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xfce4-screensaver - 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 per-monitor wallpaper
  • Locking down of configuration settings via Xfconf
  • Support for XScreensaver screensavers
  • (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
  • Shared styles with LightDM GTK+ Greeter
  • No GNOME or MATE dependencies. Requirements are lightweight and shared with Xfce.
  • Full translation support into many languages
  • User switching


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.

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Known Issues

Allow embedding a keyboard into the window, /embedded-keyboard-enabled, may be non-functional. Onboard crashes when embedded.


See the file 'INSTALL'

./autogen.sh –prefix=/usr –sysconfdir=/etc

You may need to set your PAM auth type if it is not correctly detected.

–with-pam-auth-type=<auth-type> specify pam auth type (common or system)

(For testing, we are using: ./autogen.sh –disable-static –with-mit-ext –with-console-kit –enable-locking –enable-debug –sysconfdir=/etc )

make && sudo make install

Latest Release

  • xfce4-screensaver 4.18.2 released (2023/05/30 10:00)
    <pre><a href="https://docs.xfce.org/apps/xfce4-screensaver/start">xfce4-screensaver</a> 4.18.2 is now available for download from <a href="https://archive.xfce.org/src/apps/xfce4-screensaver/4.18/xfce4-screensaver-4.18.2.tar.bz2">https://archive.xfce.org/src/apps/xfce4-screensaver/4.18/xfce4-screensaver-4.18.2.tar.bz2</a> <a href="https://archive.xfce.org/src/apps/xfce4-screensaver/4.18/xfce4-screensaver-4.18.2.tar.bz2?sha1">https://archive.xfce.org/src/apps/xfce4-screensaver/4.18/xfce4-screensaver-4.18.2.tar.bz2?sha1</a> <a href="https://archive.xfce.org/src/apps/xfce4-screensaver/4.18/xfce4-screensaver-4.18.2.tar.bz2?sha256">https://archive.xfce.org/src/apps/xfce4-screensaver/4.18/xfce4-screensaver-4.18.2.tar.bz2?sha256</a> What is xfce4-screensaver? ========================== xfce4-screensaver is a screen saver and locker that aims to have simple, sane, secure defaults and be well integrated with the desktop. xfce4-screensaver 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. Website: <a href="https://docs.xfce.org/apps/xfce4-screensaver/start">https://docs.xfce.org/apps/xfce4-screensaver/start</a> Release notes for 4.18.2 ======================== - screensaver-configure: Ensure consistent dialog positioning - screensaver-configure: Remove dead code - screensaver-configure: Improve some strings - screensaver-configure: Print errors on stderr without translating - screensaver-configure: Replace single quotes with double quotes in _() - screensaver-configure: Get translated strings from desktop files - screensaver-configure: Fix broken translations - screensaver-configure: Set dialogs modal - Revert "prefs-dialog: Grey out prefs button for popsquares (no prefs)" - screensaver-configure: Fix broken prefs - screensaver-configure: Fix critical when closing dialog - prefs-dialog: Grey out prefs button for popsquares (no prefs) - Bump GTK version and remove dead code - Keep "lock-on-sleep" in sync with other components via XfceScreensaver - *.desktop: Distinguishing our screensaver from others (Fixes #17) - Use GLib wrappers for memory allocation - Fix unix.Malloc warnings from scan-build 15.0.7 - Fix core.uninitialized.Assign warnings from scan-build 15.0.7 - Fix deadcode.DeadStores warnings from scan-build 15.0.7 - Avoid duplicated code - manager: Do not discard monitors without model and manufacturer - Translation Updates: Albanian, Armenian (Armenia), Basque, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (China), Chinese (Taiwan), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Eastern Armenian, English (Australia), English (United Kingdom), Estonian, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kabyle, Korean, Lithuanian, Malay, Norwegian Bokmål, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian</pre>

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Source code repository

Reporting Bugs

In the bug report please include information about your system, if possible:

- What operating system and version - What version of xfce4-screensaver, i.e. the output of the xfce4-screensaver-command –version command

If you want to debug your installation you may also be able to get meaningful debug output when starting xfce4-screensaver from the debug script: ./src/debug-screensaver.sh

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