I want people to keep an eye on a script running in terminal whilst I'm away from my desk, but I don't trust them access to my machine.

Is there a way to show the terminal console as a screensaver, thus making it read-only and require login if they touch keyboard/mouse etc.

I'm aware of alternatives like logging to a log server they can access etc, however for now I'm only interested in outputting terminal as a screen saver. Is this possible with any known currently available screen saver software?


This may work, but looks to me like it needs quite a bit of work to make it go.

  • yeh that's the only one I came across, but like you say looks like it needs quite a bit of work to get it right :/ – Chris Oct 23 '13 at 12:41
  • The other option would be to put the terminal full screen and then disable the keyboard. But then you would have to have a ssh session to re-enable it afterwards – Paul Gilfedder Oct 23 '13 at 13:35

Phosphor from the XScreenSaver collection does this quite well. There are a few caveats though:

  • Phosphor is a bit heavy on the system compared to a basic terminal. On a portable computer this can cause fans to spin up or batteries to drain faster.
  • Scripts run in their entirety before outputting anything. I tried running an endless ping in an external script, for example, but that just left me with a blinking cursor on screen.

Here's an example: Screenshot

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