Completely disable screen blanking in Zorin OS 16 Lite [XFCE]

I don't think this is a Zorin problem, but I'm hoping somebody here has some experience.

I moved to Zorin OS 16 Lite, in the last couple of days. I cannot stand XFCE due to several issues. The major one is that it always blanks; I cannot get XFCE to stay on. If I lock the system, it puts the computer to sleep and blanks the screen.

No matter what settings I've tried, it still blanks. Has anybody ran into this and found a fix?

I am not sure I understand the issue.
I remember when I switched from Zorin Core to Zorin Lite, I hated XFCE. I even called it a virus, once...
However, after learning how it works, it's a lot like switching to manual transmission after learning how to drive on an automatic.
I will never go back to automatic (Or Gnome) again.

If you are referring to the screensaving function, then

xset -s 0 0

Should prevent screen blanking.
If you are referring to Lockscreen, please open Settings > Power Manager > Display.
Set all sliders to "Never"
Under System - slider to "never'

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When I go to lock the screen, as I do every time I leave the keyboard, the screen blanks and the system suspends/sleeps.

I have tried the following:

  • Startup: "xset s off s noblank -dpms"
  • Power Management: Everything to off
  • Screensaver: Everything disabled

I've not tried the

xset -s 0 0

yet, not sure if I'll try that or not; Zorin OS 16 is my last attempt to enjoy Linux. I've been using it, on and off, since 1996; I was the President of my university's Linux User's Group (LUG) and got dozens of businesses to switch over to Linux, in some portion (server or desktop) since 2000. Now, GNOME has their issues, KDE has telemetry (sure, it's opt-in now, but will it always be that way?), and the other DEs leave a lot to be desired.

My favorite WM is openbox. I love a properly setup Void Linux with openbox; however, being that they're a rolling-release distro, it often breaks or has issues. For work, that's not a good thing.

I dislike XFCE for many reasons; no matter what settings I try, full screen will sometimes go under the panel, but... only if I move the panel to the top; if I leave it where it is, on the bottom in Zorin OS 16 Lite, or on the side, as in MX Linux, I don't have that issue.

I tried removing the panel and XFCE does not like it; so, going online, people suggest leaving it one pixel and hiding it and then using tint2 and plank. XFCE is the best the early 2000s had to offer in WM/DE development. In that regard, they're better than LXQT or LXDE or Mate or Cinnamon.

I've tried installing and running openbox in Zorin and that did not go so well. In fact, it lead to a reinstall. XFCE has many small problems, which have nothing to do with Zorin. Search for the screen blanking issues and you can see it goes waaaay back in history.

I miss the days of a solid, easy blackbox WM; that turned into fluxbox, which I don't care for as much, and then, of course, openbox.

But, as for XFCE. Although I'm running it now, I'm actively looking at other distros. I love the Zorin OS experience (which is extremely odd, because there are so many problems with the individual pieces: systemd -- I ran into journald corruption many times over the years; GNOME is the closest to Windows the Linux world has and it's directly tied to the U.S. DoD, CIA, FBI et al.; and Ubuntu -- I used to push Ubuntu hard, as a replacement for Windows/Mac, until their telemetry fiasco).

tl;dr -- I don't much care for XFCEs workflow, its many small issues and the rather large one above. I would use it if I could get it to stop shutting off my monitor or system.

It is interesting; We agree more than we disagree, yet where we disagree is stark. I think this stands as evidence about how personal workflow is.
For me, workflow is stunted on Gnome, whereas it flows smoothly on XFCE.

Have you yet tried Antix Linux?
There are quite a few distros that pack in different and even little known Window Managers by default.

Yeah, I've used antiX, Mepis, and now MX Linux off and on over the years. For me, they seem more like hobbiest distros rather than a solid, I'll-stake-my-multimillion-dollar-business IT solution.

That's why I tried Zorin OS, it's a company and I was happy to pay for their Pro license; however, I hadn't used GNOME/Ubuntu for a long time, so I was shocked that they behaved more like Windows, in some aspects.

Up until today, Zorin OS Pro was my goto solution; however, given the underlaying technical problems, I'm at a loss to where I could go, now.

