Ubuntu – How to change or install screensavers


I want to change the default screen saver in Ubuntu 11.10/12.04. On 11.04 I just did a

sudo apt-get install xscreensaver-data-extra xscreensaver-screensaver-bsod 

And then I could change it in the control center -> screen saver options.

Now there seems to be no other option to change the default screen saver.

Best Answer

  • Background

    The Gnome 3 Devs dumped the old gnome-screensaver. The replacement screensaver is just a blank screen.

    The Canonical Devs thought it was a useful idea to continue and raised a blue-print for implementation in Oneiric.

    A few ideas were raised such as a Compiz specific implementation or reusing a Lubuntu/Xubuntu screensaver implementation.

    However, at the time of writing, no implementation has been started.



    Potential workaround - installing xscreensaver

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

    Now remove gnome-screensaver

    sudo apt-get remove gnome-screensaver

    Now start the xscreensaver configuration tool - from a terminal:


    or search from the Dash:

    enter image description here

    Click OK to both prompts asking to turn-off Gnome Daemon and to start xscreensaver-daemon respectively.

    dash search

    starting xscreensaver from login

    Now to start the xscreensaver daemon on login you need to search in Dash for startup applications

    Create a new entry running the command xscreensaver -nosplash

    Locking the screen

    If you want to manually lock the screen with the keyboard combination CTRL+ALT+L then you will need to run the following to repoint the old gnome-screensaver lock to xscreensaver

    sudo ln -s /usr/bin/xscreensaver-command /usr/bin/gnome-screensaver-command

    Logout or reboot for all changes to take effect.

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