Automatic screen lock when leaving desk

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at
Wed Jul 15 10:45:17 UTC 2009

Chad Perrin wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 05:32:01PM +0200, Frederique Rijsdijk wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I'm looking for a way to automaticaly lock my X session when I leave my
>> desk. Probably just using 'xlockmore -mode blank' or such. But how to
>> detect?
> Why does it have to be automatic?  Something like xlockmore or slock can
> be tied to a keyboard shortcut, such as <Ctrl>+<Alt>+<L>.  If for some
> reason you require automatic locking, though, you could perhaps set up
> some kind of Bluetooth connection detection if you have a Bluetooth
> enabled cellphone in your pocket (or something else that would work as a
> Bluetooth token) and if your computer has the right hardware.  I imagine
> writing a daemon in Perl or Ruby that checks for loss of a Bluetooth
> connection would be easier than getting Bluetooth working in the first
> place might be, depending on the state of Bluetooth support in FreeBSD.
> I'm not really well-versed in the ephemera of what is used to determine
> "inactivity" on a computer, but if it's reasonably easy (or if there's a
> Perl module for it), that seems like the obvious way to handle it --
> though of course that may present problems, such as false positives on
> detecting "inactivity" when watching a movie on the computer or something
> like that.

I used to be a NeXTie, and the there had a really nifty 
little feature.  I'm surprised it's not been copied into other screensaver
applications since, as it's pretty simple.  They just had a facility where
moving the mouse cursor to one corner of the screen and leaving it still
for a few seconds would cause the screen saver / screen lock to come on
straight away.

Conversely you could designate another corner of the screen as "don't turn
on screensaver even after an extended period of idleness".  Being a NeXT app
this was all configurable by dragging little '+' or '-' icons around a
scaled down image of the screen, or off it entirely if you didn't want that



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                   7 Priory Courtyard
                                                  Flat 3
PGP:     Ramsgate
                                                  Kent, CT11 9PW

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