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There are many apps, scripts and hacks out there for Linux which hook into gnome’s DBUS and use this to tap into gnome screensaver, however, what if you don’t want ANY access to the gnome.
I found a great little tool which can be used to either replace the screensaver OR just have something execute after x minutes of inactivity.
Xautolock monitors the user activity on an X Window display. If none is
detected within mins minutes, a program is started as specified by the
-locker option. Xautolock will typically be used to lock the screen
(hence its primary name) but it really doesn’t care what program you
make it start. For this reason, xautolock does not interfere with the
default X screen saver, unless the -resetsaver option is used. This
implies that it is the job of the locker or the user to take the
appropriate actions if the default screen saver is to be disabled. The
only real assumption made by xautolock is that a new countdown starts
as soon as the locker exits.