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Xfce Screensaver


Xfce Screensaver is a screen saver and locker that aims to have simple, sane, secure defaults and be well integrated with the desktop.

This project is a port of MATE Screensaver, itself a port of GNOME Screensaver.
It has been tightly integrated with the Xfce desktop, utilizing Xfce libraries and the Xfconf configuration backend.


  • Integration with the Xfce desktop
  • Support for the xdg-screensaver standard
  • (optional) Integration with ConsoleKit and Systemd
  • DBUS interface for limited control and querying screensaver status
  • Idle time and inhibition state are based on the X11 Screensaver extension
  • No GNOME or MATE dependencies. Requirements are lightweight and shared with Xfce.



The application combines two functions: a screensaver that blanks the screen or fills it with images when the computer is idle; a locker that provides session security.

Screensaver preferences

Enable Screensaver

  • This is the master switch for the screensaver. Note that the screensaver will not actually run unless activation has been enabled at the bottom of the tab.


  • The middle box consists of two parts: a list panel on the left and a small preview screen.
  • The list panel displays available themes (also called “screensavers”). At the bottom of the list panel there is a small configuration button that can be clicked to change available theme traits.
  • A full-screen preview can be seen by clicking the Preview button at the bottom of the tab.
  • Only a small number of themes are available by default. But Xfce Screensaver uses Xscreensaver-compatible screensavers, and collections of such screensavers (xscreensaver-data, xscreensaver-gl, etc.) can usually be installed separately from the main Xscreensaver package.
  • For troubleshooting information about themes, consult the FAQs.

Activate screensaver

  • Click the slider to activate the screensaver when the computer is idle.
  • Use the counter below the slider to set the time interval after the last screen activity before the computer is considered “idle.”

Lock Screen (Locker)

Enable Lock Screen

  • This is the master switch for the locker. This also integrates with Xfce4 Power Manager, which can be launched using the button at the bottom of the tab.
  • Note that the locker will not automatically run unless at least one activation listed below has been enabled, although manual locking remains available.

Lock Screen with Screensaver

  • User has the option to decide how long the screensaver should run before the screen is locked.

Lock Screen with System Sleep

  • Enable to allow Xfce4-screensaver to put the system to sleep (suspend).

On Screen Keyboard

  • Enabling this triggers an on-screen keyboard for login. The keyboard’s visibility before the screen was locked is remembered; a small toggle on the right end of the login screen can be used to restore visibility if required.
  • The command and any options to activate an installed on-screen keyboard may be entered in the command box. For example: onboard -e needs to be used to activate the onboard keyboard, if installed.

Session Status Messages

  • When enabled, status messages will be shown despite the locked state.


  • Enable to use Xfce4-screensaver to log out.
  • Enter any required command, and use the counter below the slider to set the time interval before logout.

User switching

  • Enable to allow Xfce4-screensaver to switch user