Xfce Screensaver 0.1.5 Now Available

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The Xfce team is moving forward to a stable release of version 4.14 either late July or early August. A new version of the Xfce Screensaver as well as a new version of the Exo development library are the latest building-blocks to fall into place.

Xfce's Screensaver is new to the 4.14 release. It's codebase is a fork of mate-screensaver which is itself a fork of the now discontinued gnome-screensaver which was a fork of good old xscreensaver. Xfce's Screensaver can therefore use all the fancy OpenGL screensavers available to xscreensaver and other screensavers based on it. It also has a it's own built-in screensavers "Floating Xfce", "Pictures folder" and "Pop art squares". These are all you get unless you install optional screensavers. The packages you absolutely do want for fancy OpenGL effects are xscreensaver-gl on Ubuntu and xscreensaver-gl-base on Fedora. Xfce's Screensaver has a wide range of good-looking GPU-wasting screensavers available to it when these packages are installed:


Xfce's screensaver has the same 3 binaries xscreensaver does and they follow the same pattern: xfce4-screensaver for starting it, xfce4-screensaver-preferences for configuring it and xfce4-screensaver-command for controlling it with commands like xfce4-screensaver-command --lock[1]

The locked screen dialog uses Mugshot to pull a "personal" picture if one is by the user. The lock screen with no picture looks like this:


username has been removed to protect the innocent

New features in Xfce Screensaver 0.1.5

xfce4-screensaver now works with elogind. This is important for users of GNU Guix and Gentoo Linux as well as the superior *BSD operating systems. It also adds support for profile images from the D-Bus AcccountsService[2]

There's also a long list of bugs fixed since 0.1.4. These are:

  • Added categories to display in the Settings Manager (Xfce #15507)
  • Added a fallback idle timer for when X11 screensaver doesn’t notify
  • Fixed warning during configure stage (Xfce #15552)
  • Fixed Inhibitor lock (Xfce #15551)
  • Hid screensaver themes from “Open with” options (Xfce #15531)
  • Numerous cppcheck, cpplint, and Coverity Scan fixes

There's also code-cleanups under the hood with 2,700+ lines of unused code being eradicated. The monitor-handling logic has also been simplified.

Our sources in the Xfce developer community tell us that there is a lot of potential for more code-cleanups in the codebase.

"seems 60% of the code is a simple signals connections/reconnections and duplicated getters/setters"

xfce developer speaking under the condition of anonymity

New Exo release

A new version 0.12.6 of the Exo application library has also been released. It has several bug-fixes. You can read more about them in Xfce developer Sean M. Davis's blog.

Still on schedule

The most popular Linux desktop is still on schedule for a 4.14-pre2 released on June 30th followed by either a 4.14-pre3 or a 4.14 final release on 28th of July depending on how things go. 4.14 final will at worst be delayed until 11th of August depending on how the 4.14-pre2 release goes.