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A terminal screensaver.

Forget Xscreensaver & co.


The Xorg X server has a screensaver builtin; settings can be queried via xset.

The scripts in this repository are three attempts at creating a simple "Marquee"-type screensaver: print the output of some command on screen, with variation in position & color (*).
They require at least one more program that is capable of activating them according to xset screensaver settings.

xss is one such program, and it is the one I'm using. It also comes with some useful extra utilities, esp. xsswin which allows me to embed other applications in a fullscreen window (used in glslideshow-wrapper).

xss-lock is another, and so is xautolock (this link for FreeBSD's Freshports; look under "Master Sites" to find sources).

Essentially these three programs do the same thing: They provide a mechanism to start an external application when the X server says "no user activity, time to start the screensaver".

The scripts

It isn't hard to imagine all the programs one can run in fullscreen to make for a nice screensaver. Two scripts make use of a terminal emulator, and the figlet and toilet utilities, to print large characters on screen. Toilet has nicer fonts, imo.

urxvt terminal emulator has a fullscreen option; others might have it too, or your window manager can provide it.

You will need a command like this in your autostart:

xss termss /path/to/termss/figletscript1 &

You might also want to compile and use hhpc - it hides the mouse pointer while running.


This is work in progress, you need to review and likely edit the scripts, there's not enough quality control etc.
But once it works, it works well enough. Stable, one could say.

(*) It is said that burn-in isn't an issue on LCD screens, but I still feel better varying the position of the text across the whole screen. Apart from that, I need some basic information on the screen, large enough so I can also see it from the kitchen, and colours are always nice.