Skip site navigation (1)Skip section navigation (2)

FreeBSD Manual Pages


home | help
XScreenSaver(1)		    General Commands Manual	       XScreenSaver(1)

       xscreensaver-settings - configure and control the xscreensaver daemon

       xscreensaver-settings [-display host:display.screen] [-prefs] [-debug]

       The  xscreensaver-settings program is a graphical front-end for setting
       the parameters used by the xscreensaver(1) daemon.  It is  a  tool  for
       editing	the  ~/.xscreensaver file, and for demoing the various display

       The main	window consists	of a menu bar and two tabbed pages.  The first
       page  is	 for  editing the list of demos, and the second	is for editing
       various other parameters	of the screensaver.

       All of these commands are on either the File or Help menus:

       Blank Screen Now
	   Activates the background xscreensaver daemon, which will then run a
	   demo	 at  random.   This  is	 the same as running xscreensaver-com-
	   mand(1) with	the -activate option.

       Lock Screen Now
	   Just	like Blank Screen Now, except the screen  will	be  locked  as
	   well	 (even if it is	not configured to lock all the time.)  This is
	   the same as running xscreensaver-command(1) with the	-lock option.

       Kill Daemon
	   If the xscreensaver daemon is running  on  this  screen,  kill  it.
	   This	 is the	same as	running	xscreensaver-command(1)	with the -exit

       Restart Daemon
	   If the xscreensaver daemon is running  on  this  screen,  kill  it.
	   Then	launch it again.  This is the same as doing "xscreensaver-com-
	   mand	--exit"	followed by "xscreensaver".

	   Note	that  it  is  not  the	same  as  doing	 "xscreensaver-command

	   Exits  the xscreensaver-settings program (this program) without af-
	   fecting the background xscreensaver daemon, if any.

	   Displays the	version	number of this program,	xscreensaver-settings.

	   Opens up a web browser looking at the XScreenSaver web page,	 where
	   you	can  find  online  copies  of  the  xscreensaver(1),  xscreen-
	   saver-settings(1), and xscreensaver-command(1) manuals.

       This page contains a list of the	names of the various display modes,  a
       preview	area,  and some	fields that let	you configure screen saver be-

       This option menu	controls the activation	behavior of the	screen	saver.
       The options are:

	   Disable Screen Saver
	       Don't  ever  blank the screen, and don't	ever allow the monitor
	       to power	down.

	   Blank Screen	Only
	       When blanking the screen, just go black:	don't run  any	graph-

	   Only	One Screen Saver
	       When  blanking the screen, only ever use	one particular display
	       mode (the one selected in the list.)

	   Random Screen Saver
	       When blanking the screen, select	a  random  display  mode  from
	       among those that	are enabled and	applicable.  If	there are mul-
	       tiple monitors connected, run a different display mode on  each
	       one.  This is the default.

	   Random Same Saver
	       This  is	 just  like  Random Screen Saver, except that the same
	       randomly-chosen display mode will be run	on all	monitors,  in-
	       stead of	different ones on each.

   Demo	List
       Double-clicking	in the list on the left	will let you try out the indi-
       cated demo.  The	screen will go black, and  the	program	 will  run  in
       full-screen  mode,  just	 as  it	 would	if the xscreensaver daemon had
       launched	it.  Clicking the mouse	again will stop	the demo and  un-blank
       the screen.

       Single-clicking	in  the	 list will run it in the small preview pane on
       the right.  (But	beware:	many of	the display modes behave somewhat dif-
       ferently	 when  running	in  full-screen	 mode, so the scaled-down view
       might not give an accurate impression.)

       When Mode is set	to Random Screen Saver,	each name in the  list	has  a
       checkbox	 next  to  it:	this controls whether this display mode	is en-
       abled.  If it is	unchecked, then	that mode will not be chosen.  (Though
       you can still run it explicitly by double-clicking on its name.)

   Arrow Buttons
       Beneath the list	are a pair of up and down arrows. Clicking on the down
       arrow will select the next item in the list, and	then run it  in	 full-
       screen  mode,  just  as	if you had double-clicked on it.  The up arrow
       goes the	other way.  This is just a shortcut for	trying out all of  the
       display modes in	turn.

   Blank After
       After  the  user	 has been idle this long, the xscreensaver daemon will
       blank the screen.

   Cycle After
       After the screensaver has been running for  this	 long,	the  currently
       running	graphics  demo will be killed, and a new one started.  If this
       is 0, then the graphics demo will never be changed: only	one demo  will
       run until the screensaver is deactivated	by user	activity.

