Xfce Screen Locking without XScreensaver

If like me you dislike XScreensaver and its ugly unlock screen there is an easy alternative that is actually better integrated into Xfce. Korora like most distros includes Xscreensaver with Xfce. Xscreensaver provides both the screensaver graphics and screenlocking for security. Screensaving isn’t needed these days with modern monitors. It is a relic from the distant past of CRT monitors. However for laptops that can be taken anywhere and for desktops in public areas, screen locking is an important part of your security set up.

You can disable the screensaving so it just blanks the screen. But you still have the ugly Xscreensaver screen to type your password. There is a better way.

I remove xscreensaver, this isn’t strictly necessary but as it isn’t being used there is no point keeping it. ‘dnf erase xscreensaver*’ takes care of that.

Next I install light-locker. Light-locker works with LightDM which is the default Display Manager for Xfce in Korora and many other distros. Actually LightDM is used in Korora for other Desktop Environments too so this applies to them too. However it is well integrated into Xfce. ‘dnf install light-locker’ is all that is needed. I did a restart but I’m not sure if that is really needed.

Now Xfce’s Power Manager settings has gained an additional “Security” tab which allows you to configure Light-locker. Not that much needs configuring. On my laptop I enabled “Lock when Going to Sleep”. This enables me to put the laptop to sleep and lock the screen simply by closing the lid as I have set that as the default action elsewhere in the Power Manager settings.

Now when I open the laptop rather than the unlocked desktop or the ugly XScreensaver window appearing I get the LightDM login screen. That looks much better particularly as I have customised it but that is a subject for another day.

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