Dropping gnome-screensaver in lucid?

Lionel Le Folgoc mrpouit at ubuntu.com
Sat Jan 16 17:09:57 UTC 2010

Hi folks,

Since karmic, gnome-screensaver heavily relies on gnome-session (for
example to get the inactivity time). Therefore, it won't automatically
activate on Xfce.  Xubuntu 9.10 has been released with this bug [1]; I
would like to avoid releasing lucid with the same broken feature.

Here are some possible alternatives:
 (1) patch gnome-screensaver to restore the old behavior;
 (2) switch to xscreensaver by default;
 (3) develop another Xfce-oriented screensaver;
 (4) do nothing.

IMHO, (1) isn't going to happen: upstream won't change it back, I don't
have time to patch gnome-screensaver nor to waste time to try to
convince some people of the desktop team to apply it (but if you have,
please step up)…

(3) looks sexy, but is a bit unwise wrt to security matters.
Screensavers are usually used to lock screens, so are sensitive pieces
of software. I'm not sure it'll be ready (and secure enough) for lucid…

(2) xscreensaver isn't really pretty, but works fine. At the moment, I
don't know if it can be manually customized by the artwork team, any
hints?  (there is already [2] to track this)

(4) isn't really an option. If nothing has been achieved or no decision
has been made before the UserInterfaceFreeze (March 4th, one week before
the first beta), I think I'll set xscreensaver by default (2), because
we can't release lucid as broken as karmic.

These are some quick thoughts. If you think I've missed an obvious
alternative, have better ideas or have already started to work on
something, feel free to react.


[1] <https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/xubuntu-meta/+bug/493573>

Lionel Le Folgoc - https://launchpad.net/~mrpouit
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