Mac comes with a shortcut for locking the desktop session –
⌘ + Ctrl + Q. It is also possible to define another keyboard shortcut for that.
In my case, I wanted the screen to lock automatically after I’m idle for a certain period of time. That’s also easily configured by following these steps:
- Launch System Preferences -> Desktop & Screen Saver -> Screen Saver
- Change the “Start after:” value in the left bottom corner to the requested idle time (in my case – 1 minute).
- On System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> General – mark “Require password immediately after sleep or screen saver begins”
This was a good solution, but my workplace setup a group policy (by enforcing a configuration profile) that sets the “Start after” time in the screen saver pane to 20 minutes, which is way too long for me.
To solve that, I wrote this small cron task that checks your inactivity time, and launches the screen saver manually if enough time has passed. You can find the code + installation instructions here.