Locking Your Screen

I just got my Powerbook back from the repair shop, and after six weeks of Windows and Ubuntu use I noticed one missing feature - quick locking of the screen from a keyboard shortcut.

In Windows XP you can do this with Windows-L (if you have a Windows key on your keyboard - bad luck Thinkpad users), and in KDE you can use Ctrl-Alt-L (sorry, don't know what the combination is in Gnome, but I'm sure there is one). But back in Mac OSX there isn't an easy option that I could find.

Luckily, I have Quicksilver. Thanks to some hints in the unofficial users guide I now have a solution.

Oh, you want to know what it is? OK. Essentially we tie the Fast Logout script supplied with Quicksilver to a hot key trigger. Here's how to do it;

  • First, enable the User Accounts Module and Extra Scripts plug-ins. You may also need to activate the HotKey Triggers plug-in, but it looks like its on by default in my version.
  • Then, in QS itself, type the letters FAST LOGOUT until the Fast Logout option appears. The action for this should be 'Run'. Give it a try and see if it works. If it does you will need to log back in.
  • Bring up the Triggers preference pane in QS and press the plus sign at the bottom (and the HotKey option) to create a new one. If you done nothing with QS since the last item then it should automatically include Fast Logout in the Select an item dialogue box that appears. If it doesn't select them the way you would normally.
  • Save your trigger and then assign a Trigger key combination to it. I've used Ctrl-Apple-L.

Bob will then be your Aunty's live in lover.