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xfce4-screensaver - DBUS Interface

This document was originally authored by William Jon McCann.
The source material can be found in the Xfce Screensaver GIT repository.


Introduction

Xfce Screensaver exposes a DBUS API for programs to obtain information about the screensaver state and to interact with the screensaver in limited ways.

The following constants are used to uniquely refer to the XfceScreensaver object when making DBUS method calls:

DBUS Service: org.xfce.ScreenSaver
DBUS Object Path: /org/xfce/ScreenSaver
DBUS Interface: org.xfce.ScreenSaver

Methods

These are the DBUS methods.

Lock

Request that the screen be locked. This bypasses all Inhibit requests.

Cycle

Request that the screen saver theme be restarted and, if applicable, switch to the next one in the list.

SimulateUserActivity

Simulate user activity. If the screensaver is activated this will attempt to deactivate and authentication will be requested if necessary. If the screensaver is not activated then the idle timers will be reset.

Inhibit

Request that saving the screen due to system idleness be blocked until UnInhibit is called or the calling process exits.

Direction Type Description
in string the application name, e.g. “totem”
in string the localized reason to inhibit, e.g. “playing movie”
out unsigned integer the cookie

A cookie is a random, unique, non-zero UINT32 used to identify the inhibit request.

UnInhibit

Cancel a previous call to Inhibit() identified by the cookie.

Direction Type Description
in unsigned integer the cookie

Throttle

Request that running themes while the screensaver is active be blocked until UnThrottle is called or the calling process exits.

Direction Type Description
in string the application name, e.g. “xfce-power-manager”
in string the localized reason to inhibit, e.g. “on battery power”
out unsigned integer the cookie

A cookie is a random, unique, non-zero UINT32 used to identify the throttle request.

UnThrottle

Cancel a previous call to Throttle() identified by the cookie.

Direction Type Description
in unsigned integer the cookie

SetActive

Request a change in the state of the screensaver. Set to TRUE to request that the screensaver activate. Active means that the screensaver has blanked the screen and may run a graphical theme. This does not necessary mean that the screen is locked.

Direction Type Description
in boolean TRUE to request activation, FALSE to request deactivation

GetActive

Returns the value of the current state of activity. See SetActive().

Direction Type Description
out boolean Activation state

GetActiveTime

Returns the number of seconds that the screensaver has been active. Returns zero if the screensaver is not active.

Direction Type Description
out unsigned integer Active time in seconds

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Signals

These are the DBUS signals.

ActiveChanged

See method GetActive().

Direction Type Description
out boolean Returns the value of the current state of activity.

Examples

You can activate the screensaver like so:

dbus-send --session \
          --dest=org.xfce.ScreenSaver \
          --type=method_call \
          --print-reply \
          --reply-timeout=20000 \
          /org/xfce/ScreenSaver \
          org.xfce.ScreenSaver.SetActive \
          boolean:true

You can monitor screensaver changes:

dbus-monitor --session \
          "type='signal',interface='org.xfce.ScreenSaver'"

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