Monitor dimming

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at
Wed Jun 18 01:03:03 PDT 2003

On Tue, Jun 17, 2003 at 09:20:38PM -0700, Peter Leftwich wrote:
> Can someone tell me what controls the dimming of my monitor after a set
> amount of minutes of idle time?  It is not xscreensaver; I'm assuming it is
> something called from "startx" or at boot time in rc.conf?
> I ask because I would like to [1] change the idle timeout and [2] run a
> command line command to "dim now."  Thanks all, please CC: me!

You can put settings into /etc/X11/XF86Config, like this:

    Section "ServerFlags"
            Option       "BlankTime" "10"
            Option       "StandbyTime" "20"
            Option       "SuspendTime" "30"
            Option       "OffTime" "30"

XF86Config(5) has the details.

You can also use xset(1) to modify the settings from within an X session:

    % xset dpms 1200 1800 1800
    % xset dpms force standby

[Nb. xset(1) uses units of seconds, XF86Config uses units of minutes.
So much for consistency.]

Programs like window managers may also modify the DPMS settings -- use

   % xset q

to see the current settings.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                       26 The Paddocks
                                                      Savill Way
PGP:         Marlow
Tel: +44 1628 476614                                  Bucks., SL7 1TH UK
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