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xscreensaver under Wayland


Well-Known Member
Dec 3, 2018
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Given up on having a screensaver under Wayland? You don't have to. I accidently stubled upon a solution, or work around. You need to have xscreensaver installed and you need to create 2 files. Unfortunately you can't use the GUI configuration tool, you'll either need to use a VM for that or edit the text file manually.

The first file you need to create is an autostart file, located ~/.config/autostart, call it xscreensaver.desktop. In it, place the following text
[Desktop Entry]
Exec=xscreensaver -nosplash

Next, either copy this file from a VM or create it. ~/.xscreensaver and place the below text in it.
# XScreenSaver Preferences File
# Written by xscreensaver-demo 5.45 on Sun Jan  8 12:28:22 2023.
# https://www.jwz.org/xscreensaver/

timeout:    0:15:00
cycle:        0:03:00
lock:        False
lockTimeout:    0:03:00
passwdTimeout:    0:00:30
visualID:    default
installColormap:    True
verbose:    False
timestamp:    True
splash:        True
splashDuration:    0:00:05
demoCommand:    xscreensaver-demo
prefsCommand:    xscreensaver-demo -prefs
nice:        10
memoryLimit:    0
fade:        False
unfade:        False
fadeSeconds:    0:00:03
fadeTicks:    20
captureStderr:    True
font:        *-medium-r-*-140-*-m-*
dpmsEnabled:    False
dpmsQuickOff:    False
dpmsStandby:    0:30:00
dpmsSuspend:    0:30:00
dpmsOff:    0:30:00
grabDesktopImages:  False
grabVideoFrames:    False
chooseRandomImages: False

mode:        one
selected:    176

textMode:    url
textLiteral:    XScreenSaver
textProgram:    fortune
textURL:    http://fridge.ubuntu.com/node/feed

