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I am using Ubuntu 11.10 and my screensaver keeps coming on while I'm watching a movie. I don't remember this happening in 11.04 and can't remember how to stop it?

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This happens me on gnome, but not on unity. –  BullfrogBlues Feb 27 '13 at 15:44

3 Answers 3

Another solution but not what you want is:

Open the terminal and type:

xset s off

This will disable the screensaver.

to enable it again

xset s on


There are other options such as disabling for a period of time etc..

Type man xset in the terminal for more info

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  1. Open VLC Media player and go to Tools -> Preferences (Shortcut key is CtrlP)
  2. Select All from Show settings in the bottom-left corner of the Preferences window .
  3. Now click the Video Tab on the side.
  4. Now tick the Disable Screensaver box and click save.

enter image description here

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That doesn't work. The 'Disable Screensaver' box is already checked. –  Dave Oct 20 '11 at 20:15

I've seen this happening with VLC as well as Banshee. The only solution I could find is to run Caffeiene.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:caffeine-developers/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install caffeine

After that, run caffeine, go to its preferences and have it start on login. It sits in your system tray. Whenever you then watch a movie, you'll need to click on its system tray icon and select 'disable screensaver'.

It is not the best solution but it is the only one I can see in these early days.

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This worked for now. You can configure Caffeine to automatically start preventing the screensaver and powersaving whenever a particular program is running. To set this up, just run the program that should inhibit the screensaver, right-click on the Caffeine applet, select “Preferences”, and then click “Add”. You should see a list of all running processes in the pop-up window. Click the name of the program that you started earlier and click “Add”. Close the preferences window. –  Dave Oct 20 '11 at 20:23

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