"Pictures Folder" isn't configurable

Bug #47604 reported by FrancisMarkham
This bug affects 10 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
GNOME Screensaver
Won't Fix
gnome-screensaver (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

The "Pictures Folder" screensaver will only look in ~/Pictures for pictures. This isn't configurable (which causes problems for people with existing directory structures, or who speak languages other than English).

The worst part is that there is no indication that your pictures *should* be in the ~/Pictures folder - it simply is blank if that folder doesn't exist. There could at least be a warning message so people can fix this problem themselves.

This is a regression from Breezy.

description: updated
Revision history for this message
Matthew Nuzum (newz) wrote :

It would be nice to have the ability to configure this. I can confirm that there is no way to set the folder and there is no clear indication of what folder is used by default.

Revision history for this message
Matthew Nuzum (newz) wrote :

I created a folder called ~/.personal-screensaver-pictures. Then, inside of that I created a symlink to the non-existent folder ~/Pictures. I also created a symlink to the existing folder ~/My\ Pictures.

Then I edited the file /usr/share/gnome-screensaver/themes/personal-slideshow.desktop and changed the line near the end so that it says:
Exec=slideshow --location=.personal-slideshow-pictures

I suggest that future versions come configured like above and then localized and common names of picture folders are linked in there. I've confirmed that broken sym links don't cause a problem with the screen saver. Therefore all computers would also have a folder called Immagini (italian for pictures I think) linked in. Because only Italians would have this folder actually on their hard drive for most people it would be a broken link.

Maybe a tool could be created that lets people create the links or maybe can even try to autodiscover image folders. However, having the simple linking technique would be much easier than what is currently in place. The tool could come much later.

Revision history for this message
Daniel Holbach (dholbach) wrote :

Thanks for your bug report. The issue is known upstream already, as http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=323745 but was rejected. If you have a strong opinion and most of all useful arguments, you might want to take the discussion upstream.

Changed in gnome-screensaver:
status: Unconfirmed → Confirmed
Changed in gnome-screensaver:
status: Unknown → Rejected
Revision history for this message
Martijn vdS (martijn) wrote :

As mentioned in the Gnome bug: the ~/Pictures folder isn't created by default, and programs like F-Spot use ~/Photos. It also isn't documented anywhere, making it hard to discover how to add pictures.

Please apply some more pressure to upstream, of provide SOME hint of how to fix it.

Revision history for this message
Sean "Diggity" O'Brien (seandiggity) wrote :

Just so you guys know how to change this (at least in Feisty) -
Edit the file /usr/share/applications/screensavers/personal-slideshow.desktop and change the "location" in the line:
Exec=slideshow --location=Pictures

...the rest of the xscreensaver settings are also in /usr/share/applications/screensavers/

Changed in gnome-screensaver:
importance: Medium → Wishlist
Revision history for this message
Tim Chambers (tbc0) wrote : need to upgrade to 2.19.1

I don't think Sean's advice is a good workaround. The maintainer points out that the situation is improved as of 2.19.1. See <http://live.gnome.org/GnomeScreensaver/FrequentlyAskedQuestions#head-da3828b140d636782bb9fca563cd992cffd777fd>. But Feisty is stuck at 2.18.1.

I blogged about this at http://tbc.livejournal.com/23562.html and am motivated to drive it to conclusion. So I am requesting that this bug be reopened. If the Ubuntu maintainer will update the gnome-screensaver package from 2.18.10-ubuntu1 I will be glad to test whether the fix works as desired. I'd like to see the documentation synchronized, too (the text that is shown when you click on the screensaver's Help button), and am willing to help make that happen.

Please advise.

Revision history for this message
Sean "Diggity" O'Brien (seandiggity) wrote :

It may be a workaround, but you're right it's certainly not a good solution...it's not fun/user-friendly to edit config files :)

Good to see some action on this...I'm sure Ubuntu's target audience would like to see some improvement in the xscreensaver setup.

Changed in gnome-screensaver:
status: Invalid → Won't Fix
Revision history for this message
Dominik Holler (dominik-holler) wrote :

the bug is not only for this one screensaver, other "hacks" require configureation, too.
maybe there is a way to replace the gnome-screensaver-preferences with xscreensaver-demo, or appeat both in menu ?

Revision history for this message
Dominik Holler (dominik-holler) wrote :

cp /usr/share/xscreensaver/gnome-screensaver-properties.desktop .local/share/applications/
will do the trick till this bug is fixed,

Revision history for this message
christopherdstamper (christopherstamper) wrote :

This is a Gnome thing; actually, you can't change any screensaver settings, for *any* screensavers. That's just the way it is.

Revision history for this message
Andrew Frank (frank-geoinfo) wrote :

the screensavers with 9.04 jaunty are still a problem. the "Pictures folder" does not display anything and cannot be stopped - only an 'unclean restart' did work.
a method to put pictures in a folder and have them displayed with a selectable interval is really needed. the current situation is not satisfactory (only f-spot is working for me, and interval is not selectable either).
thanks for your efforts!

Revision history for this message
jdjenkins (jdjenkins) wrote :

It seems that this screensaver isn't regarded as very important, but it's one of the first things people notice when switching from Windows. My parents use their laptop partly as an electronic picture frame, and on Windows they can use the arrow keys to go back to a picture they want a second look at. Also, options like displaying the filename (with or with full path), changing the timing and type of transitions are all useful, quite apart from just being able to choose the folder!

Changed in gnome-screensaver:
importance: Unknown → Medium
Revision history for this message
ricardisimo (ricardisimo) wrote :

The Gnome aspect to this is, of course, annoying and deplorable and I'll never understand their logic or motivations. However, it would be nice to pick which Pictures folder is to be used. "Pictures" could include one's porn collection, which is then being broadcast to your co-workers five minutes into your coffee break. No biggie, you move your porn collection. But most everyone has to discover that little problem (or worse, not discover it) on their own.

Give people the option either to select the appropriate folder or to deselect "Pictures Folder" from their randomized screensaver collection.

Revision history for this message
Jeremy Bicha (jbicha) wrote :

Sorry, but in Gnome 3, there is no customizable screensaver at all. All you get is a black screen with your name and the date.

Changed in gnome-screensaver (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Invalid
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