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This tool completely locks up your display, using various hacks. After starting, you cannot even use Ctrl-Alt-Fn or the SysRq keys (but you can still use SSH to login and kill xfreeze).

How to build and install

autoreconf -i
./configure && make
sudo make install

First step is not required for distributed source tarballs.

How to use

  1. Start xfreeze
  2. Display is locked
  3. To unlock the display, you just have to input your password, and press ENTER. There is no graphical user interface.

Additional information

If you use PAM (most distributions do), you have to e.g. create a xfreeze entry in /etc/pam.d:

cat > /etc/pam.d/xfreeze << "EOF"
auth        required

The xfreeze binary must have root privileges to do things like disabling SysRq keys and disabling VT-switching. If you want to use xfreeze as user, just set the s-bit, e.g.:

chown root:root /usr/local/bin/xfreeze
chmod 4755 /usr/local/bin/xfreeze

If you don't want any untested suid-root binarys on your system, you can use the script and helper-programs in the extras/ subdir. Check the c-files, and if you trust them, use them together with the script.

If you want xfreeze to be started after a certain idle time, use xautolock (

For command-line options, try xfreeze --help or read the manpage.