My workflow on a Void openbox:

  • xanmod kernel for performance changes;
  • 4 Desktops for different tasks;
  • plank for "favorite" or most used programs;
  • tint2 for the current Desktop's open apps;
  • Conky to watch system resources, running on all desktops;
  • Mouse wheel control of desktop switching;
  • Keyboard shortcuts setup for openbox that make sense to me (simple things, really)
  • Absolutely no network connection unless I explicitly allow it;

In GNOME, the workflow is horrible; I dislike the recent changes even more than the previous ones. Yet, in Zorin, I was able to get some of the functionality back (for example, Super Key opens the application menu rather than showing open apps).

I've literally spent all day looking at different distros and booted a couple on Ventoy (which I like, so far). I tried Nutrix Linux, but could not get into their workflow (the 'Close', 'Minimize' and 'Maximize' buttons are on the far, top left of the screen... horrible design); tried Pop_OS!, but it didn't feel as solid as Zorin, to me; MX Linux 21.2.1 - it's okay; AV Linux based on MX Linux 21.2 - not office ready, in my opinion; Nobara Linux - not a Fedora/Redhat fan; Void Linux - love this distro, as a personal choice, but would never use it in an office; AgarimOS - a Void Linux respin, same issues

So, I'm back to Zorin. Today got me a little depressed. I even thought about selling my brand new system (new to me, an Intel NUC Hades Canyon, Intel i7-8809g CPU AMD Radeon Vega M GH GPU, 3tb NVMe total) or trading for a Mac. I should have been answering a ton of questions that need to be done by tomorrow.

This morning, an update messed up my system. After trying to fix it, I decided to install Zorin OS Pro Lite and did not like it. So, I spent the day trying to find an OS home; a day of productivity lost :confused:

This lead me to reconsidering Zorin OS Pro (normal); but, I remember my issues with updates. So, here I am, still without a system. I'm actually typing this on Ventoy-booted Zorin OS Pro on USB.

The ZorinGroup did a remarkable job in listening to user feedback and utilizing gnome-shell-extensions to add much back to the Gnome Zorin Desktop.
I... am well known on my opinions of Gnome... For me to compliment any Gnome Desktop is... Amazing Grace.

I feel your pain and I admit... A bit hypocritically.
Your excellent expression reminds me more of the things I used to be more vocal about.
Like... Systemd.
I resist it... I have even changed a build of Zorin OS to Sysvinit.
Yet, as we speak, I am currently using it, grinding my teeth, on this build of Zorin OS 16.
See, I am new to Linux. You are an old timer. I got on board only recently. I had a lot of back-learning to do.
My intro to Linux was on gtk3 and gtk2 was a thing of the past. By the time I checked Linux out... I came in during the transition to Microsoft Linux. I got here too late...
And I really think that is part of the problem.

Many new Users are overwhelmed coming into Linux.
I think that they expect Linux to be clean, unfettered by money and politics. Different from Windows.
But the reality is that Linux is subject to the same humanity that compels Mac and Microsoft.
So...
They give up.
The easiest way to cope is to
...not care.

And it is easier on the newer migrants since WIndows and Android already condition them to do just that.
It's still an improvement, using Linux over those options...

I had a brain aneurysm rupture in 2011; when I returned to Linux, nothing I was trained for actually applied and I did not know why. You can still go on the SUSE and OpenSUSE forums and see my questions. I did not know about the fiasco about systemd. After updating my system after coming out of a coma and life-changing disability, I found that something called journald had crashed and messed up my system.

When I asked questions, I was attacked. That began my systemd problems.

Even more concerning for people like me, who've been around for a long time in the IT industry, is the fact that many of these proprietary and large corporations now sit on the board of the Linux kernel. I think that is a massive problem and may be why we're starting to see these changes.

Fun fact: I went to school with Linus Torvald's god-daughter in Quebec, Canada, at Universite Laval.

In the end, I'm just really searching for a solid, business-class OS. One that I do not have to tinker with to make it work. I may try this XFCE for a couple days, but I have a lot of work to do and need a solid system tonight.

Interestingly, recently one of the Debian Devs (Now retired) admitted on Reddit that the reason he pushed so hard for SystemD to be adopted into Debian was because he was friends with some of the SystemD developers.
He had not even tested it, in spite of his vocal endorsement of it.

