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I have a computer dedicated to media playback which I just updated to version 12.04.

Since the upgrade, I just can't seem to get the screen saver to stop coming on while watching just about any kind of video.

I have of course opened System Settings -> Screensaver to try and turn it off. Whenever I do, I get this error message:

enter image description here

It doesn't seem to matter if I press "Cancel" or "OK". Either way, I get to the Screensaver interface settings where I put "Mode:" into "Disable Screen Saver". And yet, the screen turns black about 15 to 20 minutes into any video.

I looked for solutions on the web. I've tried this at the command line:

xset -dpms && xset s noblank && xset s off

Lastly, I found some suggestions for editing the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. However, mine is completely blank, and it seems that if I put anything at all in there, it causes the X server to fail completely on boot.

How do I get my screensaver to be off and to stay off?

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

A few things you try

  1. Verify you don't have gnome-screensaver installed

    apt-get remove gnome-screensaver

  2. You could remove xscreensaver

    apt-get remove xscreensaver

You can also check in


and see if there is anything indicating why it may be broken (it's dying when trying to start).

A quick search shows an older post from 2009 with a similar issue. I've copied the relevant section of the same file from my Mythbuntu 12.04 machine below. You may want to check the same section in your file.

From /etc/xdg/xfce4/xinitrc

# launch a screensaver if enabled.  do not launch if we're root or if
# we're in a VNC session.
screensaver_enabled=`xfconf-query -c xfce4-session -p /startup/screensaver/enabled 2> /dev/null`
if test $UID -gt 0 -a -z "$VNCSESSION" -a "$screensaver_enabled" != "false"; then
    screensaver_type=`xfconf-query -c xfce4-session -p /startup/screensaver/type 2> /dev/null`

    case "$screensaver_type" in
            xscreensaver -no-splash &

            gnome-screensaver &

            if test x"`which xscreensaver 2>/dev/null`" != x""; then
                xscreensaver -no-splash &
            elif test x"`which gnome-screensaver 2>/dev/null`" != x""; then
                gnome-screensaver &
share|improve this answer
apt-get remove xscreensaver seems to have finally done the trick. – Questioner May 4 '12 at 4:17
@dave I find it odd that removing xscreensaver package helped, since xscreensaver works only, if the daemon is running. – jarno Jan 5 '14 at 20:57

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