Sean Feeney
Architect of the digital age

Electric Sheep Screensaver in Fedora 7

5 October 2007

Based on Erik Reckase’s: electricsheep screensaver with gnome-screensaver in Ubuntu

I have to run the screensaver under gnome. There is a lot of documentation on the xscreensaver hack to get this to work under KDE, but I couldn’t get it to work.

Getting Ready:
You will need the following packages to compile the electricsheep client :

All of these were already installed except xloadimage, and yum did not have an xloadimage listing. So I had to download and install an old Fedora 3 xloadimage.

Step 1:
Grab the latest sources from (currently 2.6.8):
Click the source tarball link, and extract the folder to your home directory.

Step 2:
In the electricsheep-2.6.8 directory, perform

<br></br>./configure<br></br>make clean all<br></br>

Step 3:
Edit Makefile with a text editor. You need to remove these lines from the end of the file:

<br></br> test -e $(SCREENSAVER_DATADIR) && $(INSTALL) electricsheep.xml $(SCREENSAVER_DATADIR)<br></br> $(INSTALL) -d $(pkgdatadir)<br></br>

Delete these lines from the file and save it. These lines referred installing the xscreensaver xml file that no longer works for the gnome-screensaver. The test failed, so the install will fail unless these lines are removed.

Step 4:

<br></br>make install<br></br>

Step 5:
Create a folder that will hold your Sheep. Many folks use ~/.sheep for this, but it can be anything in your local area.

Step 6:
This is the secret sauce. As root, or using sudo, create a text file in the /usr/share/applications/screensavers directory called, and paste the following text into the file:

<br></br>#!/bin/sh<br></br>exec electricsheep --nick xxxx --root 1 --max-megabytes 2000 --zoom 1 --display-anim 1 --show-errors 0 --nrepeats 2 --frame-rate 30 --save-dir yyyy<br></br>

Replace xxxx with the nickname you would like to be known by on the server.
Replace yyyy with the full path to the directory created in Step 5.

Step 7:

<br></br>sudo chmod 755<br></br>

Step 8:
As root, or using sudo, create a text file in the /usr/share/applications/screensavers directory called electricsheep.desktop, and past the following text into the file:

<br></br>[Desktop Entry]<br></br>Encoding=UTF-8<br></br>Name=ElectricSheep<br></br>Comment=Electric Sheep is a distributed screen-saver that harnesses idle computers into a render farm with the purpose of animating and evolving artificial life-forms. This module requires a high-bandwidth, always-on connection to the internet such as DSL or cable-modem. The first time you run it, it normally takes 5 to 10 minutes before the first sheep is downloaded and displayed. After that, it should come up immediately. If you have installed the hacked xscreensaver that supports passing key-presses onto the graphics hack and this feature is enabled, then pressing the up arrow-key transmits a vote for the currently displayed sheep to the server. The votes are the basis of a fitness function for an evolutionary algorithm on the sheep genomes. Vote for the sheep you like, and they will mate, reproduce, and evolve! See for more information. This is version 2.6.8.<br></br><br></br>Exec=""<br></br>StartupNotify=false<br></br>Terminal=false<br></br>Type=Application<br></br>Categories=Screensaver<br></br>

Step 9:
gnome-screensaver resets every 10 minutes as part of the random selection - even if random isn’t chosen. We need to change that to a larger number, otherwise nothing will render or download properly.

<br></br>gconftool-2 --type int --set /usr/share/gnome-screensaver/cycle-delay 10000<br></br>

Step 10:
System->Preferences->Power Management: Change the setting to put the display to sleep when inactive to ‘Never’ by dragging the bar all the way to the right. Alternatively,

<br></br>gconftool-2 --type int --set /usr/share/gnome-power-manager/ac_sleep_display 0<br></br>

Step 11:
Open the gnome-screensaver selection dialog, pick electricsheep, and enjoy. It might take some time to get a sheep, so be patient. If you want to test it, you can download individual sheep from the electricsheep website and place them in your sheep storage directory.

Posted in fedora, gnome, linux

You agree to my disclaimer, regardless of the decision in Nguyen v. B&N.




I Love Geni