Toz is a wonder on the XFCE forums. I wonder if he may be able to better help you.

Okay, more XFCE problems:

  • tumblerd is thrashing my damn SSD and eating up memory; I cannot uninstall tumblerd since it will remove XFCE completely sigh
  • PCManFM file manager, I cannot right-click on any file and choose the default application; when I use PCManFM, tumblerd does not run

I haven't tried SpaceFM; I can't stand Thunar, in part due to the above problem. I forgot about until I had trouble copying files from the USB to the hard drive

After spending hours installing software and copying my files back to the system, the problems are piling up. I'm about as frustrated with XFCE as I've ever been, now.

I got this(strangely)! Tumblerd is related only to Thunar, but you cannot remove it completely because XFCE in some case relay on thunar.
I had install and set as default Dolphin, it has a lot of functionality, even the right click function you need.

We are almost peer aged, so please allow me to give you my 2 cent. I choose to stay on open source software not for performances or functionality. Once I've used Macos for a couple of years and I think that such results are quite impossible to archive with linux. I choose it for the freedom, for not having a corporate that decide what and how I must use. Probably I don't use the PC like you, I'm just a average user, so I never really understand this "workflow" question. This distro I'm using has the close window button on a weird place? Well, if the other major things works I'll fit with it .There is a particular function that doesn't works? Same. Maybe on spare time I'll find a solution. Or I'll find a distro that doesn't has that problem.

If I close the lid of my laptop there is no way to restore without rebooting. Till I'll found a solution as "workaround" I put a pen under the lid, to preventing someone to close it (even myself) when I'm logged. It's ridiculous? Probably yes. But I think that a little compromise like this it's worth to have the possibility of free system, without having someone that impose me their choices at their price. But if you don't care about this and you need a

I think you should go with Mac/Windows. (I don't know enough RedHat/SuSe enterprise solutions to recommend them)

By the way, when you are not using it, put the mouse on analog wristwatch, this will prevent the system sleep :grin: , this is what my technical knowledge of linux allows me.

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I have used windows my whole life, just moved to Linux because windows 11 CORRUPTED MY WHOLE C: DRIVE when I tried to move back to windows 10,
Maybe I will think its difficult soon, but I love gnome and xfce, There amazing, all of my stuff is just perfect, sorry for you though.

@Owlatday The good news is that I was able to remove tumblerd without destroying the OS. I figured that I was going to have to re-install something anyway, so I might as well try it. Mac will probably be the one we go with for the business. I do not like Windows, at all. In the end, I just want my system to work. After tinkering with system after system after system for 26 years, it gets tiring. I have actual business to do, not use my system as a hobby.

I found a project that will make my Intel NUC Hades Canyon into a Hackintosh, so I might try that. The right-click is still slow on PCManFM; this is odd, I've never run into this problem before and couldn't even begin to guess how to troubleshoot the issue.

@dyzu Yeah, I've heard of Windows 11 completely locking people out of "their" systems due to encrypting the drive without the user's permission; and, these people are local, so, I can only imagine how much more widespread it is.

GNOME 3.x and up all act like Windows. Tracker-Miner-fs is constantly indexing the system, which eats up valuable resources and can destroy an SSD. I've actually talked with the lead developer about its privacy policy and there isn't one, specifically, for Tracker.

Also, the GNOME development team has forced their ideas of usability on the users. That was a major problem between GNOME 2 and the modern era and it set off a major discussion. They are still removing functionality and adding telemetry.

XFCE has had problems since its inception. If you haven't run into them as of today, consider yourself lucky. Outside of GNOME and XFCE, there are other major problems in the kernel, userland, systemd, et al. I used to say that I chose Linux for security and privacy, but now, neither really exist.

This writer is a Linux user and supporter, but still keeps a running list of major Linux issues.

The Shellshock vulnerability was there for decades; it's hard to believe that a government-level bad actor didn't insert that on purpose.

Debian lists potential privacy/security issues that may be found in their OS.

systemd is a morass/mess of code that continues to grow. Scope creep is a real issue, not necessarily because of the services it has consumed, but because the code is so large, no audits take place. It has had major vulnerabilities, where something like runit has not. Void Linux' implementation of runit is small enough that you can audit it yourself.

