Fluxbox on Ubuntu: two more problems, two more solutions

Continuing with my attempt to document the problems I’ve run into running Fluxbox on top of Ubuntu 9.04 and their solutions, I figured I’d present two more things I’ve encountered and resolved since the other day’s rather annoying touchpad fiasco.

These two were both relatively little things, but they’re the kind of things that tend to drive me nuts. The first was a problem with the screen automatically locking (using Xscreensaver‘s built-in lock function — even though I had all such functions disabled), and the second was an issue with sound being muted and the master volume being set to 0% every single time I rebooted — necessitating my manually unmuting it and raising the volume if I wanted sound every day.

Closing the lid locks the screen

This one bugged the crap out of me, I won’t lie. It’s a little thing, but the simple fact that everywhere I looked showed screen locking to be disabled, unchecked, not turned on, drove me nuts!

I finally came to the conclusion that this had to have been something related to a power management setting — not an Xscreensaver problem — since it only seemed to happen when the lid closed. I know that shutting the lid on a laptop can trigger certain power events, whether they’re screen locking, suspend/hibernate functions, or simply screen blanking or backlight power management.

I found that I could get into the GNOME power management screen in Fluxbox by typing gnome-control-center in a terminal, then clicking on the power management icon in that window.

However, I discovered that even in the power management section, the laptop lid closing action wasn’t set to lock the screen.

This puzzled me, so I took a break and had some dinner, and came back to it a bit later… only to find that closing the laptop lid mysteriously no longer locked the screen!

To make a long story short, what I think is happening is that the GNOME Power Manager is not running until I actually go into the power management settings in the GNOME Control Center. I think that without the GNOME Power Manager running, it’s defaulting to some sort of basic set of instructions that are either compiled into Xscreensaver or into some power management portion of the kernel, and among those settings include an instruction to lock the screen any time the laptop’s lid is closed.

To remedy this, I added yet another line to my /~/.fluxbox/startup file, like so:

gnome-power-manager &

After this, any time I reboot it automatically starts the background daemon that supercedes any default kernel power management settings (or whatever was hijacking my laptop lid closing function) and it no longer locks the screen every time I close the lid. Problem solved!

Next page: Have to manually unmute sound every time I reboot

2 thoughts on “Fluxbox on Ubuntu: two more problems, two more solutions

    • That’s one of the first things I did check out… it was already in there, and it was already false.

      But xscreensaver wasn’t the problem… it was some low-level power management functionality that was defaulting to that behavior, and then it was USING xscreensaver to accomplish that function. You can call xscreensaver explicitly as a screen lock, which is what I think this was doing.

      It’s all good now though. Since I have the “gnome-power-manager” daemon running at Fluxbox startup, this behavior doesn’t occur.

      Thanks for the suggestion though!

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