       If  there  are  multiple	 screens, the savers are staggered slightly so
       that while they all change every	cycle minutes, they don't  all	change
       at the same time.

   Lock	Screen
       When this is checked, the screen	will be	locked when it activates.

   Lock	Screen After
       This controls the length	of the "grace period" between when the screen-
       saver activates,	and when the screen becomes locked.  For  example,  if
       this  is	 5  minutes, and Blank After is	10 minutes, then after 10 min-
       utes, the screen	would blank.  If there was user	activity  at  12  min-
       utes,  no  password  would be required to un-blank the screen.  But, if
       there was user activity at 15 minutes or	later (that  is,  Lock	Screen
       After minutes after activation) then a password would be	required.  The
       default is 0, meaning that if locking is	enabled, then a	password  will
       be required as soon as the screen blanks.

       This  button,  below  the  small	preview	window,	runs the demo in full-
       screen mode so that you can try it out.	This is	the  same  thing  that
       happens	when you double-click an element in the	list.  Click the mouse
       to dismiss the full-screen preview.

       This button will	pop up a dialog	where you can configure	settings  spe-
       cific to	the display mode selected in the list.

       When  you click on the Settings button on the Display Modes tab,	a con-
       figuration dialog will pop up that lets you customize settings  of  the
       selected	display	mode.  Each display mode has its own custom configura-
       tion controls on	the left side.

       On the right side is a paragraph	or two describing  the	display	 mode.
       Below  that  is	a  Documentation  button that will display the display
       mode's manual page in a new window.

       The Advanced button reconfigures	the dialog box so that	you  can  edit
       the  display mode's command line	directly, instead of using the graphi-
       cal controls.

       This tab	lets you change	various	settings used by the xscreensaver dae-
       mon itself, as well as some global options shared by all	of the display

   Image Manipulation
       Some of the graphics hacks manipulate images.  These  settings  control
       where those source images come from.  The savers	load images by running
       the  xscreensaver-getimage(6)  and  xscreensaver-getimage-file(6)  pro-

	   Grab	Desktop	Images
	       If  this	option is selected, then savers	are allowed to manipu-
	       late the	desktop	image, that is,	a display mode	might  draw  a
	       picture	of  your  desktop  melting, or being distorted in some
	       way.  The security-paranoid might want to disable this  option,
	       because if it is	set, it	means that the windows on your desktop
	       will occasionally be visible while your screen is locked.  Oth-
	       ers  will  not  be able to do anything, but they	may be able to
	       see whatever you	left on	your screen.

	   Grab	Video Frames
	       If your system has a video capture device, selecting  this  op-
	       tion  may  allow	 the image-manipulating	modes to grab a	still-
	       frame of	video to operate on.

	   Choose Random Image
	       If this option is set, then the image-manipulating  modes  will
	       select  a  random  image	file to	operate	on, from the specified
	       source.	That source may	be a local directory,  which  will  be
	       recursively  searched  for images.  Or, it may be the URL of an
	       RSS or Atom feed	(e.g., a Flickr	gallery), in which case	a ran-
	       dom  image  from	 that feed will	be selected instead.  The con-
	       tents of	the feed will be cached	locally	and refreshed periodi-
	       cally as	needed.

	   If  more  than one of the above image-related options are selected,
	   then	one will be chosen at random.  If none of them	are  selected,
	   then	an image of video colorbars will be used instead.

   Text	Manipulation
       Some  of	 the display modes display and manipulate text.	 The following
       options control how that	text is	generated.  The	savers	load  text  by
       running the xscreensaver-text(6)	program.

	   Host	Name and Time
	       If  this	checkbox is selected, then the text used by the	screen
	       savers will be the local	host name, OS version, date, time, and
	       system load.

	       If  this	 checkbox  is selected,	then the literal text typed in
	       the field to its	right will be used.  If	it contains  %	escape
	       sequences, they will be expanded	as per strftime(2).

	   Text	File
	       If  this	 checkbox is selected, then the	contents of the	corre-
	       sponding	file will be displayed.

	       If this checkbox	is selected, then the given  program  will  be
	       run, repeatedly,	and its	output will be displayed.

	   URL If  this	 checkbox is selected, then the	given web page will be
	       downloaded and displayed	repeatedly.  If	the document  contains
	       HTML, RSS, or Atom, it will be converted	to plain-text first.

