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I want to make a keyboard shortcut to increase and the decrease the keyboard backlight brightness.

The command I have for full brightness is:

echo -n 100 > /sys/class/leds/chromeos\:\:kbd_backlight/brightness

No keyboard led brightness (off):

echo -n 0 > /sys/class/leds/chromeos\:\:kbd_backlight/brightness

If I wanted to get the current brighness I would:

cat /sys/class/leds/chromeos\:\:kbd_backlight/brightness

Whats the simplest way to increase and decrease the values by a percantage, like 12%. This seems like a fairly common task.

share|improve this question
@Dan: -n is an echo option, so it does not output a trailing newline. It has nothing to do with the number. – MestreLion May 2 '13 at 23:27
There are 2 questions here: how to create a script to do calculate (and automate) those commands, and another one on how to assign such scripts to keyboard shortcuts, correct? Since they are pretty distinct and unrelated I suggest you split them in 2 questions, keeping this one for the script (which is the hardest part). The other one I'm sure there are dozens of answers already, just search for it. – MestreLion May 2 '13 at 23:36
By the way, Chrome OS is not supported in Ask Ubuntu :P – MestreLion May 2 '13 at 23:37
@MestreLion I am running 12.10 on a Chromebook Pixel... the latest 3.10-rc1 kernel just names the driver like that :) – Ray Foss May 3 '13 at 5:27
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Script to increase and decrease brightness:



case "$1" in
    -i|--increase) ((val = +step));;
    -d|--decrease) ((val = -step));;

if !((val)); then
    echo "Increase or decrease screen brighness"
    echo "Usage: ${0##*/} --increase | --decrease"

read -r cur < "$file"    
((val = cur + val))

if ((val <   0)); then ((val =   0)); fi
if ((val > 100)); then ((val = 100)); fi

printf '%d' "$val" > "$file"

printf 'Before: %3d\n' "$cur"
printf 'After : %3d\n' "$val"

Could be a lot simpler for a keyboard shortcut, but I decided to make it a stand-alone script with help and args, just for fun :)

To run:

  • save it somewhere, for example ~/keyboard-brightness
  • set execute permission: chmod +x ~/keyboard-brightness
  • ~/keyboard-brightness --increase
  • ~/keyboard-brightness --decrease

Now just add them as keyboard shortcuts

share|improve this answer
Thanks! I should really get into those more. In action, pressing repeatedly – Ray Foss May 3 '13 at 6:05
So it worked? great! :) – MestreLion May 6 '13 at 20:49
I tried this script on my pixel running a native Ubuntu 13.10 install, but I end up with the following error: /sys/class/leds/chromeos::kbd_backlight/brightness: No such file or directory any suggestions? – user200275 Oct 9 '13 at 19:17
@user200275: this script was customized for the OP's hardware. Maybe your Chromebook is different. Check the /sys tree for a file that looks related to keyboard leds (start with the /sys/class/leds/chromeos tree) and change the script accordingly – MestreLion Oct 10 '13 at 8:33

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