The Blue screen of Death Screensavers on Linux

Another addition to our prank list. This time we will try to fool our target using the blue screen of death screensavers. Ofcourse, you can't just use a simple Blue Screen of Death screensaver on some Linux running system. You will be caught right away. The smarter thing would be to use such a screensaver which will prompt the user to do what a windower does when BSOD appears, i.e. poweroff the system. BSOD set of screensavers do this job pretty well.

In order to install it, you need to download and install the xscreensaver-data-extra package. I am not sure if this is a universal package and available in all the distros, but in Ubuntu it can be installed using synaptic or apt.

[shredder12]$ sudo apt-get install  xscreensaver xscreensaver-data-extra

Once the installation part is done, go to System->Preferences->screensaver. Open it and you will see the BSOD screensaver option. One more thing, you might see two screensaver launchers in the menu, that's because of the two screensaver daemons - gnome and xscreen, but don't worry, it won't do any harm.

Now, you will notice that everytime you select the BSOD option you see a new screensaver, playing a similar prank . These screensavers are mostly kernel-panic/display warning messages taken from various operating systems. You can see the whole list here.

So, the next time our victim leaves his system for a while and returns, he will see some warning message asking/provoking him to restart/poweroff his system. Here are a few of them.


Tyler Style (not verified)
June 4th, 2010 09:53 pm
I have installed the screensaver package on Lucid, but not seeing the preferences panel for which BSODs to show... can you specify how to access it?
June 5th, 2010 04:28 pm

I am sorry I forgot to mention that you will have to install the xscreensaver package too, that's the second daemon I was talking about. Once installed, you will see two options for screensaver, one of them will give you the pref. panel.

Frank (not verified)
December 5th, 2010 11:01 pm
xscreensaver and xscreensaver-dat-extra are both installed; I upgraded ubuntu to 10.10 and the BSOD is shown as "Not installed" in System>>Preferences>>Screensaver. Have Ubuntu got a downer on the BSOD?

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