OT: xscreensaver doesn't work

ToddAndMargo ToddAndMargo at zoho.com
Mon Feb 12 15:15:25 CET 2018

On 02/12/2018 03:07 AM, houghi wrote:
> On 2018-02-12 11:03, ToddAndMargo wrote:
>>> the »Presentation Mode« is exactly for this, preventing the
>>> screensaver, avoiding auto shutdown and brightness reducing, so your
>>> presentation can run uninterrupted.
>>> You get what you wanted.
>>> BR
>>> Silvio
>> What presentation?  Nothing is different on my screen with it on or off.
>> And, I also run "Red Shift", which also doesn't care if "presentation
>> mode" is enabled or not.
> No idea what presentation. Perhaps none at all. It is not "Doing the 
> presentation" It is "Presentation mode" That means that it goes into a 
> status as if you are doing a presentation or something else where you do 
> not want to lock the machine or dim the screen for whatever reason, but 
> most likely during a presentation.
> It is like "sleep mode" without me actually sleeping.
> Kind regards,
> houghi

I doesn't do a thing on my machine.  Or, give any indication
that it is suppose to do anything.  The stupid icon doesn't
even change to indicate that it is doing something.

And it does nothing.  Red Shift (it dims and changes the
color of my screen depending on the time of day), every
one gets around it.  Everyone except xscreensaver.

It left me chasing all over creation trying to figure out what
the hell.  It was a gracious Red Hat engineer on their bugzilla
that figured it out.  "Gracious" as he is not suppose to help
with tech support issues.

Here are my notes on the issue:

xscreensaver not activating.

If you are running Xfce, turn off xfce4-power-manager's "presentation mode"

If that is not the issue, run a debug trace on xscreensaver.

     $ xscreensaver-command -exit
     $ xscreensaver -debug -log debug.txt

Look in debug.txt, if you are see a lot of
     xscreensaver: 20:41:08: ClientMessage DEACTIVATE received while
     inactive: resetting idle timer

This means that someone is telling xscreensaver to restart its

If you can't figure out Who Done It, then

As root, rename /usr/bin/xscreensaver-command.
Then run the following:

cat > /usr/bin/xscreensaver-command <<EOF

if [ -n $HOME ] ; then
   pstree -l -p > $HOME/xscreensaver-command-pid.txt
/usr/libexec/xscreensaver/xscreensaver-command "$@"
chmod 0755 /usr/bin/xscreensaver-command

Wait the time out period +2 and check $HOME/xscreensaver-command-pid.txt
for the offender.

And place the original xscreensaver-command back to normal.

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