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If I lock the screen using gnome-screensaver (gnome-screensaver-command --lock) and enter the password, a big dot is shown instead of each character. Is it possible to change this behaviour such that no place-holders are shown if I type in my password (like normally in the shell)?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

There's a way to change it but it doesn't completely answer your question.
You can edit /usr/share/gnome-screensaver/lock-dialog-default.ui in your favorite text editor (be sure to make a backup first!). Scroll down and find

<object class="GtkEntry" id="auth-prompt-entry">
        <property name="can_focus">True</property>
        <property name="editable">True</property>
        <property name="visibility">False</property>
        <property name="max_length">0</property>
        <property name="text" translatable="yes"/>
        <property name="has_frame">True</property>
        <property name="activates_default">True</property>

"visibility" = False causes the password text effect. You can add a new property right below visibility to change the character (replacing the dot).

<property name="invisible-char"> </property>

I tried this on Debian 6 but it should work on any Gnome system. Unfortunately, it needs to show some kind of placeholder so it won't work like a terminal password prompt and show nothing. The closest I got was using a blank space. But you could experiment to see what does work.

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