Pidgin should be able to turn on an away message when xscreensaver activates

Bug #23693 reported by David Mandelberg on 2005-10-10
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Fix Released
pidgin (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

I think gaim should have an option to turn on an away message when xscreensaver
activates. This would keep users from having to do one more thing before leaving
the computer. Also, when the screensaver is activated it's not possible to read
new messages, so I think this would be a sensible default.

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Thanks for your bug. Could you describe what is your issue? The preferences have
an option to be away after "... minutes" not using the computer or gaim

David Mandelberg (dseomn) wrote :

I think it would be nice if gaim would put up an away message whenever
xscreensaver is active (on the same display of course) and the away message
turned off after xscreensaver is deactivated. That way the user doesn't have to
keep the idle time in two places (xscreensaver config and gaim config) and if
the user wants to leave the computer he/she can just activate the screensaver
(or in the case of a laptop, close the lid, which triggers an acpi event -> activates xscreensaver) and not have to put up an away message first.

Luke Schierer (lschiere) wrote :

oh the functionality is cool enough, and certainly has notable uses that idle
time does not adequately cover, for example manually blanking out the screen in
a single step. I wouldn't object to a patch, or better, a plugin, to do this.
But I don't see any of us (upstream) spending significant time trying to figure
out how to do it.

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

marking as upstream, patches are welcome

Lukas Sabota (punkrockguy318) wrote :

This could be done quite simply, even with only a couple lines of code.

In the xscreensaver lock/start screensaver function, check to see if
gaim/gaim-remote is installed. If it is, just run $ gaim-remote away.


import os, dbus, gobject, dbus.glib

bus = dbus.SessionBus()

def onSessionIdleChanged(state):
    if state:
        os.system("gaim-remote 'setstatus?status=away&message=Session idle'")
        os.system("gaim-remote 'setstatus?status=available&message='")

bus.add_signal_receiver(onSessionIdleChanged, 'SessionIdleChanged', 'org.gnome.ScreenSaver')


Changed the package to Pidgin from Gaim.
Confirmed as an enhancement upstream. (

Changed in gaim:
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in pidgin:
status: Unknown → New
Changed in pidgin:
assignee: seb128 → nobody
status: Confirmed → Triaged
Changed in pidgin:
status: New → Fix Released
summary: - gaim should be able to turn on an away message when xscreensaver
+ Pidgin should be able to turn on an away message when xscreensaver
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