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[Linux] Prevent your computer from going to sleep or turning on screen saver with Caffeine

caffeine-config [1]Sometimes a simple program that completes a simple task can be one of the most useful programs that you have installed. Caffeine is one of those programs. All Caffeine does is inhibit your system from putting up a screensaver or falling asleep when you’re away from it for a bit. If you’re still not convinced, let me explain why it’s awesome.

(Note: Windows users can check out Caffeine for Windows [2], which is a different program but does the same thing.)


Main Functionality

Caffeine is a program that prevents sleep mode and screensavers from going into effect. Caffeine works regardless of what you are doing — watching movie in VLC, watching YouTube video, or even if you are not at your computer.




caffeine [3]I love Linux. I really do. I have a hard time using any other type of operating system, because when I’m not on Linux I don’t feel at home. There’s a lot to love about Linux, but there are a few minor irritations. Some of the major irritations are the screensavers and sleep timer settings. Screensavers on Linux are an extreme annoyance, but are also a serious issue on occasion. Sometimes a screensaver will pop up and then I can’t re-log into my machine or access my machine. Sometimes I have to reboot. It can be very monotonous.

That is why I’m so delighted to have found something like this. Caffeine is a brilliantly simple program, one that I can’t write a ton about, but it is something that deserves some notice. Caffeine is based on the Mac OS X program of the same name and feature-set. It loads up and inhibits any action your computer might take to put itself into sleep mode, or to throw up a screensaver. This sounds like a stupid concept, but if you’ve ever been watching a movie in VLC in fullscreen and not moving the mouse, the computer might think you’re idle. Then it will go to sleep. This prevents this kind of thing.

The only irritations that I have with Caffeine is that I’m not allowed to pump any sort of bash script  through it. It’s not that big of a deal, but it would be nice to have access to and be able to execute my own scripts within it. A humble request that doesn’t really need to be added. I also had a hard time re-enabling the system tray icon after disabling it. All in all, Caffeine is a very useful program and I’m a big fan of it.


Caffeine is one of those programs that should come already installed on all distros. This program is so useful and so simple, it’s a wonder that none of the big distro makers have picked up on this already. Caffeine is awesome. Install it soon. In fact, install it now.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 2.4.1

Supported OS: Any Linux distro

Supported software repositories: Ubuntu via Launchpad

Download size: 98 KB

Is it portable? No

Caffeine homepage [4]