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Paper Pilots Support: Linux

Linux License Installation
Uninstalling The Screensaver
Linux Frequently Asked Questions

Linux License Installation

Step 1

Download and install the trial version. Requirements for installation include
  • i686 or x86_64 architecture
  • OpenGL graphics (hardware acceleration recommended)
  • The Installer/Configuration programs require Python with the GTK module
  • Root access to your system (sudo) is required to install Paper Pilots as a screensaver
There are also specific instructions for some distributions.

Step 2

Before purchasing a full license, ensure that the screensaver runs on your system.

After purchasing a full license, you will receive an e-mail containing your Pilot's license. Open the configuration controls (screenshots for various distributions). Copy and paste the license into the dialog (replacing the DEMO-LICENSE).

Linux Options Screenshot

Step 3

Hit the Install button. This will contact the Paper Pilots server, download and install the latest version.


Uninstalling should be as simple as hitting the uninstall button in the screensaver management.
Linux Options Screenshot

If this doesn't work you can find the screensaver in /usr/local/share/paperpilots. Removing this directory should uninstall the screensaver.

Frequently Asked Questions (Linux)

Because of the number of different Linux distributions, we can't guarantee that the screensaver will work smoothly on yours. We have tested on several
distributions though, and found the screensaver works fairly well with most common distributions.

Why do you need root access?

We'd like to provide the option to install the screensaver on a per-user basis. However, as far as we can tell, all of the screensaver frameworks (xscreensaver, gnome-screensaver, kscreensaver, etc.) will only search for binaries in system directories. This means the screensaver has to be installed system wide which requires root access.

If you know of a way to install without modifying system directories, please let us know.

How do I determine what version to download?

If you aren't sure whether you're running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Linux, run the command:
   uname -m
in a terminal. If the result is i686 or i386, then you need the 32-bit version. A 64-bit system should print out x86_64.

Some 64-bit systems may be able to run the 32-bit version (depending on which packages are installed).

At the current time, we only support IA32 and AMD64 architectures for Linux.

How can I install if the installer didn't work?

First, make sure you downloaded the correct archive by running the command:
   md5sum paperpilots.bin
This should print one of:
  • 44c97aaa763505b8b651e2cf41ecd621 (32-bit)
  • 3c914389ff93929fd3adbc12c2d90d63 (64-bit)
If the installer is unable to run, it's most likely due to a missing Python dependency. Please make sure that you have the python-gtk2 package installed (this is the most common issue).

If you aren't able to get the installer to run, it's unlikely that you'll be able to get the GUI manager running either. It is still possible to install the screensaver but maintenance will have to be performed manually (via the command line).

You can extract the archive contents using the command
   sh paperpilots.bin --keep --noexec
Installation and maintenance are all handled with Python scripts, so it should be possible to determine what steps are needed to install the screensaver.

Why does my computer's fan start when the screensaver runs?

If you find the fan on your computer starts up when the screensaver runs, this means that your computer is having a hard time keeping up with the demands of the screensaver. There are a couple of ways to fix this. From your preferences/settings menu, choose "Configure Paper Pilots" (or run /usr/local/share/paperpilots/manage-gtk in a terminal). This should bring the configuration dialog up.
  • Make sure that the toggle button for "Highest Quality (FSAA)" is turned off. This is the most probable cause for a busy computer.
  • If the computer is still busy, choose "Run Screensaver" from this dialog. Go to the Global Settings and change the Playback Speed to Chunky (15 FPS). This will cause the screensaver to refresh the screen less frequently (this option requires a license to be persistent).

Can I run the screensaver as wallpaper on my desktop?

If you run the command:
   /usr/local/share/paperpilots/paperpilots -root
the screensaver will run on the root window of your desktop (i.e. behind all the other windows).

However, there is usually a desktop manager that displays wallpaper. This prevents the screensaver from being visible on the desktop, so you may have to adjust your desktop preferences.

Do you use any open source software?

The Linux version uses some open source software. These are displayed in the screensaver in the "About Paper Pilots" menu. This links to the open source licenses.

Other Questions

If you have questions which aren't answered here, please check the General FAQ or contact us.