Installing Electric Sheep

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In the Free Geek Thrift Store we like to put screensavers on the laptops in order to make them and the store more visually interesting. Electric Sheep is a really cool screensaver that functions as a distributed system [1]. The following are step-by-step instructions on how to install Electric Sheep on Ubuntu 12.04.

Installing Electric Sheep screensaver on Ubuntu 12.04

  • Steps can also be carried out through Ubuntu Software Centre, just make sure you are installing/removing the correct programs!

1. Install xscreensaver with terminal command:

sudo apt-get install xscreensaver xscreensaver-gl-extra xscreensaver-data-extra

2. Remove gnome-screensaver:

sudo apt-get remove gnome-screensaver

3. Install Electric Sheep:

sudo apt-get install electricsheep

4. At this point you may need to run xscreensaver before being able to access xscreensaver configuration file. Run xscreensaver:


Click through any error messages that pop up. After this, xscreensaver should run smoothly and you should be able to access xscreensaver configuration file.

4. Open up xscreensaver configuration file:

gedit ~/.xscreensaver

5. Go to the bottom of the screensavers list (not the bottom of the text file) which should look like this:

               bsod -root                    \n\
 GL:                 bubble3d -root                    \n\
 GL:                 cage -root                    \n\

- crystal -

6. Add the following line to the list:

GL: electricsheep --root 1 \n\

7. Start the xscreensaver application (can also be run through dash):


8. Electric sheep should be on the screensaver list. Reduce the default time until the screensaver runs.