Using XScreenSaver Hacks with mate-screensaver

Here we explain how to use XScreenSaver EXCELLENT screensaver hack collection with the MATE screensaver applet.

  • Install xscreensaver and mate-screensaver
  • On my linux distribution this creates the following directories:
    • /usr/libexec/xscreensaver: contains the screensaver hacks executables
    • /usr/libexec/mate-screensaver : contains the mate-screensaver executables
    • /usr/share/applications/screensavers : containes the dekstop files
  • Create a small script that will call the screensaver hack with the right arguments. Make sure this script is in the /usr/libexec/mate-screensaver directory, as the mate-screensaver preferences will not accept any executables that are not in the right places.
  • Create a desktop file to call the screensaver hack. Verify that the Exec property contains the application with the right arguments and the TryExec only contains a path to the script that you created in the previous step. The mate-screensaver preferences applet will test if the file specified in TryExec is indeed executable.
  • Restart mate-screensaver. I usually logout and log back in.

For my computers I use this script:

This simplifies the full process. Just run the script (you may need to sudo) with the following options:

  • $0 hacks [-e\|-d]
    • shows the list of hacks and its enabled or disabled status.
    • the -e option will only show enabled hacks.
    • the -d option will only show disabled hacks.
  • `$0 enable [--all|hacks]
    • enable the specified hacks.
    • Use --all to enable all available hacks (excluding blacklisted hacks)
  • `$0 disable [--all|hacks]
    • disable the specified hacks.
    • Use --all to disable all available hacks

If you like XScreenSaver and would like to see the same software on Windows, you should read this article from the XScreenSaver author.