Chrome OS Gets a Screensaver – I Am Excited Because It Is An Extension

We we have seen the Screensaver for Google’s Chrome OS, well before they launched Chromebooks. I am not sure why this was delayed so much, but the team has added Screensaver to Chrome OS’ login screen. The most interesting part is, this is being implemented as an extension and that gives me hope that we will get to see more HTML based screensavers from developers all around the world!!

Chrome OS Screensaver, Remember This One?

I would like to refresh your memory by taking you back to the day when the screensaver was discovered deep in the code base. It is an HTML based animation which you can view even on your browser. So, take a look at it here.

The News and Why I am Excited

Now, lets go to what’s making news today. I found this new commit on Chromium OS which describes how the screensaver has been implemented.

Chrome OS Screensaver

Chrome OS Screensaver

Screensaver at login screen. This CL adds code to show a screensaver on the login screen. The location of the screensaver and timeout for it to show up are currently hard coded but will be changed to pull from an enterprise policy once work on that end is completed. The screensaver stays active only on the login screen, if any user logs on, we de-activate the screensaver for the rest of the session. Since logout causes a Chrome restart, we will be active on the login screen again. If the screensaver crashes, we reload the extension and show ourselves again.,, BUG=chromium-os:26042 TEST=Tested that the screensaver comes up on the login screen, does not come up once we log in, reloads when I manually crash the screensaver extension process. Also verified that SelectFileDialog on ChromeOS works as intended. Review URL:

Yes, the reason for my excitement is this, screensaver in Chrome OS will be an extension and that means, if they decide to open up it for developers, we will see a Screensaver gallery just like we have the theme gallery and that’ll make Chromebooks more attractive.

François Beaufort  has a small tip on how to enable this when this makes it to Dev version of Chrome OS or if you have the latest Chromium OS build. You just need to add these two switches:

./chrome –enable-kiosk-mode –kiosk-mode-screensaver-path=/tmp/toto/

Stay tuned for more on this!!

In Category: Chromebook


Dinsan made Google Chrome his default browser within hours of its release. He fell in love with Chromebooks from the day he first touched one and is currently obsessed with Chromecasts.

Show 1 Comment
  • James 29/02/2012, 12:33 am

    I probably won’t use it much, since I usually close the lid. This functions especially well on Chromebooks, so a screensaver seems needless.

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