Home > Cobber, Gnome, MATE, Tutorial > Tutorial: How to create your own Screensaver using native Linux tools. (MATE)

Tutorial: How to create your own Screensaver using native Linux tools. (MATE)

October 6, 2012

What’s the point of this tutorial?

This tutorial is it is here for those who wish to work with what is already installed on their system and wish to have a screen background that changes at predetermined intervals. It is for those who want to understand the already natively available and installed system. It has been tested on Gnome 2 and MATE It is based on the script and setup for the background named “Cosmos” which comes pre-installed in Gnome 2  and MATE..

Please note: This is just 1 way of doing this, there are many more ways and formats possible. Choose what is the best for you. This tutorial isn’t here to dictate to anyone what is the best method for you to use. Instead, as has already been stated, it is here for those who wish to work with what is already installed on their system. Please do not turn this tutorial into a “my way is the best way” discussion, instead treat it like the technical tutorial it is.

1: Preliminary work.
Follow the instructions in this post.

2: Finding the required files.
Taken from this post.

Now you have your slideshow setup and in the right place you need to go to Places > Search for Files. Search for Cosmos and you will find:

cosmos-slideshow.desktop (a configuration file in /usr/share/applications/screensavers)

cosmos (the folder containing the Cosmos backgrounds which you will have noticed is used as the basis of the slideshow background)

cosmos.xml (again used as the basis for the background slideshow)

3: Modifying the file.
Open cosmos-slideshow.desktop by opening a terminal and typing or pasting.

gksudo gedit /usr/share/applications/screensavers/cosmos-slideshow.desktop

Now you have that open change the following ITALIC entries to suit your screensaver.


[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Display a slideshow of pictures of the cosmos
Exec=/usr/lib/gnome-screensaver/gnome-screensaver/slideshow –location=/usr/share/backgrounds/cosmos

Save the file with A NEW NAME, this is so you don’t lose cosmos.

4: Telling Linux that you have a new Screensaver.
Now that you have done that press Alt-F2 and in the dialogue box type in gconf-editor. Go Apps > gnome-screensaver. On the opposite pane you should see a list go down until you see “mode”, tap on mode twice and you will get another dialogue box appear, enter single into the Value line and click ok. Open the Screensaver preferences choose you new screensaver and your done.

Test it out and let us know how you go.

If you have any hints or suggestions regarding this format please feel free to make them and I will adjust this post accordingly.

n.b. This tutorial is posted in a few places on the net, I originally posted it on Ubuntu forums when I was an Ubuntu user. I then posted it in what was called Open Ubuntu Forum. Because I have no control over forums (Ubuntu forums were talking about getting rid of old posts at one stage) I have decided to post tutorials I have written on my own blog. At least that way I know they are still around for people to use if they so wish.

Categories: Cobber, Gnome, MATE, Tutorial
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  1. October 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm
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