it uses a blank screen as a power-saving feature. However, you can install a screensaver if you prefer. This guide will show you how to do that.

Configuring Screensaver in Ubuntu 12.04 and Later

Ubuntu versions 12.04 and later do not ship with a screensaver, but you can install XScreenSaver as an alternative to gnome-screensaver. Here are the steps to do so:

Uninstall gnome-screensaver

First, you need to uninstall the gnome-screensaver. Open a terminal and run the following command:

sudo apt-get remove gnome-screensaver

In this command, sudo gives you administrative privileges, apt-get is the package handling utility in Ubuntu, and remove is used to uninstall a package.

Install XScreenSaver

Next, install XScreenSaver and additional screensaver packages with the following command:

sudo apt-get install xscreensaver xscreensaver-data-extra xscreensaver-gl-extra

Here, install is used to install a package. xscreensaver, xscreensaver-data-extra, and xscreensaver-gl-extra are the packages you are installing.

Configure XScreenSaver

After the installation, launch the Screensaver utility from the Dash, configure XScreenSaver, and select your screensaver settings.

Start XScreenSaver at Login

To start XScreenSaver in the background at login, open the Startup Applications utility, and add the command xscreensaver -nosplash. The -nosplash option prevents XScreenSaver from displaying a splash screen when it starts.

Configuring Screensaver in Ubuntu 11.10 and Earlier

In Ubuntu 11.10 and earlier versions, GNOME screensaver is used by default, and you can configure it through the System Settings.

Access System Settings

Go to System Settings -> Brightness and Lock to set the idle time for gnome-screensaver.

Additional Notes

In Ubuntu 18.04, if you experience issues with external monitors blanking instantly when locking the screen, you can use XScreenSaver to circumvent this problem.

To assign the Ctrl+Alt+L shortcut to lock the screen with XScreenSaver, you can use the command xscreensaver-command -lock. The -lock option tells XScreenSaver to lock the screen immediately.

Conclusion

Configuring a screensaver in Ubuntu may seem complicated at first, but with a little patience and practice, you can easily customize your screensaver settings. Whether you’re using a newer or older version of Ubuntu, this guide should help you set up and configure your screensaver to your liking.

Can I install a screensaver in Ubuntu?

Yes, you can install a screensaver in Ubuntu by following the steps mentioned in this guide.

How do I uninstall the default gnome-screensaver in Ubuntu?

To uninstall gnome-screensaver, open a terminal and run the command sudo apt-get remove gnome-screensaver.

What is XScreenSaver?

XScreenSaver is an alternative screensaver utility that can be installed in Ubuntu versions 12.04 and later.

How do I install XScreenSaver in Ubuntu?

To install XScreenSaver, open a terminal and run the command sudo apt-get install xscreensaver xscreensaver-data-extra xscreensaver-gl-extra.

How do I configure XScreenSaver in Ubuntu?

After installing XScreenSaver, you can launch the Screensaver utility from the Dash and configure your screensaver settings.

How can I start XScreenSaver at login?

To start XScreenSaver in the background at login, open the Startup Applications utility and add the command xscreensaver -nosplash.

How do I configure the screensaver in Ubuntu 11.10 and earlier versions?

In Ubuntu 11.10 and earlier versions, you can configure the default GNOME screensaver through the System Settings. Go to System Settings -> Brightness and Lock to set the idle time for gnome-screensaver.

Are there any additional notes or troubleshooting tips?

Yes, in Ubuntu 18.04, if you experience issues with external monitors blanking instantly when locking the screen, you can use XScreenSaver to avoid this problem. Additionally, you can assign the Ctrl+Alt+L shortcut to lock the screen with XScreenSaver using the command xscreensaver-command -lock.

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