ElectricSheep is a really cool screensaver, based on a distributed computing project, and is available as
The name “Electric Sheep” is taken from the title of Philip K. Dick’s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” The title mirrors the nature of the project: computers (androids) who have started running the screensaver begin rendering (dreaming) the fractal movies (sheep).
As one of my favorite movies, Blade Runner, was inspired by that book I could not help but be interested in the project.
It was not love at first sight: as i installed it form ubuntu’s repos, it did not appear in the list of KDE’s screen saver, and launching the executable manually resulted in a black screen.
Then looking at the project page I understood it needed to download some mpg sheep animation in order to work, and I did it manually to avoid waiting.
And then I saw it!
The screen saver is really a joy for the eyes, and I could not help but download about a GB of extra animations.
But the problem still stood: i could not set it as a screen saver from KDE System Settings.
Some investigation showed me that it could not work because a file was missing where kscreensaver looks for the screensavers list.
I also found a replacement for the missing file (here), but it was old and made for KDE 3.
But after some tinkering with that file, here it is a corrected version KDE 4 enabled:
On Kubuntu ElectricSheep can be enabled by downlading the above file in your home folder, then opening Konsole and entering
sudo cp electricsheep.desktop /usr/share/kde4/services/ScreenSavers/electricsheep.desktop
Now you are ready to go! Enjoy!
I have updated the file to work with electricsheep 2.7 as it is the only working version and the previous ones have been abandoned.
as Skiro’n points out in the comments Ubuntu is not yet distributing Electrisheep 2.7, which you need to obtain through a dedicated PPA.
As usual you can find the instruction on the ubuntu forums: