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when I lock my screen, I don't get the nice login dialog which is present after my laptop reboot. I get something ugly similar to this:

enter image description here

I googled this picture, it is not exact screenshot, but it is almost the same. How can I fix this? Is it standard behaviour or did I break something? The picture of burning screen scares me, but I repeat myself "Don't panic!" and it kinda helps a little.

  • It is ugly.
  • It does not look like the 99% of my environment.
  • I use multiple keyboard layouts. When typing password, I need to see which one is active, because otherwise I make typos in my password and have to try login multiple times. With this screen, I usually end up in exactly 3-5 tries, as I make wrong guesses and other accidental typos caused by nervousness.
  • Why is it called XScreenSaver? I disabled screensavers. I hate them. I want only to lock my computer while I go to bathroom or for a lunch. I want my login screen.
share|improve this question
I had the same issue in Lubuntu, there is some discussion of it here: Check the link in his second post for more details. – Veazer Nov 12 '12 at 19:00
Sounds reasonable. The only issue then is usability. Is there a way how to display which keyboard layout am I currently using? (However, I still think that 'consistency' has a huge usability impact too. It is not so much about cosmetics, it is also about navigation of the user etc.) – Honza Javorek Nov 12 '12 at 21:15
I have no idea, I hadn't considered the keyboard issue. I moved back to gnome fallback after playing with xfce and lxde. – Veazer Nov 12 '12 at 21:25
up vote 21 down vote accepted

Remove xscreensaver and install gnome-screensaver which has a more polished look:

sudo apt-get remove xscreensaver
sudo apt-get install gnome-screensaver

You can also set a shortcut to lock the screen with the keyboard:

Start > Settings Manager > Keyboard > Application Shortcuts > Add

Command: xflock4

ShortCut: <Super>l ; (e.g. press the "Windows key" + l)

share|improve this answer
Although you did not provide nice clarification as green7 did, I got solution of my issues from you, which I actually value more. Thus, I will accept your answer. The best answer would be combination of you two, but I have to choose one :) – Honza Javorek Feb 16 '13 at 11:50
Nice to know: if you already have a full Xubuntu desktop, gnome-screensaver won't need any additional dependency. It will look nice without requiring too many additional resources. – gerlos Apr 17 '14 at 12:03

Xscreensaver is a package which is an extensible screen saver framework, and locks the computer.

According to this page.

The XScreenSaver is a modular screen saver and locker for the X Window System. It is highly customizable and allows the use of any program that can draw on the root window as a display mode. The purpose of XScreenSaver is to display pretty pictures on your screen when it is not in use, in keeping with the philosophy that unattended monitors should always be doing something interesting, just like they do in the movies. However, XScreenSaver can also be used as a screen locker, to prevent others from using your terminal while you are away.

I don't know the reason why it is used in Lubuntu and Xubuntu, but it might be because of the its popularity, stability, and probably it is light weight.

It also reduces the burden of building a new package to replace already existing software.

share|improve this answer
Thank you for explanation. You answered my question "Why is it called XScreenSaver?" and couple of my others to clear my confusion. However, you provided no solution for my issues, so I will accept ccpizza's answer. – Honza Javorek Feb 16 '13 at 11:48

Do you like black? Try slock, it's the best example of the KISS principle.

To install it: sudo apt-get install suckless-tools

Then, the easiest way to configure it in xubuntu is: sudo apt-get remove xscreensaver

This is because by default xscreensaver takes precedence over other screensavers, slock among them. Once removed, you can either kill the xscreensaver thread already running in background or just restart.

Enjoy simplicity.

share|improve this answer
Simplicity is nice as far as it does not kill usability. In my question I mentioned I need to see which keyboard layout is active. – Honza Javorek Feb 16 '13 at 11:44
Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! Please avoid posting the same answer in more than one place. When tempted to do so, this typically means: (1) the answer should be customized to account for what is different about the different questions, (2) one question should be flagged for closure as a duplicate of another question (you can flag posts with 15 reputation), (3) the answer should really be a comment, or (4) the answer should be posted in the most appropriate place, and one-line comments posted on the other questions summarizing and linking to it. – Eliah Kagan Feb 16 '13 at 14:16

There should be some way mentioned here:

...but to recompile the code would be necessary. Good would be if some geek can search and share the steps in detail.

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