My machine is a little weird on the graphics/monitors. I'll go into that in a bit, but I'm specifically looking for how to do the following:

When the monitors are standing by, but the system is running, usually pressing a key on the keyboard will wake them up. Is there a way to accomplish the same kind of waking up from the command line, when remotely connected over the network?

The specifics of what this solves for me is that when I reboot my machine, the nvidia powermizer settings get reset to adaptive. Because this is a managed desktop I cannot edit /etc/ files to change this. I do have something that sets it to maximum performance once I log it. This eliminates the flicker I get on my second display port monitor, and it allows the screens to wake up after being timed out to stand by. So, if I reboot and do not log in, the screens might sleep, and then not wake up. However the machine is still running fine.
If you're curious the driver is nvidia 195.36.24, the card is a Quatro FX 580, the monitors are two Dell U2410 attached via display port (DFP-3 & 4); the VBIOS is

PS would create tags sleep and powermizer

As much as the answer is correct for my question, it seems that the state of non-waking monitors cannot be gotten out of this way.

  • By the by; the monitors couldn't be woken interactively at the keyboard, nor over ssh in this case because the lower power mode for the cards was broken in that driver. BUT I still use the answer given (from time to time) in other cases. – dlamblin Feb 14 '18 at 10:55
xset dpms force on

If you have a more complicated system where you need to wake more than one display, you could iterate through them with something like this:

for display in `ps aux | grep -oE "/usr/bin/X\s[^ ]+" | cut -d " " -f 2`; do
    xset -display $display dpms force on;
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  • 1
    Thank you, but this only works if you have your DISPLAY env variable set correctly. You might lengthen your answer ftw to include how to find your console's xserver display number and pass it in as an argument. EG look for the first argument to /usr/bin/X; generally :0; and issue xset -display :0 dpms force on – dlamblin Nov 9 '10 at 21:00
  • @user5837 See my edit. How's that? Note: you might have to run that as root if other displays aren't owned by the user. They're currently owned by root but in the future, they should be owned by the user. – Oli Nov 10 '10 at 13:28
  • In my case forcing the display back on with xset did not work but changing the resolution with xrandr woke up the display. – AXE Labs Mar 18 '17 at 15:23

I don't expect this to work for many people, but if you're having the same problem as I was having on Ubuntu 16, this will work over SSH (not sure if you need X11 forwarding):

sudo unity-control-center

somehow did it.

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