I use xscreensaver to lock my screen after a timeout or by key command from within the awesome window manager. I also like to have my screen lock when I suspend my laptop by closing the lid.

Since systemd now handles detecting lid closure and initiating the suspend, we can tell systemd to have xscreensaver lock the screen before doing that, too.

Create a file at /etc/systemd/system/xscreensaver_suspend@.service with contents like:

Description=xscreensaver suspend lock service

ExecStart=/usr/bin/xscreensaver-command -lock


Then enable this for your user (my user is “andrew”) as your user, you don’t need to be root or use sudo, like:

$ systemctl enable xscreensaver_suspend@andrew.service

Now when you suspend your laptop, xscreensaver should lock the screen first. If you have xscreensaver set to fade the screen, the fading action may not complete until after you resume your laptop, so you screen’s contents at suspend time may be visible for a second or two upon resume. If this matters to you, disable fading in xscreensaver-demo interface.


18 August 2020