I have recently apt-get remove'd xscreensaver and apt-get install'd gnome-screensaver. This appears not to have worked because when I press the Lock Screen menu item, nothing happens. I have tried putting gnome-screensaver in the list of autostart applications but this doesn't help (must it be started before anyone logs in?). How can I make gnome-screensaver work properly and make the Lock Screen button do what it's supposed to? Thanks in advance, ell.

EDIT: I am using Xubuntu 11.04 and the output of ps aux | grep saver is:

elliot    1374  0.0  0.3  27344  6024 ?        Ss   19:35   0:00 gnome-screensaver
elliot    1669  0.0  0.0   4160   848 pts/0    S+   19:48   0:00 grep --color=auto saver

But I think the above information will now be irrelevant as it seems that locking the screen now works, when I lock the screen I get a black screen and when I move the mouse, the unlock dialog pops up so now all I need to do is set a screensaver, can anyone help me out on that?

  • Is there an "outdated" tag for questions? light-locker should take care of this use-case in Xubuntu if all you want is screen blanking (except for on those systems where it's buggy, see bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/xserver-xorg-video-intel/+bug/… ), while gnome-screensaver 1) also requires entering password twice, and 2) can't auto-lock on XFCE without also running gnome-session, see bugzilla.xfce.org/show_bug.cgi?id=5927 – unhammer Apr 28 '16 at 7:10


When you have removed xscreensaver and installed gnome-screensaver you will need to logout and login for the XFCE lock-screen menu item to work

Setting your screen saver

Installing gnome-screensaver also installs gnome-screensaver-preferences.

If you run this in a terminal you will see this screen which will allow you to change from the "black screen" to one of the gnome-screensavers:

enter image description here

Integrating with Settings Manager

When installing gnome-screensaver it will create a file called /usr/share/applications/gnome-screensaver-preferences.desktop

To integrate this into Settings Manager then replace the contents of this file with the following:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Set your screensaver preferences
  • 5
    Unfortunately, gnome-screensaver-preferences is no longer shipped along with 12.04 (and up). So how does configuration take place now? I'm not that much concerned about fancy stuff, but e.g. configuring screen timeout. – Izzy Jun 10 '13 at 6:32
  • Thanks! The second one I definitly missed (no screensaver tag :) Will check them both. Still, I cannot understand why there's no user-friendly solution (or rather why that was removed)... – Izzy Jun 10 '13 at 7:45

You don't need to remove Xscreensaver. After you install gnome-screensaver, you can change the file /usr/bin/xflock4 to give priority to grome-screensaver.

Install gnome-screensaver:

sudo apt-get install gnome-screensaver

Open file:

sudo nano /usr/bin/xflock4


# Lock by xscreensaver or gnome-screensaver, if a respective daemon is running
for lock_cmd in \
"xscreensaver-command -lock" \
"gnome-screensaver-command --lock"


for lock_cmd in \
"gnome-screensaver-command --lock" \
"xscreensaver-command -lock"

May need logging out and in again.

  • how do you manage to get into the settings of gnome screensaver, as gnome-screensaver-preferences does not seem to exist anymore? thx – Peter Fleix May 11 '17 at 8:45
  • Unfortunately I can't answer this question, since I don't use Xfce anymore... – MakisH May 11 '17 at 10:30

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