Donnerstag, 13. Januar 2011

Standard Time screensaver for Linux!

Thanks to Standard Time friend Dirk Dodt it is now possible to run Standard Time screensaver also on Linux! Please see his instructions below.

How to set up standardtime by Mark Formanek and datenstrudel as screensaver in gnome (tested with Ubuntu 10.10, written by Dirk Dodt):

* buy the DVD of this amazing art project at
* copy the movie from the RESOURCES folder of the DVD to your harddisk (for me this was /home/ddodt/, you'll have change the python script accordingly)
* make sure you have mplayer and the needed codecs installed (apt-get install mplayer w64codecs gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad-multiverse .. I don't actually know which codec is used)
* create the two files in the locations specified below (you will need superuser rights).
* set the executable bit for the python script (sudo chmod +x /usr/lib/xscreensaver/
* now, according to what you find on the web, you should be able to go via the start menu to System -> Preferences -> Screensaver and have the new screensaver available. However, in my case, the new screensaver only appeared after removing (apt-get remove gnome-sudoku) some arbitray gnome application and reinstalling it (apt-get install gnome-sudoku). Not sure why this is necessary but it it worked this way on two different machines.
* so finally: go to System -> Preferences -> Screensaver and activate the new screensaver called StandardTime

And here are the files you need to create (the dashes ------- are just for your orientation and don't go into the files)


[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Plays the Standard Time movie by Mark Formanek and!

import time
import shlex,subprocess
import os, signal

def handler(signo, stack):
os.kill(, signal.SIGTERM)

lt = time.localtime()
#use this command_line for the actual screen saver:
command_line = ('mplayer -really-quiet -nosound -nolirc -nostop-xscreensaver -wid'+os.environ['XSCREENSAVER_WINDOW']+' -fs -loop 0 -ss'+str(lt.tm_hour)+':'+str(lt.tm_min)+':'+str(lt.tm_sec)+' /home/ddodt/')
#uncomment this comment_line (and disable the above) to test that the script is working (don't forget to chmod +x ):
#command_line = ('mplayer -nosound -nolirc -nostop-xscreensaver -fs -loop 0 -ss '+str(lt.tm_hour)+':'+str(lt.tm_min)+':'+str(lt.tm_sec)+' /home/ddodt/')
args = shlex.split(command_line)
print args

mplayer = subprocess.Popen(args)


os.waitpid(, 0)

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