Wayland, screensavers and OLED

I have a laptop with an OLED screen (Thinkpad Carbon X1), which is by its nature susceptible to permanent image retention. It’s running KDE and Plasma 6.0.1.

I thought I would be safe from this “burn-in” if I just turned the monitor off when not in use, but then had it explained to me like this;

Burn-in on OLED screens is typically not about pixels being “stuck” displaying specific content, but rather about the uneven wear of the screen’s organic compounds, leading to varying degrees of brightness and color accuracy across the screen. When pixels display the same static image or color for an extended period, they degrade at different rates. Pixels that are used more intensively (displaying brighter colors, for instance) degrade faster than those displaying darker colors or turned off more frequently. This uneven degradation results in what is perceived as burn-in, where static images or elements seem to be faintly imprinted on the screen because those areas have become dimmer or have lost color accuracy compared to less-used portions of the screen.

If a screen displays a constantly changing scene, such as a dynamic screensaver, all pixels are being used more uniformly. Over a very long period, the entire screen might become dimmer as all the organic compounds in the OLED display degrade, but this effect would be uniform across the screen, making it far less noticeable, if at all, to the naked eye. The key issue with burn-in is the uneven degradation of the display’s pixels, which creates noticeable patterns or ghost images. Uniform use of pixels extends the usable life of the display and avoids the noticeable effects of burn-in.

When you power the screen back on, the burn-in will resume from where it was as if nothing had changed. To mitigate burn-in, it’s recommended to use screen savers, vary the content displayed, and reduce screen brightness, among other practices.

I do understand image retention is effectively not an issue with non-OLED LCDs and that screensavers have been gradually phased out in favour of just turning off the screen. xscreensaver still exists but larger environments seem to have dropped them. I suddenly want them now, though, and I’m not on X.

Is there any way to get KDE/Wayland screensavers?

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Welcome to the forum. The answer is no.

Now mark my reply as the solution, please. :rofl:

And just use X.

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Wayland doesn’t support screen savers.

That would explain why XScreenSaver works, but I have no way to get into the settings. It kicks in every minute or so from my last setting. Frustrating…

jwz, the XScreenSaver developer, wrote a blog last year about what Wayland needs for his classic package.


:face_with_raised_eyebrow: Wayland made no plans to include screensaver features?

Hasn’t that been a basic service with IT for decades? Am I missing something here?

So we have to wait for XScreensaver to port the deamon or Wayland to include it? Gobblesmacking!

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Computers use more power running screen savers in order to keep the screen on. All modern operating systems have power-saving features that turn the screen off when inactive. They really aren’t needed.


nor are desktop icons :innocent: but people like… so screen saver will be around all time people want one … :blush:

i agree you on power-saving features

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I’m just saying that’s one reason also. People don’t like desktops anymore either. :laughing:


Does this sort of things really exist? :wink: :sweat_smile:

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But I like my desktop :sob:

Yeah, power-saving features it is. I’ll miss my ancient Matrix screensaver…



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I was kidding, of course :blush:

But thanks for the clarification, anyways :smile:

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even bug report for no show :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

" https://github.com/pbek/QOwnNotes/issues/2976 "

EDit… understand you “kidding, of course” :blush:

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Well, I suppose the designers of Wayland have no joy in their cold, black hearts simply do not value screen savers. --JWZ

Neither is likely to happen any time soon, if ever. Right now, your best bet if you really value this feature, you will need to use old distros and DEs that still run x11 for as long as you can.

Why not just use the full screen mode of any media player or any animated GIF image, this can be automatically started by your own systemd script or something else before your computer goes to sleep? That looks like screensavers.

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I don’t think displaying some semi random animation would change the outcome of these burn-ins much. While active you would still do the same things, making the wear difference the same. Screensaver might even increase the wear… In my experience burn in comes from white pixels(maybe blue too). In my opinion, one thing that could help is dark mode.

Btw this site has dark mode too, looks nice with the purple.

Great extension for the web.