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I have a box running ubuntu 13.10 unity that I need to auto log in and it currently locks after 30 seconds, but I'd like to reduce this to between 1 and 5 seconds - how can I do this?


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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Usually you can set the timeout of gnome-screensaver (used by Ubuntu) with System Settings -> Brightness & Lock. However, this GUI only supports setting 1 minute at the minimum. For a delay between 1 and 5 seconds we need to set this manually.

You can use dconf watch / to watch all settings that are being changed.

If you issue that command, then open the Brightness & Lock panel and change the setting for Turn screen off when inactive for..., you will see an output like this:

  uint32 180

Hence, in order to set it to a value of for example 5 seconds, issue the command:

dconf write /org/gnome/desktop/session/idle-delay "uint32 5"

Source & more information: How can I set a global timeout for the screensaver?

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That's ace thanks, it works, but (next question :S) is there any way to reduce the time the screen takes to fade? – baggat Feb 6 '14 at 18:46
I don't think that there is such a feature. The time the screen takes to fade is presumably more or less hardcoded. – Malte Skoruppa Feb 7 '14 at 10:26

Such things can be directly controlled with gsettings. For example to get a list of all the screensaver settings available to tweak:

gsettings list-recursively org.gnome.desktop.screensaver

Ajusting lock delay after screen fade:

You should be able to adjust the lock delay (this is time after blanking that locking occurs) with

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.screensaver lock-delay uint32 5

to give you a 5 second delay before lock.

Adjusting the fade screen delay itself (blank screen time):

You can set

gsettings org.gnome.desktop.session idle-delay uint32 5

which I is the blank screen time (time for screen to fade), to give a 5 second fade for example.

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