I have a really nice Matrix inspired screensaver. I would like to have the moving screensaver to be placed as my Desktop background image.

How can I set my screensaver as a background image for the desktop ?


2 Answers 2


You have to open terminal and type cd /System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.framework/Resources and ./ScreenSaverEngine.app/Contents/MacOS/ScreenSaverEngine -background. It will take a lot of resources though, so to quit it, you have to quit the terminal window.

source: TUAW and Lifehacker


You also can create an plist file that you place in your user LaunchAgent folder.


You than loaded at a terminal with:

launchctl load /Users/username/Library/LaunchAgents/com.username.runscreensaver.plist

Or unload it with:

launchctl unload /Users/username/Library/LaunchAgents/com.username.runscreensaver.plist

Here is the content of this plist file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">

Unfortunately (at least under 10.9.5) the ScreenSaverEngine set the window level wrong (below kCGDesktopWindowLevel) to work correct with mission control and spaces witch leads to a few issues during restart, change screen, login and logout that leads to an invisible screensaver .

To fix this issues you need to write your own screensaver that inherits the properties of ScreenSaverEngine while running and correct the window level (eg. [self.window setLevel:kCGDesktopWindowLevel];).

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