Screens of Death

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I initially wanted to write “Death” in the title in full-caps, but that’s a bit melodramatic, even for me.


Error messages are often scary and frightning. Sometimes, they’re even amusing. I use a screensaver called BSOD (named after the Windows Blue Screen of Death) that displays error messages from various systems. Even though I know it’s just a screensaver, I’ve gotten a fright a few times too, since it uses my actual hostname and computer details in the screensaver. The screensaver also has a very nice feature that might not be intended, and that’s when people see it on my computer, they don’t touch it, since they think that it’s already broken. Awesome.

Here’s a list of “supported” systems:


The BSOD screensaver is available for XScreensaver and you can install it on Debian or Ubuntu by installing the xscreensaver-data-extra package.

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4 Responses to “Screens of Death”

  1. TMUkmkd Says:

    huh.. how you can get the setting panel?
    i’ve just get the screensaver in screensaver option, but no setting panel.

    im using ubuntu 8.10

    thanks in advance :)

  2. TMUkmkd Says:

    owh, i get it, sudo apt-get install xscreensaver-data-extra
    and i must stop gnome screensavger 1st before xscreensaver can be use..
    anyway, thanks for your post :)

  3. jonathan Says:

    It’s been gone out of the screensaver settings forever now, it’s back in Ubuntu 9.04 though \o/

  4. Jim Campbell Says:

    Thanks for sharing this. Though obviously it’s not the point of your post, I wish that gnome-screensaver offered some of the same ability to change settings as xscreensaver. :/

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