This is a dorky question and the merits of it are pointless. I have a system for guests and I want a BSOD screensaver for the login. I've been fiddling around for a while with various attempts at making it happen.

The system runs Debian Jessie.

What I tried at least got the xscreensaver-demo window running when lightdm starts. The daemon will not start. If someone can help me get the daemon to start it will be a step in the right direction. In fact, all my problems should be solved.

At this point I've not cared about security implications. I found I can have a script for the greeter by adding this line to /etc/lightdm.conf:


The script simply was this, so I could get xscreensaver-demo to run and bootstrap what I want. It says this greeter setup script runs as root, and just having the script run xscreensaver-demo did create a window. However, it could not start the xscreensaver daemon.

I then tried running xscreensaver-demo as lightdm with this with my script:

su -l "lightdm" -c "/usr/bin/xscreensaver-demo" &

At that point nothing happened, and I am running out of ideas and bad hacks to attempt this. I honestly don't understand lightdm very well, but I still think this can be done.

Note: I am trying to get xscreensaver-demo running so I can select a screensaver, after that the greeter can just run with xscreensaver.

I've considered adding a window manager to the greeter, but twm is all that came to mind and manually placing all the windows lightdm makes it pretty silly.


You are probably forgetting to give xscreensaver the proper authentication cookies.

See https://github.com/the-cavalry/light-locker/issues/81 for an example on how to do this, and since you're not using light-locker the issue doesn't apply, and the scripts mentioned in that post should "just work" for you.


I found it here, and it is easy to install:

sudo apt-get install xscreensaver
sudo apt-get xscreensaver-extra-data
sudo apt-get install xscreensaver-screensaver-bsod

The beauty of it is that you get to select (in Settings) which style you like, and you can even have it cycle through them. I like the sad Mac to show up now and then. But linux-looking gibberish works great also.

People actually wonder if there is a problem and are afraid to touch it. Perfect for a screen saver.

(Of course, LCD and LED screens don't need saving like CRT's did but that's beside the point)

Have fun

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