ElectricSheep and KDE

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:

http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/529363/electricsheep.desktop

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!

UPDATE:

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:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=8270975&postcount=13

Advertisements

11 Comments

Filed under Senza Categoria

11 responses to “ElectricSheep and KDE

  1. Jeff

    Thanks, that was a huge help!

  2. Big Al

    You are Da Man!

    I recently set up KDE 4 in my Gentoo install, and could not figure how to get ElectricSheep to show up as a KDE screensaver.

    After downloading your electricsheep.desktop file and copying it to /usr/share/kde4/services/ScreenSavers/, life is again good.

    Many thanks!

  3. Robert Irelan

    This is a pretty useful file, but I had to tweak it a little to get it to work. On my system (Fedora 11), in the KDE Screen Saver dialog, I was able to see Electricsheep (2.7, compiled from SVN) running successfully in the Preview box, and was able to test it successfully in fullscreen. However, when the screensaver was actually supposed to activate, all I got was a black screen. I fixed this by changing Exec entry under [Desktop Action Root] to be the same as that under [Desktop Action InWindow], so that the following two lines

    [Desktop Action Root]
    Exec=electricsheep –root 1 –zoom 1

    to

    [Desktop Action Root]
    Exec=electricsheep -window-id %w

    After that, copying the modified electricsheep.desktop to /usr/share/kde4/services/ScreenSavers gave me a working screensaver. In any case, –zoom is an invalid option for Electricsheep 2.7.

    Thanks for making your file. You’ve helped me a lot!

    • skarn86

      Thanks a lot for the info! I will modify my file as soon as electricsheep 2.7 starts to get deployed by the main distros.

      Luckily on my current system (Arch) Electricsheep always worked out of the box.

  4. Dude

    I can confirm the fix above, worked like a charm.

    • skarn86

      You confirm it on which distro? And what is the version of electricsheep you are using? I understand you followed the suggestion of Robert Irelan, right?

      Thanks for your patience!

  5. Skiro'n

    I used the following on Kubuntu 9.10
    ————————
    [Desktop Entry]
    Encoding=UTF-8
    Exec=electricsheep
    Icon=kscreensaver
    Type=Service
    X-KDE-ServiceTypes=ScreenSaver
    Actions=InWindow;Root;Setup;
    X-KDE-Category=Fractals
    Name=ElectricSheep

    [Desktop Action Setup]
    Exec=electricsheep-preferences
    Name=Setup…

    [Desktop Action InWindow]
    Exec=electricsheep -window-id %w
    Name=Display in specified window
    NoDisplay=true

    [Desktop Action Root]
    Exec=electricsheep -window-id %w
    Name=Display in root window
    NoDisplay=true

    ————————
    Note that I’ve installed Electric Sheep from the ElectricSheep Team PPA, see here more details:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=8270975&postcount=13

  6. nick

    Would just like to thank-you for your script. It works fine on KDE4.x running on Fedora 13.

  7. Cadstar

    Thanks for the heads up!
    Once I realized it showed up under the Fractals category, all is well for me now. Running Fedora 14 x86_64 with KDE

  8. I can confirm my success on Fedora 15 and Arch Linux so long as I use the KDE desktop file below, which I actually borrowed from ElectricSheep’s old SVN repository.

    ======
    [Desktop Entry]
    Exec=electricsheep
    Icon=kscreensaver
    Type=Service
    X-KDE-ServiceTypes=ScreenSaver
    TryExec=xscreensaver
    Actions=InWindow;Root;Setup;
    X-KDE-Category=Fractals Screen Savers
    X-KDE-Type=xv
    Name=ElectricSheep

    [Desktop Action Setup]
    Exec=electricsheep-preferences
    Name=Setup…

    [Desktop Action InWindow]
    Exec=electricsheep -window-id %w
    Name=Display in Specified Window
    NoDisplay=true

    [Desktop Action Root]
    Exec=electricsheep -window-id %w
    Name=Display in Root Window
    NoDisplay=true

    X-Ubuntu-Gettext-Domain=desktop_kdeartwork
    ======

    However, on the way to getting things working, I found a bug in mplayer that was preventing monitors from sleeping. As of today, that bug is fixed. You just have to wait for an updated mplayer to come to your distribution.

    I also noticed that KDE stretches ES across both of my monitors. If you instead want a more Mac-like ES where you have a different sheep in each monitor, then you can use xscreensaver instead of KDE’s screen saver.

    I’ve put more details about all of this at:

    http://phaseportrait.blogspot.com/2011/08/electric-sheep-on-kde-465-with-fedora.html

    where I’ve referenced this blog directly as being helpful to me.

    Thanks!

  9. Pingback: Dimensional Fatigue » Blog Archive » Installing Electric Sheep in RHEL 5/CentOS 5

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s