	       Note:  this  re-downloads  the  document	 every time the	screen
	       saver runs out of text, so it will probably be hitting that web
	       server multiple times a minute.

   Power Management Settings
       These settings control whether, and when, your monitor powers down.

	   Power Management Enabled
	       Whether	the  monitor  should be	powered	down after a period of

	       If this option is grayed	out, it	means your X server  does  not
	       support	the XDPMS extension, and so control over the monitor's
	       power state is not available.

	   Standby After
	       If Power	Management Enabled is selected,	the  monitor  will  go
	       black  after  this  much	 idle time.  (Graphics demos will stop
	       running,	also.)

	   Suspend After
	       If Power	Management Enabled is selected,	the  monitor  will  go
	       into  power-saving  mode	after this much	idle time.  This dura-
	       tion should be greater than or equal to Standby.

	   Off After
	       If Power	Management Enabled is selected,	the monitor will fully
	       power  down after this much idle	time.  This duration should be
	       greater than or equal to	Suspend.

	   Quick Power-off in Blank Only Mode
	       If the display mode is set to Blank Screen  Only	 and  this  is
	       checked,	 then the monitor will be powered off immediately upon
	       blanking, regardless of the  other  power-management  settings.
	       In this way, the	power management idle-timers can be completely
	       disabled, but the screen	will be	powered	off when black.

       These options control how the screen fades to  or  from	black  when  a
       screen saver begins or ends.

	   Fade	To Black When Blanking
	       If  selected,  then when	the screensaver	activates, the current
	       contents	of the screen will fade	to  black  instead  of	simply
	       winking out.

	   Unfade From Black When Unblanking
	       The  opposite:  if  selected, then when the screensaver deacti-
	       vates, the original contents of the screen will	fade  in  from
	       black  instead  of appearing immediately.  This is only done if
	       Fade To Black is	also selected.

	   Fade	Duration
	       When fading or unfading are selected, this  controls  how  long
	       the fade	will take.

       This  option  menu lists	the color schemes available for	use on the un-
       lock dialog.

       There are more settings than these available, but these	are  the  most
       commonly	used ones; see the manual for xscreensaver(1) for other	param-
       eters that can be set by	editing	the ~/.xscreensaver file, or the X re-
       source database.

       xscreensaver-settings accepts the following command line	options.

       -display	host:display.screen
	       The  X  display to use.	The xscreensaver-settings program will
	       open its	window on that display,	and also control the  xscreen-
	       saver daemon that is managing that same display.

       -prefs  Start  up  with the Advanced tab	selected by default instead of
	       the Display Modes tab.

       -debug  Causes lots of diagnostics to be	printed	on stderr.

       The xscreensaver	and xscreensaver-settings processes must  run  on  the
       same  machine,  or  at least, on	two machines that share	a file system.
       When xscreensaver-settings writes a new version of the  ~/.xscreensaver
       file, xscreensaver needs	to see that same file, or it won't work.

       DISPLAY to get the default host and display number.

       PATH    to  find	 the sub-programs to run.  However, note that the sub-
	       programs	are actually launched by the xscreensaver daemon,  not
	       by  xscreensaver-settings  itself.   So,	 what  matters is what
	       $PATH that the xscreensaver program sees.

       HOME    for the directory in which to read and write the	 .xscreensaver

	       to  get	the  name of a resource	file that overrides the	global
	       resources stored	in the RESOURCE_MANAGER	property.

       HTTP_PROXY, HTTPS_PROXY,	http_proxy, or https_proxy
	       to get the default proxy	host and port.

       The latest version of xscreensaver, an online version of	 this  manual,
       and a FAQ can always be found at

       X(1),   xscreensaver(1),	 xscreensaver-command(1),  xscreensaver-getim-
       age(6), xscreensaver-getimage-file(6),  xscreensaver-getimage-video(6),

       Copyright  (C)  1992-2021  by Jamie Zawinski.  Permission to use, copy,
       modify, distribute, and sell this software and  its  documentation  for
       any  purpose  is	 hereby	 granted  without fee, provided	that the above
       copyright notice	appear in all copies and that both that	copyright  no-
       tice and	this permission	notice appear in supporting documentation.  No
       representations are made	about the suitability of this software for any
       purpose.	 It is provided	"as is"	without	express	or implied warranty.

       Jamie Zawinski <>, 13-aug-1992.

       Please let me know if you find any bugs or make any improvements.

X Version 11		      6.04 (29-May-2022)	       XScreenSaver(1)


Want to link to this manual page? Use this URL:

home | help