XScreenSaver 5.24

XScreenSaver 5.24 out now. There are a few minor fixes, but the big change is that it now has an auto-updater. After you've installed 5.24, it will let you know when a subsequent release is available and offer to download and install it for you. (This was tricky, because screen savers are weird and there are 204 of them.)

Oh yeah, I also pushed out Dali Clock 2.40 a little while ago that does the same thing. (That one was easier.)

No iOS versions this time, because the changes weren't relevant.

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26 Responses:

  1. joe johnson says:

    xscreensaver is not simply a mere program. Long ago, we started to use it for screenblanking at tradeshows. "Providence" was especially mentioned as "a fitting choice" for the venue. This year, the incredible bouncing cows made it up to the CTOs meeting room - during an all-nighter.

    The mission continues. Next goal: Reprimand system operators not using it for "non-compliance"

    • David Konerding says:

      I think one of my greatest days was, when reporting to work at my new employer (a well-known Internet Services firm) I saw a few people running xscreensaver, and my own savers (glplanet, pulsar) were in the rotation.

      Turns out, however, those are not default savers on most systems- you have to install the extra gl pack on linux because idiocy.

      Many years ago I had plans for a really cool screensaver, however, it's not to be because Jamie (it's his project, so he gets to decide) does not support C++ savers, and writing a full physics engine and scene renderer in pure C is an exercise in masochism.

  2. JeffreyATW says:

    After I installed this and went to the Screen Savers tab in the opened prefpane, I got a message saying that XScreenSaverUpdater couldn't be opened - the usual Gatekeeper error message. Interestingly enough, going to the Security & Privacy prefpane and clicking "Open Anyway" didn't cause the error to go away. I had to search for it and manually open it.

    This wasn't too big of a hassle, but you might want to put something in your README about it.

    • Jan Kujawa says:

      Have that same problem.

      • jwz says:

        Are you currently in a state where you get this error every time a screen saver launches? If so, can you run this command and let me know if that fixes it?

        sudo spctl --add '/Library/Screen Savers/XScreenSaverUpdater.app'

        • Jan Kujawa says:

          Seems to cure the original issue, but I get this instead, every time a screensaver activates:


          • jwz says:

            I really don't understand how that is possible. Does this print anything?
            xattr -r /Library/Screen\ Savers/XScreenSaverUpdater.app | grep quarantine
            If so, the fix to the problem is probably this:
            xattr -r -d com.apple.quarantine /Library/Screen\ Savers/XScreenSaverUpdater.app
            however, the installer already does that, so I don't understand!

            You did install by running the "Install Everything" pkg, right?

          • jwz says:

            Give the new version a try?

            • Jan Kujawa says:

              5.26 seems to solve all of my issues. Thanks.

              The updater didn't have the quarantine bit set, so I don't know WTF, either. But, it's fixed.

    • jwz says:

      I can't reproduce this.

      I downloaded the .dmg from the web site, ran the installer, Screen Saver preferences opened without warning, and as far as I can tell, XScreenSaverUpdater is running fine. I can also launch it without warning by opening /Library/Screen Savers/ in Finder and double-clicking on it.

      My Security & Privacy setting is the default, "Mac App Store and identified developers".

      Are you getting this error every time a screen saver is launched? Because they try to launch XScreenSaverUpdater every time they start up (though that program will only hit the network when it's time).

      • JeffreyATW says:

        No, it only happened every time I selected a screensaver until I manually opened XScreenSaverUpdater directly.

        • jwz says:

          Can you re-install from the download and reproduce it? I can't figure out what I'm doing differently than you are.

          • JeffreyATW says:

            I can't find any easy way to revoke the Gatekeeper exception. I don't know if Gatekeeper is exceptions are stored in some central place or if they modify the executable somehow.

            Either way, I can't reproduce what originally occurred ever since context-menu-opening XScreenSaverUpdater and selecting "Open". Reinstalling didn't change anything, and even hard-deleting XScreenSaverUpdater and then re-installing didn't change anything.

            • jwz says:

              I'm thinking that the fix might be to have my installer (which runs as root) do:
              spctl --add '/Library/Screen Savers/XScreenSaverUpdater.app'
              but I can't be sure if I can't reproduce it in the first place.

              It already does "xattr -r -d com.apple.quarantine" but that's for the "downloaded from the interweb" error, not the "unknown developer" error.

              • JeffreyATW says:

                Ah, so those are two different things. I was looking how to run xattr but couldn't figure it out for this case. Sounds like a reasonable fix, but I won't be able to test it either!

          • JeffreyATW says:

            Okay, I think I know what's going on. When the DMG has been mounted, I get this error upon selecting a screen saver preview:
            So it seems that it's trying to access the one from the disk image instead of my Library. Strange.

            • jwz says:

              Aha! So if you unmount the DMG first, the error doesn't happen?

              • JeffreyATW says:

                Ugh, you know, after posting this I realized that XScreenSaverUpdater didn't seem to exist in its proper place. After reinstalling, I went back to not getting any Gatekeeper message, even with the DMG still mounted. Unfortunately, I can't remember if the original Gatekeeper messages were referring to the version in the disk image, or in the Library folder.

                Sorry. I'm no good at QA.

                • Tim says:

                  Have you looked through your system log for the gatekeeper messages? Open Console.app, click on "All Messages" on the left, and use its filter function.

                  Do it soon since the system will age out old log entries pretty rapidly. Aged messages should still be available in /var/log/system.log.N.gz, and you can copy them somewhere, uncompress, and grep.

                • jwz says:

                  Give the new version a try?

                  • JeffreyATW says:

                    I installed 5.26 via a new DMG download. Then I realized I probably should have tried the auto-updater and re-installed 5.24 via the old DMG.

                    With 5.24 installed again, I previewed a screensaver I hadn't used before and got the update dialog after a few seconds.

                    I got an error message after choosing to install after the update had been extracted:
                    This could be due to my having installed an older version over a newer one. I'm not sure.

                    Anyway, everything seems fine in the new version... no Gatekeeper messages or anything. I noticed in the last version when previewing a screensaver I hadn't started before that the focus would leave the prefpane window and (presumably) switch to XScreenSaverUpdater for a split second. The latest version doesn't seem to do that.

                  • JeffreyATW says:

                    A few more notes:
                    - I don't believe I was prompted for my password when using the Sparkle auto-updater, which might be the cause of the authenticated copy problem.
                    - I forgot to mention that I installed 5.26 from the DMG again after Sparkle seemed to fail.