programs:                                      \
                maze -root                    \n\
  GL:                 superquadrics -root                \n\
                attraction -root                \n\
-                blitspin -root                    \n\
                greynetic -root                    \n\
                helix -root                    \n\
                hopalong -root                    \n\
                imsmap -root                    \n\
                noseguy -root                    \n\
-                pyro -root                    \n\
                qix -root                    \n\
-                rocks -root                    \n\
                rorschach -root                    \n\
-                decayscreen -root                \n\
-                flame -root                    \n\
                halo -root                    \n\
-                slidescreen -root                \n\
-                pedal -root                    \n\
                bouboule -root                    \n\
                braid -root                    \n\
-                coral -root                    \n\
-                deco -root                    \n\
-                drift -root                    \n\
-                fadeplot -root                    \n\
                galaxy -root                    \n\
                goop -root                    \n\
                grav -root                    \n\
                ifs -root                    \n\
-                unicode -root                    \n\
- GL:                 jigsaw -root                    \n\
                julia -root                    \n\
-                kaleidescope -root                \n\
  GL:                 moebius -root                    \n\
                moire -root                    \n\
  GL:                 morph3d -root                    \n\
                mountain -root                    \n\
                munch -root                    \n\
                penrose -root                    \n\
  GL:                 pipes -root                    \n\
                rd-bomb -root                    \n\
  GL:                 rubik -root                    \n\
-                sierpinski -root                \n\
-                slip -root                    \n\
  GL:                 sproingies -root                \n\
-                starfish -root                    \n\
                strange -root                    \n\
                swirl -root                    \n\
                triangle -root                    \n\
                xjack -root                    \n\
                xlyap -root                    \n\
  GL:                 atlantis -root                    \n\
                bsod -root                    \n\
  GL:                 bubble3d -root                    \n\
  GL:                 cage -root                    \n\
-                crystal -root                    \n\
                cynosure -root                    \n\
                discrete -root                    \n\
-                distort -root -reflect                \n\
                epicycle -root                    \n\
                flow -root                    \n\
  GL:                 glplanet -root                    \n\
                interference -root                \n\
                kumppa -root                    \n\
  GL:                 lament -root                    \n\
                moire2 -root                    \n\
  GL:                 sonar -root                    \n\
  GL:                 stairs -root                    \n\
                truchet -root                    \n\
-                vidwhacker -root                \n\
                blaster -root                    \n\
                bumps -root                    \n\
-                ccurve -root                    \n\
                compass -root                    \n\
                deluxe -root                    \n\
                demon -root                    \n\
  GL:                 extrusion -root                    \n\
-                loop -root                    \n\
                penetrate -root                    \n\
                petri -root                    \n\
-                phosphor -root                    \n\
  GL:                 pulsar -root                    \n\
                ripples -root                    \n\
                shadebobs -root                    \n\
  GL:                 sierpinski3d -root                \n\
-                spotlight -root                    \n\
                squiral -root                    \n\
                wander -root                    \n\
-                webcollage -root                \n\
-                xflame -root                    \n\
                xmatrix -root                    \n\
- GL:                 gflux -root                    \n\
-                nerverot -root                    \n\
                xrayswarm -root                    \n\
                xspirograph -root                \n\
  GL:                 circuit -root                    \n\
  GL:                 dangerball -root                \n\
  GL:                 engine -root                    \n\
- GL:                 flipscreen3d -root                \n\
  GL:                 gltext -root                    \n\
  GL:                 menger -root                    \n\
  GL:                 molecule -root                    \n\
-                rotzoomer -root                    \n\
                speedmine -root                    \n\
- GL:                 starwars -root                    \n\
  GL:                 stonerview -root                \n\
                vermiculate -root                \n\
                whirlwindwarp -root                \n\
-                zoom -root                    \n\
                anemone -root                    \n\
-                apollonian -root                \n\
  GL:                 boxed -root                    \n\
  GL:                 cubenetic -root                    \n\
  GL:                 endgame -root                    \n\
-                euler2d -root                    \n\
                fluidballs -root                \n\
  GL:                 flurry -root                    \n\
- GL:                 glblur -root                    \n\
  GL:                 glsnake -root                    \n\
                halftone -root                    \n\
  GL:                 juggler3d -root                    \n\
  GL:                 lavalite -root                    \n\
-                polyominoes -root                \n\
  GL:                 queens -root                    \n\
  GL:                 sballs -root                    \n\
  GL:                 spheremonics -root                \n\
-                thornbird -root                    \n\
                twang -root                    \n\
- GL:                 antspotlight -root                \n\
                apple2 -root                    \n\
  GL:                 atunnel -root                    \n\
-                barcode -root                    \n\
  GL:                 blinkbox -root                    \n\
  GL:                 blocktube -root                    \n\
