man pages section 1: User Commands

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Updated: July 2014

xlock (1)


xlock - locks the local X display until a password is entered


/usr/bin/xlock [ -display dsp ] [ -help ] [ -name  resource-
name ] [ -resources ] [ -/+remote ]
[ -/+mono ] [ -/+nolock ] [ -/+allowroot ] [ -/+enable-
saver ] [ -/+allowaccess ]
[ -/+echokeys ] [ -/+usefirst ] [ -/+v ] [ -delay usecs
] [ -batchcount num ]
[  -nice  level  ]  [  -timeout seconds ] [ -saturation
value ] [ -font fontname ]
[ -bg color ] [ -fg color ] [ -mode modename ] [ -user-
name textstring ]
[  -password textstring ] [ -info textstring ] [ -vali-
date textstring ]
[ -invalid textstring ]


User Commands                                            xlock(1)

     xlock  -  locks  the  local  X  display  until a password is

     /usr/bin/xlock [ -display dsp ] [ -help ] [ -name  resource-
     name ] [ -resources ] [ -/+remote ]
          [ -/+mono ] [ -/+nolock ] [ -/+allowroot ] [ -/+enable-
     saver ] [ -/+allowaccess ]
          [ -/+echokeys ] [ -/+usefirst ] [ -/+v ] [ -delay usecs
     ] [ -batchcount num ]
          [  -nice  level  ]  [  -timeout seconds ] [ -saturation
     value ] [ -font fontname ]
          [ -bg color ] [ -fg color ] [ -mode modename ] [ -user-
     name textstring ]
          [  -password textstring ] [ -info textstring ] [ -vali-
     date textstring ]
          [ -invalid textstring ]

     xlock locks the X server till the user enters their password
     at  the  keyboard.   While  xlock is running, all new server
     connections are refused.  The screen saver is disabled.  The
     mouse  cursor  is  turned  off.  The screen is blanked and a
     changing pattern is put on the screen.  If a key or a  mouse
     button is pressed then the user is prompted for the password
     of the user who started xlock.

     If the  correct  password  is  typed,  then  the  screen  is
     unlocked  and  the  X  server  is restored.  When typing the
     password Control-U and Control-H  are  active  as  kill  and
     erase  respectively.   To return to the locked screen, click
     in the small icon version of the changing pattern.

     -display dsp
          The display option sets the X11 display to lock.  xlock
          locks  all  available  screens  on  a given server, and
          restricts you to locking only a local  server  such  as
          unix:0,  localhost:0,  or :0 unless you set the -remote

     -name resource-name
          resource-name is used instead of XLock when looking for
          resources to configure xlock.

     -mode modename
          As  of  this writing there are eight display modes sup-
          ported (plus one more for random selection  of  one  of
          the eight).

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User Commands                                            xlock(1)

     hop     Hop  mode  shows  the "real plane fractals" from the
             September 1986 issue of Scientific American.

     life    Life mode shows Conway's game of life.

     qix     Qix mode shows the spinning lines similar to the old
             video game by the same name.

     image   Image mode shows several logos randomly appearing on
             the screen.

     swarm   Swarm mode shows a swarm of bees following a wasp.

     rotor   Rotor mode shows a swirling rotorlike thing.

     pyro    Pyro mode shows fireworks.

     flame   Flame mode shows wierd but cool fractals.

     blank   Blank mode shows nothing but a black screen.

     random  Random mode picks a random  mode  from  all  of  the
             above except blank mode.

     -delay usecs
          The  delay  option  sets the speed at which a mode will
          operate.  It simply sets the number of microseconds  to
          delay between batches of animations.  In blank mode, it
          is important to set this to some small number  of  sec-
          onds,  because  the keyboard and mouse are only checked
          after each delay, so you cannot set the delay too high,
          but a delay of zero would needlessly consume cpu check-
          ing for mouse and keyboard input in a tight loop, since
          blank mode has no work to do.

     -batchcount num
          The  batchcount  option sets number of things to do per
          batch to num .  In hop mode this refers to  the  number
          of  pixels rendered in the same color.  In life mode it
          is the number of generations to let each species  live.
          In  qix  mode it is the number of lines rendered in the
          same color.  In image mode it is the number of logos on
          screen  at  once.   In  swarm  mode it is the number of
          bees.  In rotor mode it is the number of rotor  thingys
          which  whirr...   In pyro mode it is the maximum number
          flying rockets at one time.  In flame mode  it  is  the
          number  of  levels  to recurse (larger = more complex).
          In blank mode it means nothing.

