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#1 2020-02-28 03:25:00

cjsmall
Member
Registered: 2012-12-02
Posts: 38

xfce4-screensaver works then stops working

Xubuntu 19.10
xfce4-screensaver 0.1.8
Desktop configuration with two screens and Nvidia K4000 GPU

After upgrading to 19.10 I uninstalled the old xscreensaver program that I had been using and started using xfce4-screensaver.  This works often  (I have a 15 minute timeout), but then, for some unpredictable reason it refuses to kick in after the timeout period.  I've observed this behavior over and over between reboots, so it is not an anomaly.  I can leave the room and come back hours later and the screensaver has not kicked in.   There is only one screensaver program running:

65-> ps -ef | grep -E 'screen|lock' | grep -v kblockd
root      3499     2  0 Feb24 ?        00:00:00 [lockd]
jeff      5165  4869  0 Feb24 ?        00:01:15 alarm-clock-applet --hidden
jeff      5188  4869  0 Feb24 ?        00:03:04 xfce4-screensaver
jeff     16901  6509  0 19:07 pts/2    00:00:00 grep -s -E screen|lock

and the process is not being killed.    I do occasionally manually start the screensaver with the command:

66-> xfce4-screensaver-command --activate 2>/dev/null

This always works, even when the timeout hasn't automatically kicked in.  I don't know if, by using the manual command, this then interferes with the automatic timeout, but I'm sure that the auto-timeout has worked on occasion after using the manual command.

One final thought:  I have a terminal window open with a looping program that updates a single line of text every 5-10 seconds with status information from the running or paused music player.  Even if the player is paused, the text gets updated.  This is always running when I'm logged in, and the screensaver does kick in frequently, so I don't think this is causing some sort of "activity" that is constantly resetting the timeout, but I mention it in case this is a clue to the problem.

Any ideas as to what could be responsible?

Adtl Info:

68-> xfconf-query -c xfce4-power-manager -lv
/xfce4-power-manager/blank-on-ac                    0
/xfce4-power-manager/critical-power-action          4
/xfce4-power-manager/critical-power-level           15
/xfce4-power-manager/dpms-enabled                   false
/xfce4-power-manager/dpms-on-ac-off                 0
/xfce4-power-manager/dpms-on-ac-sleep               0
/xfce4-power-manager/dpms-on-battery-off            10
/xfce4-power-manager/dpms-on-battery-sleep          5
/xfce4-power-manager/lock-screen-suspend-hibernate  false
/xfce4-power-manager/logind-handle-lid-switch       false
/xfce4-power-manager/power-button-action            0
/xfce4-power-manager/show-tray-icon                 false

69-> xfce4-power-manager --dump                                                 
---------------------------------------------------
       Xfce power manager version 1.6.5
With policykit support
With network manager support
---------------------------------------------------
Can suspend: True
Can hibernate: False
Authorized to suspend: True
Authorized to hibernate: False
Authorized to shutdown: True
Has battery: True
Has brightness panel: False
Has power button: True
Has hibernate button: True
Has sleep button: True
Has battery button: True
Has LID: False

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#2 2020-02-28 11:33:31

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 6,381

Re: xfce4-screensaver works then stops working

Try running xfce4-screensaver in debug mode to see if something is output that would indicate the reason:

kill -9 $(pidof xfce4-screensaver)
xfce4-screensaver --no-daemon --debug

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#3 2020-02-28 23:06:49

cjsmall
Member
Registered: 2012-12-02
Posts: 38

Re: xfce4-screensaver works then stops working

I'll give it a try.  Where should I expect the messages:  syslog ??

I'll also monitor output in a separate terminal.

I'll report what I find.

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#4 2020-02-29 02:23:40

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 6,381

Re: xfce4-screensaver works then stops working

cjsmall wrote:

I'll give it a try.  Where should I expect the messages:  syslog ??

They will display in the terminal window where you run the commands.

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#5 2020-03-01 01:13:54

File Manager
Member
Registered: 2019-11-01
Posts: 9

Re: xfce4-screensaver works then stops working

I tried xfce4-screensaver in MX-19, but found it unreliable. Most of the time it would not activate so I turned it off. It's just anecdotal evidence, but many people probably don't use a screensaver these days so real world testing is limited.

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#6 2020-03-18 16:38:43

cjsmall
Member
Registered: 2012-12-02
Posts: 38

Re: xfce4-screensaver works then stops working

I ran xfce4-screensaver in debug mode for many days, stopping and restarting it multiple times.  During that testing period, a huge volume of output was created.  I scanned through it and there was nothing unusual -- just a great deal of repetition.  Unfortunately, the screensaver continued to work during that period.  At some point I rebooted and everything continued to work until the screensaver failed once again.  I killed and restarted it and it worked again for a while but then stopped for no obvious reason.  I repeated this a few times, turning on debug occasionally, by never captured any useful output since I couldn't get it to fail during a debug session.  that's probably more a matter of coincidence rather than that it was running in debug mode, but maybe debug mode does something to bypass the bug.

Because I could no longer rely upon it, I turned off xfce4-screensaver, reinstalled xscreensaver and began using it once again.  If something changes in the future and is reported here, I'd be willing to try the other screensaver again and see what happens.

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