[vbox-dev] Loss of GUI when screen saver kicks in

Klaus Espenlaub klaus.espenlaub at oracle.com
Wed Jun 6 06:40:14 PDT 2012

Hi Perry,

On 04.06.2012 22:58, Perry Halbert wrote:
> Latest SVN
> Start a debian wheezy guest and wait for the screen saver to kick in
> (blank screen) You can set it to 1 minute to test with.
> Once it does the entire GUI disappears from the host. Still shows
> running in the Main Manager and show running says it is active. Only way
> to get it back is to send acpi shutdown which doesn't really work by the
> way to shut down the guest.
> DT manager in wheezy is gnome3 and in the GUI there is no way to
> actually turn off the screen saver (which I find stupid).
> I worked around this by creating a script in /etc/X11/Xsession.d
> with the following "xset -dpms s off" sans quotes. Now the screen blank
> does not kill the GUI.
> Figured you would want to know :)

Confirmed. You forgot to mention that wheezy is in alpha1 stage...

wheezy comes with guest additions version 4.1.14, which supports 
disabling screens. Apparently all screens can be disabled, and this 
means the GUI becomes invisible. With the evil side effect of losing the 
normal source of input, too.

VBoxManage controlvm <VMNAME> keyboardputscancode 01 81
brings it back (by signalling an "Esc" key press and release).

Of course this needs a better solution. At least one window needs to 
remain, to retain the input source. A bit of GUI hacking is necessary to 
achieve this.

VBoxManage controlvm <VMNAME> acpipowerbutton
also brings it back as a side effect, but only because the guest OS 
doesn't actually shut down because the ACPI config doesn't seem to be 
usable. Something is VERY wrong with acpi handling on wheezy (/proc/acpi 
is essentially empty), and I couldn't find a way to configure anything. 
To me this looks like something the Debian folks need to fix.


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