turn off laptop LCD monitor

November 12th, 2006 mysurface Posted in cat, Misc, X11, xset | Hits: 117279 | 38 Comments »

In order to save power, I often turn off my LCD monitor when I away from keyboard for long. Bare in mind, blank screen is not consider turn off the monitor, because it still uses backlight. To do that, first you need to make sure you have ACPI enabled in your kernel.

cat /proc/acpi/info

If this exist, then you can turn off the monitor by running the command line bellow.

xset dpms force off

xset is a util for setting property of X, dpms force off is to turn off the backlight.

What if I want to set it so that it can be done automatically? Check out xscreensaver at advance tab, there are power management where your can set the duration of getting idle it turns off the backlight. Another alternative you can do is to edit your xorg.conf. Check out this gentoo wiki and mini-HowTo for more information.

38 Responses to “turn off laptop LCD monitor”

  1. […] Du kan læse mere her […]

  2. this doesn’t work

  3. Well, It is either your ACPI is disabled at your kernel or your kernel do not support that at all. It works under linux kernel 2.6.14.

    Check again, and good luck.

  4. this blanks my screen, but doesn’t actually turn
    the monitor off. Is there some trick to actually
    get it to power off?

    By the way, it monitor is an X2GEN LCD tv, so
    I don’t know if there are some limitations with

  5. A lots of possibilities and uncertainties, depends on what linux kernel you are running, and whether the kernel is compiled with enable ACPI support or not.

    It might be also happen when some programs also did call ACPI functions. Which it happens to me when I switch off the backlight, will be do the blank screen instead, due to xscreensaver is running at the backgroup process. I kill the xscreensaver, and still X windows by default do call some ACPI functions.

    You can read the references I post, It do help to make you understand how ACPI works on linux. Wish you good luck, if you find the solution, please do not hesitate to share with us, might be a lots of us have the same problem you are facing now.

  6. works great for me, once i emerged xset. i’m running gentoo, linux smp 2.1.18-r6 and my LCD is an Apple CinemaHD 23″

    thanks for the info and good work.

  7. Works well thanks a lot

    To power on the screen, just move the mouse and wait for a while..

  8. Hi,

    Thank you for this tip, now how can I make a bat. file and place it on my desktop?
    Or even create a hot key for ths?

  9. Works good for me too. ive searching how do this for some time..

  10. […] […]

  11. Thanks man! That was a cool trick! :)

  12. Exactly what I was looking for. Really, you don’t have to waste energy while waiting for a file operation to finish.

  13. Thanks a lot dude ..my NB has a exhaustion exit under the screen so close it generate heat on the screen.”I Like to sleep and hear music, but set the screensaver to shutdown the screen every time sucks”

    Shortcut on the KeyBoard
    $ apt-get install xbindkeys xbinkeys-config
    create default file:
    $ xbindkeys –defaults > ~/.xbindkeysrc
    to start the daemon:
    $ xbindkeys &
    to configure the app:
    add the command in the session initialization

    see ya

  14. Hey,
    This is a really neat trick. I just created a custom launcher and put in on my panel. All I need to do now to switch off the screen is to click on the launcher. Helps me save a lot of battery. Just like fabioxxxx above, I like to sleep listening to music and there is no point in keeping the monitor on if you don’t need it right?

    Thanx a lot dude!!! Really…. :-)

  15. tnxXx!!
    I installed pommed on my gentoo box to get my MPB keyboard features back on GNU/Linux.
    The only thing I missed is How to turn off monitor just like OS X??
    Now I assigned this useful command to F12 key in ccsm.
    But I’m wondering how to assign it for example to fn+F3 key??

    tnxXx again!!

  16. FlacMonkey Says:

    Works like a charm.

    Many thanks.

    I made a custom application launcher for this in the panel so I can turn off the screens by clicking on the butoon when I go away from my rig. I had been looking for something like this for a long time.

  17. Works great to me (Kubuntu 10.10 64 bits)

    I created a new entry in Kmenu and assigned a global shotcut (ctrl+alt+down). It’s lovely. I was wondering if was possible to keep the screen turned off even if I use the computer. Maybe this sound strange but I can explain. I like to study listening music and like any other NB these days, my NB has multimedia keys and if I change the music the display will turn on again.

    That way is right now is great, but f I could assign a hotkey to shutdown (like is already now) and another one to turn on would be just perfect.

    This is the only thing I miss from the old crap desk computers… a screen power switch. =] Thank you again.

  18. Just one correction: Kubuntu 10.04 64 bits.


  19. Jeffry Lebowski Says:


    works great on Lucid. I just added it to the \’Keyboard Shortcuts\’ and associated it with the ThinkVantage key

  20. Works on command line. Would like to connect it to standard screensavers.

    eeePC 901, Ubuntu 10.04 UNR run as Gnome.

  21. i love you!
    the screen turns on after a click on ubuntu 10.04!

  22. This disables every monitor that is connected, till the keypress or whatever. I was looking for the way to turn the given output screen cause i have netbook and a big 24′ samsung connected to it. I’ve found the way to do it. I am using UNR os, and there is a program called xrandr.
    Calling xrandr it bumps out every (connected or not) output, name, current resolution and so on. Then I call “xrandr –output OutputName –off” and it done! In my case OutputName was LVDS1. With this program you can also change the resolution by –mode option, see the manual pages for more info, I hope it helped who was in the simmilar situation:)

  23. it switches off my display then switches on it back,donno why?

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  27. This doesnt work for me, I get
    xset: unable to open display “”

    This is maybe because I dont have X!
    Its a server only, running on a laptop, but I still want to turn the backlight off!

  28. thanks! :) works great on Fedora 16 with Gnome3 (on a compaq cq61), even though I don’t have /proc/acpi/info:

    ls -la /proc/acpi/
    total 0
    dr-xr-xr-x 5 root root 0 Jan 5 23:09 .
    dr-xr-xr-x 198 root root 0 Jan 5 22:56 ..
    dr-xr-xr-x 3 root root 0 Jan 5 23:09 ac_adapter
    dr-xr-xr-x 3 root root 0 Jan 5 23:09 battery
    dr-xr-xr-x 3 root root 0 Jan 5 23:09 button
    -rw-r–r– 1 root root 0 Jan 5 23:09 wakeup

    btw, that xrandr thing seems to crash gnome3 :(
    it turned off the display, but it wouldn’t come back after
    “xrandr –output LVDS –off”

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    xset dpms force standby
    Even if the cat-command does not give results!

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  38. I had a problem with

    xset dpms force off

    The screen sometimes came on after a few seconds.

    I searched the net and found the following script on

    But I had to make a small change to it(see below).

    ———– script requires Python ———

    import time

    import subprocess

    from Xlib import X

    from Xlib.display import Display

    display = Display(‘:0’)

    root = display.screen().root


    X.ButtonPressMask | X.ButtonReleaseMask | X.PointerMotionMask,

    X.GrabModeAsync, X.GrabModeAsync, 0, 0, X.CurrentTime)


    X.GrabModeAsync, X.GrabModeAsync, X.CurrentTime)

    subprocess.call(‘xset dpms force off’.split())

    #p = subprocess.Popen(‘gnome-screensaver-command -a’.split())

    #p = subprocess.Popen(‘xset dpms force off’.split())


    while True:

    print display.next_event()



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