pátek 14. června 2013

Use Windows screensavers in Linux for screen locking

This arise from the discussion with one person who we tried to migrate to Linux. Her argument was that she would miss the Bubble screensaver :). No doubt, the new D3D Windows screensavers are cool and especially for the Bubbles screensaver there is currently no Linux counterpart. But the argument doesn't stand, here is the quick and dirty solution - the Wine:

  • Copy the screensaver, e.g. for the bubble screensaver copy the \Windows\System32\Bubbles.scr to the /opt/screensavers/ directory (or elsewhere).
  • Install the xlockmore package
  • Run the screensaver by:
    xlock -mode blank -geometry 0x0 \
    -startCmd "wine /opt/screensavers/Bubbles.scr /s"

The trick is to instruct the xlock to blank the screen area consisting of zero number of pixels, so the display is let unmodified for the screensaver. This was tested on the Fedora 18 and Xfce and worked OK. If you need to configure the screensaver, you can run it with the /c parameter. Unfortunately the Bubbles screensaver doesn't have implemented the configuration dialog and the command will fail, but there are still some hidden settings you can alter through the registry. I focused only on the technical side of the problem, not the legal one, but I think it shouldn't be problem in case there is valid Windows license for the machine (e.g. machine with dual-boot).

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