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sxlock - simple X screen locker

Simple screen locker utility for X, fork of sflock, which is based on slock. Main difference is that sxlock uses PAM authentication, so no suid is needed.


  • provides basic user feedback
  • uses PAM
  • sets DPMS timeout to 10 seconds, before exit restores original settings
  • basic RandR support (drawing centered on the primary output)


  • libX11 (Xlib headers)
  • libXext (X11 extensions library, for DPMS)
  • libXrandr (RandR support)
  • PAM


Arch Linux users can install this package from the AUR.

For manual installation just install dependencies, checkout and make:

git clone git://
cd ./sxlock

Running sxlock

Simply invoking the sxlock command starts the display locker with default settings.

Custom settings:

-f <font description>: modify the font.
-c <password characters>: modify the characters displayed when the user enters his password. This can be a sequence of characters to create a fake password.

Hooking into systemd events

When using systemd, you can use the following service (create /etc/systemd/system/sxlock.service) to let the system lock your X session on hibernation or suspend:

Description=Lock X session using sxlock



However, this approach is useful only for single-user systems, because there is no way to know which user is currently logged in. Use xss-lock as an alternative for multi-user systems.

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