July 20, 2009

Caffeine for Linux 0.2 Released

Filed under: Linux — bnsmith @ 9:46 pm

Update: Caffeine 1.0 has been released. Read more about it here.

The pace of development has been frantic since the first release of Caffeine last month. Caffeine is an application that allows you to quickly and easily disable the screensaver and powersaving features of your computer, so that you can watch a long flash video or give a presentation without your display switching off. I feel some temptation to hold back the next release of Caffeine until the program is perfect, but that way madness lies. And so, with that in mind, I am pleased to announce the release of the 0.2 version of Caffeine for Linux!

What’s NewCaffeine_icon

This new version is a massive step forward, with loads of new features and improvements. In fact, so much has changed, it’s practically a new program. Specifically:

  • Incredible new icons (my own amateurish attempts have been thankfully retired)
  • Ability to select from a list of time intervals, and have Caffeine prevent powersaving for that amount of time
  • Ability to specify a custom time interval, and have Caffeine activate for that period
  • Official support for Kubuntu 9.04 and Xubuntu 9.04 (the previous release supported Ubuntu 9.04 only)
  • A new Launchpad project page
  • Fixed the bug that would cause Caffeine to quit if activated immediately after login

I’d like to thank all of the people who helped with developing or testing Caffeine. I’d also like to give a special “thank-you” to Tommy, who provided Caffeine with the new artwork, the new timed activation features and many other improvements too numerous to list here.

Installation Instructions

Caffeine is now available through a Personal Package Archive (PPA) provided by Launchpad. This means that once you install it, any subsequent updates will show up in your regular “Update Manager ” window.

To install Caffeine on Ubuntu 9.04:

  • Open a Terminal by clicking Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal
  • In the Terminal, execute the following commands, one at a time:
sudo bash -c "echo 'deb jaunty main' >> /etc/apt/sources.list"
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys B7DEAC3C
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install caffeine
  • Go to System -> Preferences -> Startup Applications
  • Click Add
  • Set the “Name” field to Caffeine and the “Command” field to caffeine
  • Click Add and then Close
  • Log out and log back in; the Caffeine applet should appear in the top-right


  1. Caffine, what is it? Does it wake up the computer at a specific time? keep the computer awake? prevent hibernation? prevent sleep mode? prevent goblins from chowing down on the inodes? Does it solve world hunger?

    Ah.. link to an old article says it prevents screensaver abuse.

    Comment by Draco — July 21, 2009 @ 2:50 pm

    • Good point. I added a sentence that explains what Caffeine does. Oh, and it also solves world hunger too. 🙂

      Comment by bnsmith — July 23, 2009 @ 9:17 pm

  2. This application is great, I love it! But:

    ovidiu@ovidiu-laptop:~$ man caffeine
    No manual entry for caffeine
    See ‘man 7 undocumented’ for help when manual pages are not available.
    ovidiu@ovidiu-laptop:~$ caffeine –help
    The application is already running !

    There are no parameters? How can I control the application from outside? I’d like to be able to toggle (and maybe query) the state from outside (so that I can assign a global hotkey instead of clicking on the icon).

    A D-bus interface would be really nice.

    Comment by Ovidiu C. — July 31, 2009 @ 10:15 am

    • That’s a good idea. Currently, there are no command line paramaters and no D-bus interfaces. I’ll create a blueprint for this in Launchpad.

      Comment by bnsmith — July 31, 2009 @ 12:25 pm

  3. I found caffeine very useful while I was using Ubuntu, but now I have to use OpenSUSE for my work and I’m looking for something similar. It would be very nice to have a Caffeine Plasma Widget.

    Comment by A. Aguirre — August 9, 2010 @ 11:27 pm

  4. Is it possible to set a time for how long Caffine will work for?

    Comment by Carleton — October 12, 2010 @ 5:57 pm

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