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How can I change or install screensavers?

I install ubuntu 12.4 lts on my notebook acer AOD270, and i noticed that there is no icon under the Dash home for the screen saver, the only thing is a power management icon that sets the screen blank after a while, as far as i understand there should be a screen saver because i have seen videos for other notebooks with the same OS that DO have it,isn't something that should come with the installation? how can i get it? please help.

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marked as duplicate by Uri Herrera, Tachyons, Scott Severance, jokerdino, Mik Sep 27 '12 at 10:12

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2 Answers 2

The GNOME desktop used to use the package gnome-screensaver for screensavers.

The thing is, gnome-screensaver became not just responsible for screensavers, but also for the system lock screen.

In a possibly surprising twist of fate, it has now removed the screensavers! So despite it still being called gnome-screensaver, all it does now is suspect/wake the screen and act as a lock screen.

Why remove screensavers?

  • They work contrary to modern power saving, where the approach is to put the screen into sleep mode and let the CPU/GPU idle. A screensaver keeps the screen on and keep the CPU and/or GPU doing a small amount of work. This will use more power, generate more heat, etc. This is particular important on battery powered devices like laptops and tablets.

  • They don't really do all that much to save screens anymore. Modern screens aren't really as susceptible to screen burn-in as older screens. A lot of us now use screens at work for 8+ hours a day with taskbars, etc constantly visible, and yet it doesn't really cause much noticeable burn-in.

That said, some people still want screensavers for the same reason they've always wanted them - they look pretty (and they use a desktop or something where they don't care about energy use).

Thankfully the xscreensaver package still contains screensavers, though with some differences. If you also install xscreensaver-data-extra and xscreensaver-gl-extra then you'll get even more screensaver options. Once installed you can configure screensavers from the GUI (search for "screensaver").

Note however: this will effectively disable gnome-screensaver, so you will no longer see gnome-screensaver's lock screen but xscreensaver's lock screen, which will look and behave differently.

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Thank you so very much, @neon_overload this is exactly what i need it to know, you rock!!!! –  user93019 Sep 27 '12 at 7:49

Sure you'll not find since there is by default anyway to get some screensaver just follow this tutorial. It's for 12.04 but i think it will work fine for 12.10

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