1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

(Programmatically) preventing screensaver from activating

Discussion in 'Linux & Open Source' started by Dj_Jestar, 22 Sep 2009.

  1. Dj_Jestar


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 29,017

    Location: Back in East London

    Hi all,

    We've developed a new system using Ubuntu (Gnome) as the platform.

    The system has a hand-held imaging scanner (akin to a bar code scanner,) and printer. It's quite simplistic, but was a dog to get it 'right'.

    Anywho, one last problem we're experiencing is the screensaver. We must have it enabled for periods of inactivity, but the scanner does not count as "activity" so it does not disable the SS when scanner triggered, which we'd like it to do. And also, after 5 mins of use the screen saver enables, despite someone scanning/printing furiously away.

    Apps like Totem (movie player) do something to prevent the screensaver, but short of it disabling the screensaver on open, and then enabling it on close (which is dirty) I cannot fathom how they do it. No C/sh/bash snippets found when searching the WWW.

    Much obliged for opinions and help. :)
  2. Hairybudda

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 3 Sep 2005

    Posts: 1,656

    Location: Glasgow, Scotland

    I've never really did much coding on *nix but maybe http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-284804.html will point you in the right direction?

    Here's the source of disablegss.py if you need it:

    #! /usr/bin/env python
    #  Copyright (c) 2006 [email protected]
    #  This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
    #  modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as
    #  published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the
    #  License, or (at your option) any later version.
    #  This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
    #  but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
    #  GNU General Public License for more details.
    #  You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
    #  along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
    #  Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307
    #  USA
    import dbus
    import dbus.glib
    import sys
    import os
    import string
    import time
    from stat import *
    def disable_sleep(myprogram):
            bus = dbus.Bus(dbus.Bus.TYPE_SESSION)
            devobj = bus.get_object('org.gnome.ScreenSaver',  '/org/gnome/ScreenSaver')
            dev = dbus.Interface(devobj, "org.gnome.ScreenSaver")
            cookie = dev.Inhibit(myprogram, 'Disabled by DisableGSS Daemon')
            print "DisableGSS: gnome screensaver stopped."
            return (dev, cookie)
        except Exception, e:
            print "DisableGSS: could not send the dbus Inhibit signal: %s" % e
            return (False, False)
    def allow_sleep(dev, cookie):
            print "DisableGSS: gnome screensaver enabled."
        except Exception, e:
            print "DisableGSS: could not send the dbus UnInhibit signal: %s" % e
            return (False)
    def pids(program):
        result = []
        f = os.popen('ps aux', 'r')
        for l in f.readlines():
            fields = string.split(l)
            if fields[10] == program:
                #print fields[1]+"   "+fields[10]
    def read_file():
        __psaux = []
            f=open(homedir+'/.disablegss', 'r')
            for line in f:
                #print line.rstrip('\n')
            print "DisableGSS: config file read."
            return __psaux
        except IOError:
            print "DisableGSS: config file ~/.disablegss doesn't exist! Write it by hand. Add applications name that could disable gnome screensaver: one app name for every line of file."
    if __name__ == '__main__':
        homedir = os.getenv('HOME')
        condition = True
        disabled = False
        old_program = ""
        psaux = []
        last_last_time_modified = ""
        last_time_modified = ""
        last_time_modified= os.stat(homedir+'/.disablegss')[ST_MTIME]
        while condition == True:
            found = False
            for i in range(len(psaux)):
                #print "%s->%s" % (i,psaux[i])
                if pids(program) == True:
                    found = True
                    if program !=old_program:
                        print "DisableGSS: there is a program ("+program+") in the config list that is currently running."
                    if disabled==False:
                        (dev, cookie) = disable_sleep(program)
            if found == False and disabled == True:
                print "DisableGSS: there are no more programs that could stop gnome screensaver."
                allow_sleep(dev, cookie)
                disabled = False
            last_time_modified= os.stat(homedir+'/.disablegss')[ST_MTIME]
            if last_time_modified!=last_last_time_modified:
                print "DisableGSS: config file modified."
                last_time_modified= os.stat(homedir+'/.disablegss')[ST_MTIME]
                old_program = ""
  3. Dj_Jestar


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 29,017

    Location: Back in East London

    That's looking helpful, thanks. :)

    We'll need to modify it of course, as we don't want the SS to be completely inhibited whilst our app is running, only when unused for 'x' minutes of course. But definitely on the right track. :)
  4. masterluke

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 24 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,418

    Location: Cork, Ireland

    im not a programmer, but i have heard that Xine uses a periodical toggling of the scroll-lock key to prevent the screensaver from activating - could be an old wives tale though.
  5. FirebarUK


    Joined: 9 Dec 2004

    Posts: 5,629

    Location: Dorset

    I haven't looked into it at all so this is thinking aloud - but couldn't you change a gconf key to enable/disable the screensaver?
  6. whitecrook


    Joined: 22 Aug 2005

    Posts: 8,367

    Location: Clydebank

  7. BigglesPiP


    Joined: 8 Mar 2006

    Posts: 13,293

    Location: Near Winchester

    Is it not a matter of periodically "petting" the clock used for the screensaver?


    gnome-screensaver-command --poke
    Have the program do this every x seconds.
    Last edited: 22 Sep 2009
  8. Dj_Jestar


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 29,017

    Location: Back in East London

    That's bang on the money :)