Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Ubuntu Screen Saver Redux

IMPORTANT UPDATE: There is a solution here. Well, it worked for me anyway.

There is quite clearly some sort of bizarre fetishist working at Canonical. This individual gets their rocks off by entering into a cat and mouse game with Ubuntu users who do not want their fucking screens to go blank every 10 minutes.

The user starts by thinking that the screen is being turned off to save it from burning in. Realising that CRT's went out with Prince's last chance of decent royalties from "Let's party like it is 1999", the user will turn this option off. Especially if the user has a laptop which very rarely have a CRT displays - even in the second millennium.

(Although I did once encounter one. Some stupid bugger had bought a "Laptop" off some bloke down the pub for his child for Christmas. Turned up at my house at about 8pm on Christmas eve with something that looked like a double sized oscilloscope. You could only accurately describe this as a Laptop if you were a T100. He wanted some games for the vessel of his genes to play on their new computer of Christmas morning. I found some mouldy 5 1/4 inch disks (!) with some shareware on them and sent the man home, with a tear in my eye at the thought of the agonised disappointment that was going to be etched into the face of the little cherub that has been expecting a Sega Mega Drive from Santa and instead got a shitbox that could barely play monochrome pong. Oh, and I missed most of Hunt for Red October which was on TV trying to get the fucking thing to work).

So you turn off the screen saver and wait the requisite 10 minutes. Blank screen. Oh for fucks sake. You then think "A Ha!", maybe this is a POWER saving not a SCREEN saving option. After all I am running a Netbook where battery life is at a premium. The OS may be cutting the power to the screen not just saving it! So - into Power Management and select 'never' for "put display to sleep when inactive for" when running on AC power. Wait 10 minutes, blank screen. Oh for fuck's sake.

If you used previous versions of Ubuntu, then you have fought this battle before. You will recall that what you need to do, after HOURS of googling, is use your friendly neighbourhood gconf-editor to change the /apps/gnome-screensaver/idle_activation_enabled setting to false by unchecking it. So, using Karmic you uncheck this.

At this point the aforementioned fetishist giggles with glee and starts to touch themselves inappropriately.

You wait 10 minutes, and ......

Blank screen!

Fucking bastards. This worked in the previous version of Ubuntu and now you have fucked it up you bastards. Where, WHERE FOR FUCK'S SAKE, is the god damned setting which stops the fucking display going blank after 10 minutes. And why if you uncheck Activate Screensaver AND set turn off display to never does the fucking display keep going blank?

If this is not fixed in Lucid, I am going to hunt down the little pervert who is toying with me, and I am going to perform activities on them that would sicken Dr Mengele EVERY 10 MINUTES until they fix this.


  1. After googling for "how the fuck to turn off the fucking screensaver" I got here. And I did not mention something about a certain OS... However, I have the problem with OpenSuse 11.2. The screensaver seems to follow some special, psychic optimized timing scheme (currently about 1 minute) and, of course, asks for my password. As a bonus, I can avoid the password hustle if I jump and react quickly, moving the mouse within the first milliseconds after the screensaver gets active... keeps blood circulation at a good level. I once found a way to switch it off. Unfortunately, this only lasted until next reboot... or maybe it was the security update. We will never know. I recommend the ASCII-Fish bowl screensaver, it has sharks, huray!

  2. You would think by now someone would figure out how to FUCK fix this problem. I read the pissy moany arrogance on Slashdot about how great is Ubuntu, and from my perspective they can even get the FUCKing power management to work.

    And who would let 10.04 out the door with the NVIDIA blank screen problem that makes it a pain in the ass to install it.

    From what I can see, Ubuntu is still a fucking toy operating system.

  3. Sad I even had to find this, . . because I to am googleing for help. I want out of Windows, . . but this is not helping at all. . . at all. .

  4. Ubuntu 10.04 on an Asus EB1501 with the latest drivers downloaded from the nVidia site, here.

    In the "Screen" section of /etc/X11/xorg.conf add:

    Option "UseDisplayDevice" "DFP"


    Also add:

    Section "ServerFlags"
    Option "BlankTime" "0"
    Option "StandbyTime" "0"
    Option "SuspendTime" "0"
    Option "OffTime" "0"

    I think it was the second one ("ServerFlags") that fixed it for me. No more 10 minute screen blankage here.