Check out our Monthly Survey Page to see what our users are running.
[Debian, Xfce] Game pad use does not reset screensaver locking countdown
s8as8a 1 May, 2021
Hello to anyone who's reading this. :)

Basically, when I game with a game pad, my screen locks after the amount of inactive time (that I defined in the screensaver settings) expires. This does not happen when I use a mouse and keyboard.

My problem is not that it locks after the specified time, but rather that my game pad use does not get considered as input like my mouse and keyboard. If my game pad was considered as input like my mouse and keyboard, the screen-locking countdown would keep being reset, thus not locking if I'm using it.

(The game pad inputs are properly recognized by Steam and games.)

Does anyone know how I can get my game pad use to be recognized by whatever it is that needs to recognize it so that my screen doesn't lock? (I'd say my OS, but then Steam and games wouldn't recognize my game pads either.)

I use the x86_64 version of Debian testing (the frozen bullseye / soon-to-be version 11) with the Xfce desktop environment.

I usually use my Steam controller, but the same issue happens with my Xbox 360 controller.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Maybe it has something to do with the xpad kernel driver? My steam controller only has this issue when it pretends to be an Xbox 360 controller.

Last edited by s8as8a on 1 May 2021 at 4:30 am UTC
This topic has an answer marked - jump to answer.
debiangamer 1 May, 2021
You can xfce4-power-manager instead of a screen saver.
Xpander 2 May, 2021
xset -dpms

should work also and to enable it again

xset +dpms
Dennis_Payne 2 May, 2021
I have the same problem under Fedora with Gnome running under Wayland. Joystick wake looks good. I use a PS4 controller so my current solution is to occasionally touch the touch pad which counts as mouse movement.
s8as8a 5 May, 2021
Thanks for the answers!

I'll test out what you guys said, starting with JoystickWake, when I get the chance this weekend (when I'll be gaming with some friends). :)

Sorry for the delay!
dpanter 5 May, 2021
Caffeine is handy, though it doesn't track joystick input per se. Works with fullscreen games regardless.
s8as8a 8 May, 2021
Okay, so, I didn't even end up using JoystickWake, let alone the other potential solutions, because as I was reading the GitHub page of JoystickWake, I saw that I could use the "xscreensaver-command -deactivate" (without the quotes) command to reset the screensaver's countdown, so I just made a bash script with a for loop that keeps running the command a few seconds before the screensaver is to be triggered. (I used a for loop instead of a while loop because I want the screen to eventually lock, just in case I actually went away from the computer during a session with game pad use. Also, I prefer to only rely on stuff that's in the official repositories.)

Having said that, I wanted to again thank everyone for their comments. :)

I had already tried Caffeine before making this post, but for some reason, it didn't work.

Technically, the correct answer to this thread should probably be the JoystickWake post (since it most accurately fits what my initial post asked). I'll check if that works next week when I game again, and I'll mark that as the answer. (Sorry for the delay to my delay. :P)

Last edited by s8as8a on 8 May 2021 at 5:50 am UTC
s8as8a 15 May, 2021
Okay, so, I confirmed that JoystickWake works.

I think the default is that after 30 seconds, if another event is detected from the game pad, it restarts the countdown of the screensaver.

For anyone that would like to know how to use it.

1) "git clone"; (without the quotes) (at least until GitHub stops supporting cloning from HTTPS)

2) Use the cd command to go to the joystickwake directory.

3) "./joystickwake" (without the quotes) (The executable has the same name as the directory it's contained in.)

Last edited by s8as8a on 15 May 2021 at 5:05 am UTC
tuubi 15 May, 2021
Or you can get joystickwake from the developer's own PPA if that works for you. Installing the package sets it to autostart, but you can override that in your DE's configuration.
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Reward Tiers: Patreon. Plain Donations: PayPal.

This ensures all of our main content remains totally free for everyone with no article paywalls. We also don't have tons of adverts, there's also no tracking and we respect your privacy. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
Login / Register

Or login with...
Sign in with Steam Sign in with Twitter Sign in with Google
Social logins require cookies to stay logged in.