Gdm - have a live screensaver with your log in screen
Here’s how to have a screensaver running when X starts. This removes gdm’s default graphical greeter and replaces it with a “log in box” but with a screensaver running live in the background
estimated time: five minutes difficulty:- nah, it’s easy ;-)
first check that you have the xscreensaver package. Run the command
You should see listings like /usr/blah/xscreensaver otherwise you may have to install the packagae or check your $PATH as required.
back up the original file!!
cp /etc/X11/gdm/gdm.conf /etc/X11/gdm/gdm.conf.original
The file that we work with is the file /etc/X11/gdm/gdm.conf. Note that lines beginning with a ‘#’ are comments and are not used by the computer. Use them to read the code writer’s recommendations, (very useful), or to make your own notes in this file. We edit this file as root and save changes once finished. Having a back up copy means that you can hack till the cows come home. You've kept a back up so there are no worries.
These settings are based on -my- preferences. They do not have an effect on the gdm login screen that we are about to set up.
I prefer not to allow remote logins or root logins
disallow automatic logins AutomaticLoginEnable=false AutomaticLogin=false
section - [security]
disallow root and remote logins AllowRoot=false AllowRemoteRoot=false AllowRemoteAutoLogin=false
section - [greeter]
This is the standard login greeter. It does look a it basic but we can “soup” this up a bit later
don’t show a title bar that a user can move about.
don’t show the user any configurations available at login time
Now for the fun
From here on we configure our log in screen to have a screensaver (called xscreensaver), running behind the “login box” when the computer starts with X (graphical mode). The first thing you need to do is to find out where your screensavers -are- and what they are. For my system i run
ls -l /usr/X11R6/lib/xscreensaver/
this tells what screensavers i have then
ls -l/usr/X11R6/lib/xscreensaver/ |wc -l
this tells me how many screensavers i have got to play with
to see a screensaver in action run this command
then hit settings. near the top of the screen, look for mode. Now hit only one screen saver. Hit any screensaver on the (hopefully long) list of files. These files are the ones that you saw when you ran the ls -l /usr/X11R6/lib/xscreensaver/ command. Select a simple one like juggler. Hit settings, then advanced. Make a note of the commad. For example
we will use that later :)
do you still have that file /etc/X11/gdm/gdm.conf to hand? get ready to edit!
section - [greeter]
Welcome=Login to network %n
You can not have a background picture -and- an xscreensaver running at the same time, so turn those background images off.
Here we specify the full path the the xscreensaver that we want. Now it’s time to make use of the command that we recored earlier
Here we tell X to keep runnig the screensaver untill we login
Save any changes that you have made to this file.
Now it’s time to test. An unsophisticated method to restart X is to hit <ctrl><alt><backspace> I guess that you could run in a virtual terminal as user root
init 3 && init &
but heyyy :=)
There’s prolly some other method like
but I don’t know it.
Anyway, what ever method that you have used to restart X -should- have a nice log in screen with an xscreensaver running in the backgorund :=)
If X borks and you an see a login box, get into a virual terminal and
mv /etc/X11/gdm/gdm.conf.original /etc/X11/gdm/gdm.conf
to get things back to normal. This was the original file with all of the default setting
jayeola - john maclean