vlock: The simplest screensaver I know

I made a big stink a few weeks ago about some less-than-ideal terminal screensaver utilities, and I suppose, technically speaking, I omitted one.


Hiding down in the bowels of kbd in Arch (but living the high life in its own package in Debian) is vlock, and yeah, I suppose you could call it a screensaver. A very simple one.

vlock seizes (but doesn’t clear, oddly) the terminal you’re using, and demands a password before it will release it. A useful tool if you’re in an office and need to go to the bathroom, I suppose.

Outside of an option to lock all the virtual terminals, vlock doesn’t have a lot of flags to worry about. And by corollary, the man page is really just a man pamphlet.

Of course, as a practical screensaver it’s not much better than termsaver, or terminal-screensaver, and doesn’t fulfill the two problems I set out three weeks ago. Nobody’s perfect.

And given that most terminal multiplexers have their own locking mechanisms, it may be that there’s not much call for vlock. Be that as it may, you have the option available to you. 😉

1 thought on “vlock: The simplest screensaver I know

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