Introduction to XScreenSaver

The XScreenSaver is a modular screen saver and locker for the X Window System. It is highly customizable and allows the use of any program that can draw on the root window as a display mode. The purpose of XScreenSaver is to display pretty pictures on your screen when it is not in use, in keeping with the philosophy that unattended monitors should always be doing something interesting, just like they do in the movies. However, XScreenSaver can also be used as a screen locker, to prevent others from using your terminal while you are away.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-9.0 platform.

Package Information

XScreenSaver Dependencies


libglade-2.6.4 and Xorg Applications



GDM-3.32.0, GLE and Linux-PAM-1.3.1

Optional (runtime)

The adobe-100dpi font, with libXfont and bdftopcf from Xorg Legacy Fonts (to enlarge the splash screen, error messages, and password prompt)

User Notes: http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/wiki/xscreensaver

Installation of XScreenSaver

First, remove some C++ comments from C code that prevents one file from compiling:

sed -i '/^\/\//d' hacks/fontglide.c

Install XScreenSaver by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install

Command Explanations

--with-setuid-hacks: This switch allows some demos to be installed setuid root which is needed in order to ping other hosts.

Configuring XScreenSaver

Config Files

/etc/X11/app-defaults/XScreenSaver and ~/.xscreensaver

Linux PAM Configuration

If XScreenSaver has been built with Linux PAM support, you need to create a PAM configuration file, to get it working correctly with BLFS.

Issue the following commands as the root user to create the configuration file for Linux PAM:

cat > /etc/pam.d/xscreensaver << "EOF"
# Begin /etc/pam.d/xscreensaver

auth    include system-auth
account include system-account

# End /etc/pam.d/xscreensaver


Installed Programs: xscreensaver, xscreensaver-command, xscreensaver-demo, xscreensaver-getimage, xscreensaver-getimage-file, xscreensaver-getimage-video, xscreensaver-gl-helper and xscreensaver-text
Installed Libraries: None
Installed Directories: /usr/libexec/xscreensaver and /usr/share/xscreensaver

Short Descriptions


is a screen saver and locker daemon.


controls a running xscreensaver process by sending it client messages.


is a graphical front-end for setting the parameters used by the background xscreensaver daemon.


is a helper program for the xscreensaver modules that manipulate images.


is a helper program for the xscreensaver modules that manipulate images.


is a helper program for the xscreensaver modules that manipulate images.


is a helper program for the xscreensaver OpenGL modules.


prints some text to stdout, for use by screen savers.

Last updated on 2019-08-20 13:28:46 -0700