Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm running Ubuntu 12.04, 64 bit, kernel Linux 3.5.0-39-generic, on a system that has an Nvidia GE Force GT 640m / Intel HD graphics 4000 - 1.0 GB graphics processor assembly. In order to get the unity 3d desktop features to work correctly I needed to install bumblebee. The problem this has created is that in order for the desktop effects to work with Optimus laptops you must remove /etc/X11/xorg.conf . If using an Optimus laptop unity 3d will not work until this file is removed after this file has been removed if you replace it the desktop will load into a black screen. The reason I want this file is because without it's having a server layout section containing Option "BlankTime" "0", Option "StandbyTime" "0", Option "SuspendTime" "0", Option "OffTime" "0" my desktop goes blank every 10 minutes this is very frustrating when attempting to intake media.

This is the relevant data from xset -q

Screen Saver:

  prefer blanking:  yes    allow exposures:  yes

  timeout:  600    cycle:  600

DPMS (Energy Star):

  Standby: 0    Suspend: 0    Off: 0

  DPMS is Enabled                     

if anyone would present me with a solution to this that doesn't involve something as inelegant as installing caffeine or writing a script to move the cursor every so often. my satisfaction would be great.

share|improve this question

I'm just an ArchLinux user passing through, but I think you can get the desired effect by running:

xset s off

after X has started.

xset lets you set many of the same options xorg.conf controls dynamically after X has started. The xset s options all control settings related to the screensaver. See the xset man page for a list of all the various s options, but xset s off should disable the screensaver completely. You can run xset q again to see what settings have been changed. Without Xorg.conf files, I think xset is your best bet for changing those options.

I'm not sure of the best way to automate xset being run in Ubuntu - possibly you could add it to your ~/.xinitrc file, or maybe a more experienced Ubuntu user can chime in with the canonical way to run commands when the desktop environment starts.

Technically these various options for automatically running commands are "scripts", but I think you'll agree xset s off is a pretty short one.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.