How to Disable a Gnome Screensaver

by Angela Baird

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.

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

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

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

Enter your administrative password if asked to do so.

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.


  • check If unsuccessful, you may also try the command line "sudo chmod -x /usr/bin/gnome-screensaver" without the quotes.


  • close Be certain that you wish to permanently disable the screen saver before proceeding to keep from having to re-install it.

About the Author

Angela Baird has been writing professionally since 1995. She has a wide range of life experiences from work with abused animals with the Humane Society, to more than 20 years of hands-on experience in the culinary arts. In addition, she keeps horses and does her own home improvements and home gardening.