How To Install Or Change Screensaver in Ubuntu?

Screensavers  are a computer program which comes up when your computer sits idle, it could blank the screen or fill it with moving patterns or images. The main aim of screensavers was to put a limit phosphor burn-in on CRT and plasma computer screens that’s why called Screensavers. With advanced technology and modern monitors, screensavers are not used for that purpose now, however, it is set up to give a fundamental layer of security, by asking password to access the device again. Some people also use screensavers for entertainment, provide either static or real-time information and more.

You get to apply screensavers on Windows, Mac but not Ubuntu. If you are an Ubuntu user, then you must know that the screen comes up blank as a screensaver. This is because, in the recent past, post GNOME 3, the developers chose to abandon the screensaver, keep screen blank instead.

Although, people who have been using Linux for a long time, knows about xscreensaver which exists for some time. Xscreensaver has cool hacks for a screensaver, yes you heard it, right?

In this post, we have listed steps to install or change the screensaver in Ubuntu 16.04, 18.04, 18.10, despite the support for the same is not provided anymore.

How to Install Screensaver in Ubuntu?

You need to run a set of commands in order to install xscreensaver in Ubuntu 16.04, 18.10, 18.04. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Launch terminal

Step 2: Install the packages by executing the commands below:

sudo apt-get install xscreensaver xscreensaver-gl-extra xscreensaver-data-extra

Step 3: In order to remove the GNOME screensaver, you need to type in the below command

sudo apt-get remove gnome-screensaver 

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Start The Screensaver via AutoStart

If you want to start the screensaver on its own, you need to add a command in startup applications.

Note: Open the startup applications via dock search.

You need to click on Edit and then on the following window, type Xscreensaver beside Name.

Type in the command:  xscreensaver -nosplash beside the command box.

Start The Screensaver via AutoStart
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How To Configure

You need to follow these steps to configure.

Step 1: Locate your screensaver using application menu or dock search once the installation is completed.

Step 2: Now you can stipulate the timings of screensavers along with customizing several other settings in the meantime.

That’s it! Now, you can get rid of your black and boring screensaver as now you know how you can install or change screensaver on your Ubuntu desktop. If you have any issues while following these steps, mention it in the comments section below.


  • comment_avtar
    It works on Ubuntu 20.04 & 22.04 as well. Thank you for this article.

    2 years ago
    • comment_avtar
      Mridula Nimawat
      Glad you liked it.

      2 years ago
    • comment_avtar
      Preeti Seth
      Hello Kamalakar, Thank you for your feedback.

      2 years ago
  • comment_avtar
    James Murphy
    I miss having a screensaver–great article. Got it set up in a matter of minutes on Ubuntu 22.04

    2 years ago

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