As to the original issue: I still haven't found a solution to the screen blanking/sleep after locking the system.

Maybe I am extremely lucky, but apart from my first experiments with mandrake, in the end I have always managed to have more or less working systems. Without any messes that weren't caused by me. Calculate roughly thirty PCs (between mine and those of friends and relatives) and several hundred distros tested. But as already said by someone in linux there are 50 shades of "it works" and as many of "it does not work", so maybe what for me is acceptable to you is not.
Anyway:
gimli

About your problem, certainly you're a more advanced user than I will ever be, so I can't give you a solution. But when a similar problem has happened to me, it was caused by swapfile. I resolved creating a separated swap partition.Just an idea. You can judge if could be useful
I wish you to find a solution (and to stay on linux). Good Luck

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When I first migrated to Linux, it seemed I had to wipe and reload once a week.
Now, even with the same level of exploration and experimentation, I have not needed to reinstall in almost a year.
The learning curve is quite manageable.

It is noteworthy that there are existent lists on Windows OS; flaws that have remained for decades, long standing inconsistencies and bugs, security vulnerabilities... On Windows, there is more acknowledgement that the user is the primary door to computer infection. Poor choices and ignorant actions - so MS tries harder to restrict and control the user.
MS dreams of the day that the user cannot enter in regedit or cmd.
Going on Windows forums, you see helpers guiding people to open a terminal (cmd) and enter in commands, yet when the average user comes over to Linux, they express shock at the terminal.

@Owlatday , for you or me, a small problem here or there is no big deal.
But for the O.P., who would be installing one OS on a large number of computers which would be used by many Windows Users, some of whom do not even realize that they are even using Linux, those small problems are a nightmare.
A person will spend all day chasing issue reports and it can reflect poorly on them.

Have you yet checked out the issue on the XFCE forum?
We may be focusing too much on the Screenlocker or Screensaver - I wonder if it is a LightDM issue or a Graphics issue.

Reading your all post.
I can sayed one after years Zorin DE is mostly the same on the years. I mean a desktop but some next years they implementation dependences package and they are stable. Everywhere you don't seeing a perfect distribution. Everything changing but Zorin on this years evolved inside but not outside. Something like a old car bought somewhere rust and damaged but inside always is the same soul. That why Zorin is built with good stable packages.
That my two cent.
I know poeple have diffrent preferences to choice for them correct operating system.

I didn't ask there, but I've searched in their forums. I found an answer, but it's definitely a hack.

It seems like this is a problem with XFCE for years.

I removed XFCE and now I'm on Windows (for the moment). I have an Intel NUC Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK; it's about 4 years old, but the drivers, especially 32 bit, in Linux are problematic. In Windows, they work flawlessly, even with a 1-year old driver release; in Linux, 32 bit applications see it as an ATI Radeon 9500 from 2003. Ouch.

Yes Windows is ok. I have some many type pc and i can sayed it depends how you using your pc and operating system - that working without problems any operating system what you have windows,macOS or linux.

Unfortunately, for anyone concerned with security or privacy, Windows 11, in any form outside Enterprise, should not be considered at all.

I never did find a proper fix for this issue; that is to day, I never did find any fix. Hibernate and sleep have been problematic on Linux for quite awhile, so much so that some major distros are disabling the ability to hibernate based on technical considerations.

In Windows{10,11}, it's as easy as a few power settings adjustments. In XFCE, it seemingly cannot be done; and, like I stated before, the issue is an historical problem with XFCE. Sad.

If you have set all power settings in XFCE to "never"
Set screensaver to Never or even - removed the screensaver application;
It really should not blank the screen.

The Long Standing Bug exists when users Want to use a screensaver; but wish to not lock the screen at other times with the screensaver.

IF all else has failed,
add xset s 00 && xset -dpms to your home .profile file and save.
Then reboot.
That pretty much must prevent screen locking after an interval. Using that, however, your screensaver will be rendered functionally useless. (I never use a screensaver).

I don't use screensavers, either. The problem was that when I wanted to lock my screen, for example if I step away to go get coffee and do not want to log out, then the screen would go to sleep.

After that, it was a 50/50 chance of whether the computer would need a reboot or not.