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CAVEAT: XScreenSaver and other screensavers have known problems with VLC and xfce4-power-manager. If you're using XFCE or VLC you may want to check out those first.


My problem is that with modern laser based mice, a slight vibration of desktop, causes mouse to send signal as "moved". So I would like to stop the XScreenSaver only with keyboard -- I could have XScreenSaver running and move the mouse with no effect on it (clicking could be ignored or not, I don't care).

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  • Alternative I would prefer to see would be a 'deadzone' setting for mouse movement so that minor movement is ignored but large movement isn't. – Arrowmaster Jun 11 '11 at 23:02
  • Yes, this one too would be a solution. – greenoldman Jun 12 '11 at 7:41
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Using xscreensaver you can adjust the number of pixels that the mouse must move before deactivating the screensaver; not sure about completely disabling the mouse though.

If you are not already using XScreenSaver within KDE you can follow these instructions to set it up.

Once you do that you can create a file in your home directory called .xscreensaver and in that file enter:

xscreensaver.pointerHysteresis: 20

With 20 being the number of pixels (10 is the default).

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  • Thank you very much for such detailed answer. Sorry for long response, but I had to save some time to make all the setup. In my case there is probably a bug, I set the value to 100 (the maximum) and it takes only touching mouse to get xscreensaver turn off. – greenoldman Jul 3 '11 at 10:17
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There are two values you may find useful, one checks the distance, the other the interval for time.

  • pointerPollTime (class Time, default 5 seconds) When server extensions are not in use, this controls how frequently xscreensaver checks to see if the mouse position or buttons have changed.
  • pointerHysteresis (class Integer, default 10 pixels) If the mouse moves less than this-many pixels in a second, ignore it (do not consider that to be "activity.") This is so that the screen doesn't un-blank (or fail to blank) just because you bumped the desk.

Both of these can be set in the ~/.xscreensaver file. See man xscreensaver for more information.

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