I was able to place the xscreensaver.desktop shown below in /usr/share/gdm/greeter/autostart to run xscreensaver at the login screen. I can see that the xscreensaver process is running as gdm user. When I try to activate xscreensaver I only get a blank screen and after moving the mouse I can see the gnome-shell clock. When I press enter I return to the login screen. Is there any troubleshooting methods I can use to help figure out why Xscreensaver is not working at the login screen?

Contents of xscreensaver.desktop:

[Desktop Entry]
Exec=/usr/bin/xscreensaver -nosplash

Download xscreensaver for Centos 7: yum install xscreensaver

Change directory to /usr/bin and execute the following to adjust your preferences: ./xscreensaver-demo

Change to your home directory and edit your .bash_profile; I use gedit: gedit .bash_profile

Make sure /usr/bin is included in your $PATH separated with a colon.

After the export PATH in your .bash_profile include the following line: xscreensaver -nosplash &

Save the file, exit and re-login.

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