Why is screensaving so difficult

Read this first: OS is Zorin-Lite with "Zorin-OS-desktop" install on top (for gnome)

So... My PC is connected to a 4k LGTV OLED, and for this I want a screensaver that would simply project solid black after 1 minute Idle.

Under GUI settings I find that i can make display "blank" after 1 minute idle, however this makes my TV say "no signal" and do the opposite of what i want to achieve which is just save some energy and spare the LEDs in the TV. I also want to prevent burn-in. When my TV says "no signal" it also does it to the company of various bright vibrant pictures of... Flowers or something.

I tried xscreensaver and it seems to kick in to my liking, however it did not take into account that i for example were watching youtube.

Also, what i would like to do is to not kill the audio, if i for example were to play some music in the background, i would like to hear it even though the screensaver is on.

Had anyone tackled this problem before and come up with a good solution? I have a funny feeling that i am missing something obvious

The builtin screensaver on Zorin OS Lite (desktop) has an option at the bottom of the window: Inhibit screensaver for fullscreen applications.
Clicking this on will prevent the screensaver from kicking on when watching videos in fullscreen.

Is this the xfce-screensaver?

I think that one worked but it did display my mousecursor whilst blank, which was quite annoying. This is why i uninstalled it because i thought that there was some compatibility issues with the gnome interface, maybe i will install it again and combine it with unclutter?

Yes, it is xfce-screensaver

On mine, the mouse cursor will show for a short time, then blank out. It will reappear if the mouse is moved.

Blanking the screen = Stopping the display of anything. No video arrives at your TV.

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Yes, this is what I eventually found out, due to some language barrier, I thought blanking might be just... "black", but I understand now that is not the case.

When Im trying to launch xfce-screensaver I have to go through the software catalog, and from there I have to select the one I have "installed" to launch it.

Is this due to some kind of incompatibility with the gnome desktop? Should I try to install xfce-screensaver through terminal instead maybe?

I found that xfce4-power-manager did a good job. I set it to decrease brightness by 100% when idle. However to find xfce4-power-manager I have to go through xfce4-screensaver and launch it from there?
I set my xfce4-screensaver to "slideshow" without selecting any pictures, this might do the trick :slight_smile:

The Software Center does not get it from a different source, the reason it doesn't come up in any menus is because it was supposed to display in XFCE's Settings Dialog if I'm not mistaken

Hi! I'm not quite sure. I just installed Zorin Lite, and then due to scaling issues, I installed "Zorin-OS-desktop".

I'm sorry, I guess It is Gnome desktop :stuck_out_tongue: since zorin os desktop is gnome i guess!

This whole thread just got a lot more complicated.:expressionless:

Haha Yes, i also stated this in my original post. Lite + Zorin OS desktop might not be a good mix? So Im not sure if I will save time by simply formatting and installing Zorin core. Im quite sure that my troubles might be solved by doing this. Although I wont look forward to it. Still not sure how to get a solid black screensaver

In short - when you log in on a desktop environment, it only uses that desktop environment.

So you can safely use either and have both installed without any trouble.

But in operation; there will be differences between them, so my posting advice on how to access settings or change configurations will be different for Lite than they will be for Core.

Yes, i cannot really see why it should cause issues, however, i am a complete noob with ambition.

I tried installing gnome-screensaver but I dont know how I can open the application.

Xscreensaver works but cannot be configured to not turn on while playing media (fullscreen or not) with ease. I read a few posts about creating a script for xscreensaver that detects fullscreen and deactivates screensaver, but Its simply not good enough.

The built in "screensaver" in power management within the gnome ui only offers "blanking" which cuts of the signal and makes my TV go bananas.

As you are on Zorin Core desktop - are you logging in on Wayland or Xorg?


So i assume Xorg :slight_smile:

Then you should have no trouble installing and using Gnome-Screenshot tool.

I've had a fight with chatgpt but it helped me quite a lot as I've come to the conclusion that the only setting I needed to do was the following:
xsetroot -dpms

This feature makes the videosignal live even though screen is blanking.

So I've removed and purged all of the different packages that I have tried and if im correct, then the only built-in screensaver with Zorin OS Desktop is the one found under Settings --> Power --> Power saving: Blank Screen (I'm still not sure what the underlying name of the service/application is). when i list installed packages with word "screensaver", i can see cinnamon... Could this be the one that is controlling the screensaver in Zorin OS Desktop?
dpkg -l | grep -i screensaver
ii cinnamon-screensaver | 4.4.1-3ubuntu0.1 | amd64
Cinnamon screen saver and locker

ii libcscreensaver0:amd64 | .4.1-3ubuntu0.1 | amd64
library and introspection data used by cinnamon-screensaver

I have still got a problem with the mouse cursor still being visible when screensaver is activated. I'm running unclutter from command in .profile, but I believe I might have to run the command from a different startup-directory to make it execute even when screensaver is running. As soon as i "wake" system from screensaver, unclutter starts to work again.

The xset -dpms command tells X set to disable Display Power Management. That would, indeed, halt sleep or screensaver activities.

You have installed a lot of stuff... I agree with removing the extraneous software... they may each hold their own configuration files.

but that is what i want, I only want a black screen since I have an OLED, I dont want to turn off screen signal. And I'm so close to being 100%, just the mouse cursor visible while screen blank :stuck_out_tongue:

Not sure how I can reset to standard, I think I have uninstalled all the packages that wasnt original.
But note that this behaviour has been the same since install.

Is the Cinnamon screensave still installed?
If you started with Core, then installed the Lite D.E., that would have placed the gnome-screensaver and the xfce4-screensaver packages on your computer.