     -nice nicelevel
          The nice option sets  system  nicelevel  of  the  xlock

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User Commands                                            xlock(1)

          process to nicelevel .

     -timeout seconds
          The  timeout  option  sets the number of seconds before
          the password screen will time out.

     -saturation value
          The saturation option sets saturation of the color ramp
          used  to  value  .   0  is grayscale and 1 is very rich
          color.  0.4 is a nice pastel.

     -font fontname
          The font option sets the font to be used on the  prompt

     -fg color
          The  fg  option sets the color of the text on the pass-
          word screen to color .

     -bg color
          The bg option sets the color of the background  on  the
          password screen to color .

     -username textstring
          textstring  is shown in front of user name, defaults to
          "Name: ".

     -password textstring
          textstring is the password prompt string,  defaults  to
          "Password: ".

     -info textstring
          textstring is an informational message to tell the user
          what to do, defaults  to  "Enter  password  to  unlock;
          select icon to lock.".

     -validate textstring
          textstring -validate message shown while validating the
          password, defaults to "Validating login..."

     -invalid textstring
          textstring -invalid  message  shown  when  password  is
          invalid, defaults to "Invalid login."

          The  resources  option prints the default resource file
          for xlock to standard output.

          The remote option tells xlock  to  not  stop  you  from
          locking remote X11 servers.  This option should be used

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User Commands                                            xlock(1)

          with care and is intended mainly to lock X11  terminals
          which  cannot  run  xlock locally.  If you lock someone
          else's workstation, they will have to know  your  pass-
          word   to  unlock  it.   Using  +remote  overrides  any
          resource derived values for remote and  prevents  xlock
          from  being  used  to lock other X11 servers.  (Use `+'
          instead of `-' to override resources for other  options
          that can take the `+' modifier similarly.)

          The  mono  option  causes  xlock to display monochrome,
          (black and white) pixels rather than the  default  col-
          ored ones on color displays.

          The  nolock  option  causes xlock to only draw the pat-
          terns and not lock the display.  A keypress or a  mouse
          click will terminate the screen saver.

          The allowroot option allows the root password to unlock
          the server as well as the user who started xlock.

          By default xlock will disable  the  normal  X  server's
          screen  saver  since  it is in effect a replacement for
          it.  Since it is possible to set delay parameters  long
          enough  to  cause  phosphor burn on some displays, this
          option will turn back on the default screensaver  which
          is very careful to keep most of the screen black.

          This  option is required for servers which do not allow
          clients to modify the host access control list.  It  is
          also  useful  if  you need to run x clients on a server
          which is locked for some reason...  When allowaccess is
          true, the X11 server is left open for clients to attach
          and  thus  lowers  the  inherent   security   of   this
          lockscreen.  A side effect of using this option is that
          if xlock is killed -KILL, the access  control  list  is
          not lost.

          The echokeys option causes xlock to echo '?' characters
          for each key typed into the password prompt.  Some con-
          sider  this  a  security risk, so the default is to not
          echo anything.

          The usefirst option causes xlock to use  the  keystroke
          which got you to the password screen as the first char-
          acter in the password.  The default is  to  ignore  the

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User Commands                                            xlock(1)

          first key pressed.

     -v   Verbose mode, tells what options it is going to use.

     xlock can appear to hang if it is competing with a high-pri-
     ority process for the CPU. For example, if xlock is  started
     after  a process with 'nice -20' (high priority), xlock will
     take  considerable amount of time to respond.

     "kill -KILL xlock " causes the server that was locked to  be
     unusable, since all hosts (including localhost) were removed
     from the access control list to lock out new X clients,  and
     since  xlock  couldn't  catch  SIGKILL, it terminated before
     restoring the access control list.  This will  leave  the  X
     server in a state where
      "you  can no longer connect to that server, and this opera-
     tion cannot be reversed unless you reset the server."
               -From the X11R4 Xlib Documentation, Chapter 7.

     Xlib Documentation.

     Patrick J. Naughton

     Copyright  (c)  1988-91  by  Patrick  J.  Naughton  and  Sun
     Microsystems, Inc.

     Permission  to  use, copy, modify, and distribute this soft-
     ware and its documentation for any purpose and  without  fee
     is  hereby granted, provided that the above copyright notice
     appear in all copies and that both that copyright notice and
     this permission notice appear in supporting documentation.

     See   attributes(5)   for   descriptions  of  the  following

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User Commands                                            xlock(1)

     |      ATTRIBUTE TYPE         |      ATTRIBUTE VALUE        |
     |Availability                 |x11/xlock                    |
     |Interface Stability          |Committed                    |

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