Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Keep Your Screen On When Your PC is Locked

Ubuntu 6

Keeping your screen on when your PC is locked can be crucial for those who want to monitor their system’s activities or want to keep certain applications visible. This guide will walk you through the necessary steps to achieve this. The steps provided are primarily for Ubuntu systems, but the general concepts apply to other operating systems as well.

Quick Answer

To keep your screen on when your PC is locked, you can adjust the power settings on your system to prevent it from going into standby mode and to disable the automatic screen-off feature. Additionally, you can install a screensaver program like XScreenSaver and customize the keyboard shortcuts to lock the screen. However, it’s important to note that leaving your screen on for extended periods can consume more power and potentially decrease the lifespan of your monitor, so it’s advisable to turn off the screen when it’s not in use for an extended period.

Adjusting System Settings

The first step involves adjusting your system settings. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Navigate to the System Settings on your PC.
  2. Go to the Power Settings section. Here, you will find an option named “Suspend when inactive for”. Change its value to “Don’t suspend”. This will prevent your system from going into standby mode when it is locked.
  3. Next, go to the Brightness & Lock Settings section. Look for the option “Turn screen off when inactive for” and set it to “Never”. This will stop your screen from automatically turning off when it is locked.

Monitor Settings

In some cases, your monitor might have a setting that turns off the speakers when the screen is locked. You may need to disable this feature in the monitor’s settings.

Using XScreenSaver

If the default settings do not yield the desired results, you can consider installing a screensaver program like XScreenSaver. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open the terminal on your system.
  2. Run the command sudo apt install xscreensaver. This command installs the XScreenSaver application. The sudo command is used to execute the following command with root privileges, apt is the package handling utility in Ubuntu, and install is used to install the package named xscreensaver.
  3. After installing XScreenSaver, add the command xscreensaver -nosplash to the Startup Applications. This command starts the XScreenSaver application without displaying the splash screen at startup.

Disabling the Default Super+L Shortcut

If you want to use the Super+L shortcut to lock the screen with XScreenSaver, you will need to disable the default Super+L shortcut. Here’s how:

  1. Install CompizConfig Settings Manager by running sudo apt install compizconfig-settings-manager in the terminal. This command installs the CompizConfig Settings Manager, which is a configuration tool for Compiz with integrated plugin, profile and session management.
  2. Launch CompizConfig Settings Manager and click on “Ubuntu Unity Plugin”.
  3. Click the button next to “Key to lock the screen” and disable it.
  4. Finally, add the command xscreensaver-command -lock as a custom shortcut in the System Settings → Keyboard → Shortcuts → Custom Shortcuts. This command locks the screen using XScreenSaver.

By following these steps, you should be able to keep your screen on when your PC is locked. Remember, the specific steps and commands may vary depending on your operating system. Always refer to the official documentation or help resources for your specific OS if you encounter any issues.

Please note that leaving your screen on for extended periods can consume more power and potentially decrease the lifespan of your monitor. Always turn off the screen when it’s not in use for an extended period.

Can I use these steps on a Windows operating system?

No, these steps are specifically for Ubuntu systems. The process may vary for Windows operating systems. It is recommended to refer to the official documentation or help resources for your specific OS.

Will keeping my screen on when my PC is locked consume more power?

Yes, keeping your screen on when your PC is locked will consume more power compared to having the screen turned off. It is advisable to turn off the screen when it’s not in use for an extended period to save power and potentially increase the lifespan of your monitor.

How do I disable the default Super+L shortcut on Ubuntu?

To disable the default Super+L shortcut on Ubuntu, you can install the CompizConfig Settings Manager and follow the steps mentioned in the guide. Launch the CompizConfig Settings Manager, click on "Ubuntu Unity Plugin," and disable the button next to "Key to lock the screen." Then, add the command xscreensaver-command -lock as a custom shortcut in the System Settings → Keyboard → Shortcuts → Custom Shortcuts.

Can I use XScreenSaver on other operating systems?

Yes, XScreenSaver is available for various operating systems, including Linux, BSD, macOS, and other Unix-like systems. However, the installation process and specific steps may differ depending on the operating system. It is recommended to refer to the official documentation or help resources for your specific OS.

How do I adjust system settings on Ubuntu?

To adjust system settings on Ubuntu, you can navigate to the System Settings on your PC. From there, you can access various sections such as Power Settings and Brightness & Lock Settings to make the necessary adjustments. Remember, the specific steps may vary depending on your Ubuntu version and desktop environment.

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