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Old 08-15-2007, 12:10 PM   #1
Registered: Jul 2007
Distribution: Gentoo, LFS
Posts: 42

Rep: Reputation: 15
Anyone display console output to screensaver?

I'm wondering if anyone has a way of displaying a console session to a screensaver in KDE. This would allow me to do two things: first, I could use it to watch log files passively as my compy goes to screensaver mode. Second, I could use it to watch the IRC channel we have at work without needing to have the machine logged in.

Anybody know how to do this one?

Old 08-16-2007, 11:37 AM   #2
Registered: Feb 2005
Location: London, UK
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 568

Rep: Reputation: 37
I was just setting up xscreensaver to run electricsheep and had to edit the .desktop file for it. I wonder if something like this would work:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Testing using tail in screensaver
Exec=tail -f /var/log/messages

I haven't tried though. I'll leave that to you
Old 08-17-2007, 08:03 AM   #3
Registered: Jul 2007
Distribution: Gentoo, LFS
Posts: 42

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
I'll try that as soon as I get enough free time today. Thanks for the reply! I'll let you know how it goes.

Old 08-17-2007, 08:19 AM   #4
Senior Member
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Sydney
Distribution: debian
Posts: 1,495

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Hmm. If 'tail' does not work (perhaps it can only be run in a console) you could try 'root-tail' instead. This is like 'tail -f' except it draws on the root window.

If you look at the man page for xscreensaver you see that a program needs two properties to work as a screensaver plugin: (1) the program needs to draw on the root window and (2) it needs to understand 'virtual root' windows. Root-tail has (1) but I don't know about (2).

The other thing that confuses me here is that it seems like KDE screensavers have to follow possibly different rules. But if you are not even logged in (so looking at the kdm login) then I don't think KDE is even running, and I don't know what screensaver would be operative in that situation.


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