xscreensaver+gdmflexiserver or gnome-screensaver

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xscreensaver+gdmflexiserver or gnome-screensaver

Postby ectospasm » 2011-05-17 08:12

Neither of these combinations work properly. I use gdm3 for my login manager, and I'd rather keep it that way since other users of this machine use GNOME. I use xmonad for my desktop environment. I have two issues:

  • xscreensaver+gdmflexiserver work well, it automatically locks, but clicking on "New Login" presented by xscreensaver it fails with the message about gdmflexiserver no longer being supported. This makes letting other users log in practically impossible.
  • gnome-screensaver never automatically locks. I can lock it with Win+L, and everything is OK. But if I forget to lock it when I leave my desk, the screensaver does not lock, no matter what options I have in gnome-screensaver-preferences or gnome-power-manager.

I read in #538694 that the problem is in versions of gnome-screensaver after 2.26. In all later versions, gnome-screensaver relies on the the idle time reported by gnome-session. I have GNOME installed, since other users use it, but I don't want to start a full GNOME session just so gnome-screensaver will lock. Activating the screensaver isn't necessary (since I have it set to blank, anyway). I've had to play with the DPMS settings, so the screen blanks automatically but does not lock. So essentially this is a security issue for me. If I could figure a way to run gnome-session without starting a full GNOME-session, I think it could work. In the bug report I found, someone said they were able to workaround the problem by only installing gnome-session-bin, but this will not work for me since the other users of the system use GNOME.

The xscreensaver+gdmflexiserver is a problem, but it's not a security problem. I am the primary user of this machine, so using this option would work well for me 95% of the time. It's when others want to use my computer that this becomes an issue. I don't want them to reboot the machine while I'm not here, but I want them to be able to launch their own GNOME session without impinging on my normal session.

I only need a solution to one problem; if I solve one of the above problems the other problem will become immaterial. If another display manger (e.g. Slim) would work better for this purpose, by all means recommend it.
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Joined: 2011-05-09 08:09

Re: xscreensaver+gdmflexiserver or gnome-screensaver

Postby ectospasm » 2011-05-17 13:31

I got xscreensaver to work. I had to go through the non-trivial process of downloading the Debian sources for xscreensaver-5.11 (current version on squeeze), and making a modification to the debian/patches/53_XScreenSaver.ad.in.patch. Essentially, change this:

Code: Select all
-@NEW_LOGIN_COMMAND_P@*newLoginCommand: @NEW_LOGIN_COMMAND@
+! @NEW_LOGIN_COMMAND_P@*newLoginCommand:   @NEW_LOGIN_COMMAND@
+! Debian: Hard-wire the command in case the build machine does not have gdm
+*newLoginCommand:  gdmflexiserver -l -a -c FLEXI_XSERVER


To this:

Code: Select all
-@NEW_LOGIN_COMMAND_P@*newLoginCommand: @NEW_LOGIN_COMMAND@
+! @NEW_LOGIN_COMMAND_P@*newLoginCommand:   @NEW_LOGIN_COMMAND@
+! Debian: Hard-wire the command in case the build machine does not have gdm
+*newLoginCommand:  gdmflexiserver -l -a


According to gdmflexiser, the FLEXI_XSERVER command was not valid. However, it seems to have become valid when I installed the dependencies for building xscreensaver from source, and I seem to have switched from gdm3 to gdm as my display manager. Either way, I resolved my issue, and now the screensaver will lock my screen if I leave it idle, and I can let other users log in if my session is locked.

Switching to gdm rather than gdm3 may also have let gnome-screensaver work as desired. If I get a chance to test that I will report back here.
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Joined: 2011-05-09 08:09

Re: xscreensaver+gdmflexiserver or gnome-screensaver

Postby secipolla » 2011-05-17 15:04

Current xscreensaver in sid (5.13) has fixed this.
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Re: xscreensaver+gdmflexiserver or gnome-screensaver

Postby secipolla » 2011-05-17 18:42

But I suggest using the workaround instead.
I had xscreensaver 5.13 from upstream source and "half" the times screenlock was called it crashed xscreensaver. And I noticed this in the recently packaged version.
Since I was lazy and didn't report the crashes upstream I'll try and help now.
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Re: xscreensaver+gdmflexiserver or gnome-screensaver

Postby secipolla » 2011-05-17 20:00

Ok, it seems this bug happens only if xscreensaver is set to 'Blank' (its developer said so). So 5.13 could be safely installed and used but no setting it to only blank the screen.
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