I am currently using a VNC server on my desktop (Ubuntu 16.04 Mate DE) at work to work from home (through an intermediate SHH server). However, it has now started to use random screensavers when idle for a while. The screensaver settings are not set to this, it is set to the default "floating MATE" screensaver. In the beginning when I ran the server, it was also using this default screensaver, but now it seems to have become random.

This may seem irrelevant, and I don't care much about the screensaver, except that some of them (like the one with the many colored dots moving around in a cloud) seem to be very resource intensive for the VNC protocol/software to transmit/receive. So much so that it sometimes takes a few minutes to stop the screensaver and once already has caused Vinagre to crash (or hang so long that I lost my patience).

Any ideas on how to solve this?

Update: it seems to be the XScreenSaver. Now even when I try to lock my screen the screen in the VNC session, an XScreenSaver lock screen comes up. Any idea on how to disable XScreenSaver and use the MATE lock screen and screensaver instead?

  • FYI: Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS being a flavor of Ubuntu had only 3 years of supported life (fridge.ubuntu.com/2019/03/01/ubuntu-16-04-6-lts-released) which ended 2019-April. Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Server (no desktop) or Desktop (Unity 7) have 5 years of supported life and are still supported. Refer release notes, or use ubuntu-support-status or your own system to confirm this is the case. I suggest you move to a supported release of Ubuntu-MATE for security reasons, unless you're off-line or are aware of risks. ubuntu-mate.community/t/… – guiverc Apr 16 at 9:32
  • @guiverc hmm, I was not aware of this. But I have a normal Ubuntu 16.04.6 installation but I am using the MATE Desktop Environment (I can switch between MATE or Gnome or Gnome-flashback etc. on login). Does this have the same issue with not being supported? I was planning on upgrading to 20.04 LTS anyway, but now considering I'm working from and not really allowed to come into the office atm, I am a bit skittish about upgrading remotely ... – Lu Kas Apr 16 at 10:00
  • If you use ubuntu-support-status you can view the packages that still have support (all your packages from the 'main' repository will be supported), and those which don't (which include all flavors except for Kylin which was given 5 years for 16.04 only). So your MATE desktop will be EOL without security patches since it went EOL, except for any programs that are also used by default Ubuntu (Unity 7) desktop which receive support because they're taken from 'main'. You'll find a mix of supported & unsupported (un-patched software that could be risky with back-ported security all on you). – guiverc Apr 16 at 10:09
  • The main tested & supported release-upgrade path is from one release to the next, or from one LTS to the next LTS, ie. 16.04 LTS goes to 18.04 now (as 16.10 is EOL). To go to 20.04 will be a re-install, or two steps (available once 20.04.1 is out). Having multiple desktops makes no difference (except in your case you have the default Unity 7 fully-supported choice available to you, with its security patches back-ported still by Canonical through normal updates). – guiverc Apr 16 at 10:11

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