My name is Erik Reckase, and I'm the current bellybutton for the flam3 rendering engine for the Electric Sheep screensaver, conceptualized and written by Scott Draves. We're in the process of getting a new client out to the masses with a lot of new features, and it struck me that I've been unable to get the old client running on my Dapper laptop.
After trying for a few weeks, I was finally able to gather enough information about gnome-screensaver to understand exactly how to get the Electric Sheep screensaver working on Dapper without using xscreensaver. The voting keys do not currently work, but downloading and rendering work fine. Since the package in the universe is quite old, this HOWTO will compile the client from the source files. I will not detail the compilation process, but I will help with specific questions. I assume a moderate capability with respect to compiling and installing software.
You will need the following packages to compile the electricsheep client :
- libsm6 (not sure)
Grab the latest sources from electricsheep.org (currently 2.6.8):
Click the source tarball link, and extract the folder to your home directory.
In the electricsheep-2.6.8 directory, perform
make clean all
Edit the Makefile with a text editor. You need to remove these lines from the end of the file:
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.
test -e $(SCREENSAVER_DATADIR) && $(INSTALL) electricsheep.xml $(SCREENSAVER_DATADIR)
$(INSTALL) -d $(pkgdatadir)
Answer all questions as per standard checkinstall procedures.
sudo checkinstall -D make install
Create a folder that will hold your Sheep. Many folks use ~/.sheep for this, but it can be anything in your local area.
This is the secret sauce. As root, or using sudo, create a text file in the /usr/lib/xscreensaver directory called esheep.sh, and paste the following text into the file:
Replace xxxx with the nickname you would like to be known by on the server.
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
Replace yyyy with the full path to the directory created in Step 5.
sudo chmod 755 esheep.sh
As root, or using sudo, create a text file in the /usr/share/gnome-screensaver/themes directory called electricsheep.desktop, and past the following text into the file:
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 http://electricsheep.org for more information. This is version 2.6.8.
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.
gconftool-2 --type int --set /apps/gnome-screensaver/cycle-delay 10000
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,
gconftool-2 --type int --set /apps/gnome-power-manager/ac_sleep_display 0
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.
Let me know how this works!