After my computer with ubuntu 12.04 has been idle for a short while, the screen will go blank, and even enter standby mode. I have tried this:

  1. System Settings -> Brightness and Lock -> Turn off screen... set to "Never"
  2. System Settings -> Power -> Suspend when... set to "Don't suspend"

This doesn't change anything.

How can I make sure that the screen will always remain on, forever?


5 Answers 5


Try opening a terminal with Ctrl+Alt+T and then enter the following:

gconftool-2 --type bool --set /apps/gnome-screensaver/idle_activation_enabled "false"
  • Well, this is a completely user-friendly way to manage that setting... and the best is, they have not changed it for three years.
    – Alexander
    Jul 24, 2015 at 18:35

You can install the dconf-tools package and then run dconf-editor.

In dconf-editor, open up the "org" branch, then "gnome" then "desktop" then "screensaver" and you'll see the name-value pairs that set the various screensaver properties.

Change "idle-activation-enabled" to unchecked.

You could also uncheck "lock-enabled" while you're there to prevent it demanding your password when it's been idle too long.

However this might not work! It didn't work for me when I was trying and I can only assume that there is a bug somewhere in xfce4, which is the windows manager I installed on 12.04 instead of Unity. If you also suffer problems, the work-around is to use xset:

xset -dpms s off s noblank s 0 0 s noexpose

but that only lasts as long as your session.

You can use

xset -q

to see what the current settings are. It basically overrides the settings in /etc/X11/xorg.conf

You would have to put it into your .profile to re-apply it every session.


managed to fix it by putting: "@xset s off" in my autostart file (after all other programs) and setting session idle timeout to its max value in dconf-editor

  • 3
    Thanks for taking the time to answer the question. Would mind adding how to find the file and how to change the settings in the dconf-editor?
    – MadMike
    Oct 17, 2014 at 9:30

I tried the selected answer as well as:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.screensaver idle-activation-enabled false

Both did not solve the issue with me. I found this that ended up working. I'm sure there is some configuration option that would have solved the issue without me having to remove the package entirely, but I didn't feel like spending too much time on it.

sudo apt-get remove acpi-support acpid

the only way I could stop the blank screen was to install xscreensaver which will then let you disable the gnomescreensaver daemon you can also remove the gnome-screensaver

then set xscreensaver to 'no screen saver'

to have xscreensaver start at log on open startup applications then add

name = xscreensaver

command = xscreensaver -nosplash

then save the settings ...

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