My ongoing experiences with Ubuntu, and later Mythbuntu, as a media center with MythTV. I'm also using the system for a virtual machine server, a mediawiki server and a general all around home infrastructure base.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Disabling Monitor Power Saver

Update October 25, 2008: I've made improvements on what I describe in this post - please see this later post.

So after upgraded to Hardy Heron I'm having an annoying problem that the system keeps putting the monitor into power save mode after a couple hours. This is a problem because I turn on the monitor with my remote but I still have to go hit a key on the keyboard to then use MythTV. Not ideal. It's definitely power saving (as opposed to a screen saver) since the monitor goes into a power-off mode with the power LED blinking.

First thing I did was check System/Preferences/Power Management. But both "Put computer to sleep when inactive for:" and "Put display to sleep when inactive for:" were set to Never.

So, I tried the directions here for installing bum. A couple of notes:
  • After installing the Bootup Manager, you'll find it under System Administration
  • The Gnome-Power-Manager is just called Power Manager.

Then I rebooted and still no luck, after a couple of hours the monitor is asleep again.

Poking around on the web, I found this useful page on screen blanking under X. I verified that I can reproduce the screen blanking I'm experiencing with the following command:

% sleep 1; xset dpms force off


So, I poked a little deeper at my settings. I believe the "0" values indicate that X shouldn't be turning the monitor off:

% xset q
...
DPMS (Energy Star):
Standyby: 0 Suspend: 0 Off: 0
DPMS is Enabled
Monitor is On
...


But I pushed ahead and next I tried turning off dpms:

% xset -dpms


That seemed to do the trick! Several hours have passed and the screen is still awake.

Ok, now how do I make it permanent. I launched System/Preferences/Sessions. Then I clicked on "Add". For Name I put "Disable DPMS", for Command "xset -dpms" and left Comment blank. Clicked on OK and then Close and then I rebooted the system (I probably could have just logged out and back in, but I like to make sure things work from a boot).

And that seems to have worked, at least 'xset q' now shows DPMS as disabled. Hopefully that ends this tale.
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