How to Disable a Gnome Screensaver

Written by angela baird
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Gnome is a graphical user interface that makes the Unix based Linux operating system a user-friendly system to even the most technologically impaired. Linux requires specific command lines to easily execute commands without going through the graphical interface. If you're having a problem with your screen saver, chances are good you are unable to access it via Gnome and must go in through the back door.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Open a terminal. Terminals are accessed from the desktop "Applications" menu under "Accessories."

  2. 2

    Type in the command line "gconftool-2 --get /apps/gnome-screensaver/idle_activation_enabled" without the quotes.

  3. 3

    Press "Enter" to view the current status of the screen saver.

  4. 4

    Enter your administrative password if asked to do so.

  5. 5

    Change the "True/False" configuration to "False" with the command line gconftool-2 --type bool --set /apps/gnome-screensaver/idle_activation_enabled "option". "False" means your gnome screen saver is disabled.

Tips and warnings

  • If unsuccessful, you may also try the command line "sudo chmod -x /usr/bin/gnome-screensaver" without the quotes.
  • Be certain that you wish to permanently disable the screen saver before proceeding to keep from having to reinstall it.

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