  GL:                 bouncingcow -root                \n\
-                cloudlife -root                    \n\
  GL:                 cubestorm -root                    \n\
                eruption -root                    \n\
  GL:                 flipflop -root                    \n\
  GL:                 flyingtoasters -root                \n\
-                fontglide -root                    \n\
  GL:                 gleidescope -root                \n\
  GL:                 glknots -root                    \n\
  GL:                 glmatrix -root                    \n\
- GL:                 glslideshow -root                \n\
  GL:                 hypertorus -root                \n\
  GL:                 jigglypuff -root                \n\
                metaballs -root                    \n\
  GL:                 mirrorblob -root                \n\
                piecewise -root                    \n\
  GL:                 polytopes -root                    \n\
                pong -root                    \n\
                popsquares -root                \n\
  GL:                 surfaces -root                    \n\
                xanalogtv -root                    \n\
                abstractile -root                \n\
-                anemotaxis -root                \n\
  GL:                 antinspect -root                \n\
                fireworkx -root                    \n\
-                fuzzyflakes -root                \n\
                interaggregate -root                \n\
                intermomentary -root                \n\
-                memscroller -root                \n\
  GL:                 noof -root                    \n\
                pacman -root                    \n\
  GL:                 pinion -root                    \n\
  GL:                 polyhedra -root                    \n\
- GL:                 providence -root                \n\
                substrate -root                    \n\
                wormhole -root                    \n\
  GL:                 antmaze -root                    \n\
- GL:                 boing -root                    \n\
                boxfit -root                    \n\
- GL:                 carousel -root                    \n\
                celtic -root                    \n\
  GL:                 crackberg -root                    \n\
  GL:                 cube21 -root                    \n\
                fiberlamp -root                    \n\
- GL:                 fliptext -root                    \n\
  GL:                 glhanoi -root                    \n\
  GL:                 tangram -root                    \n\
  GL:                 timetunnel -root -no-logo            \n\
  GL:                 glschool -root                    \n\
  GL:                 topblock -root                    \n\
  GL:                 cubicgrid -root                    \n\
                cwaves -root                    \n\
  GL:                 gears -root                    \n\
  GL:                 glcells -root                    \n\
  GL:                 lockward -root                    \n\
                m6502 -root                    \n\
  GL:                 moebiusgears -root                \n\
- GL:                 voronoi -root                    \n\
  GL:                 hypnowheel -root                \n\
  GL:                 klein -root                    \n\
-                lcdscrub -root                    \n\
- GL:                 photopile -root                    \n\
- GL:                 skytentacles -root                \n\
  GL:                 rubikblocks -root                \n\
  GL:                 companioncube -root                \n\
  GL:                 hilbert -root                    \n\
  GL:                 tronbit -root                    \n\
  GL:                 geodesic -root                    \n\
                hexadrop -root                    \n\
  GL:                 kaleidocycle -root                \n\
- GL:                 quasicrystal -root                \n\
  GL:                 unknownpleasures -root                \n\
                binaryring -root                \n\
  GL:                 cityflow -root                    \n\
  GL:                 geodesicgears -root                \n\
  GL:                 projectiveplane -root                \n\
  GL:                 romanboy -root                    \n\
-                tessellimage -root                \n\
  GL:                 winduprobot -root                \n\
- GL:                 splitflap -root                    \n\
-                testx11 -root                    \n\
  GL:                 electricsheep -root 1                \n\
- GL:                 cubestack -root                    \n\
- GL:                 cubetwist -root                    \n\
- GL:                 discoball -root                    \n\
- GL:                 dymaxionmap -root                \n\
- GL:                 energystream -root                \n\
- GL:                 hexstrut -root                    \n\
- GL:                 hydrostat -root                    \n\
- GL:                 raverhoop -root                    \n\
- GL:                 splodesic -root                    \n\
- GL:                 unicrud -root                    \n\
- GL:                 esper -root                    \n\
- GL:                 vigilance -root                    \n\
- GL:                 crumbler -root                    \n\
                filmleader -root                \n\
                glitchpeg -root                    \n\
- GL:                 handsy -root                    \n\
- GL:                 maze3d -root                    \n\
- GL:                 peepers -root                    \n\
- GL:                 razzledazzle -root                \n\
                vfeedback -root                    \n\
                scooter -root                    \n\
- GL:                 deepstars -root                    \n\
- GL:                 gravitywell -root                \n\
- GL:                 beats -root                    \n\
- GL:                 covid19 -root                    \n\
- GL:                 etruscanvenus -root                \n\
- GL:                 gibson -root                    \n\
- GL:                 headroom -root                    \n\
- GL:                 sphereeversion -root                \n\

pointerPollTime:    0:00:05
pointerHysteresis:  10
initialDelay:    0:00:00
procInterrupts:    True
xinputExtensionDev: False
overlayStderr:    True
authWarningSlack:   20

Looking at this file in Kate or any text editor with line numbers, you 'll see that on line 38 it shows 'selected: 176'. This is the secreensaver I am using. If look futher down at line 46, you'll see 'programs'. This is basically a header for all the screensavers. The screen saver on line 47 is the first one. If you take 47 and add 176 (my screensaver, you get 223. If you look at line 223 you'll see 'fiberlamp', this is my screensaver.

This isn't a perfect solution. I have my timeout set for 15 minutes and what I've found is even though I'm using the computer, the screensaver runs every 15 minutes and have to move the mouse to clear it, yes even though I'm actively using the mouse and keyboard.
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