I am using a Macbook (Aluminum Late 2008 version) and dual booting ubuntu 12.10

After installation the keyboard controls for volume and brightness worked perfectly,but a few days later the brightness got stuck on high and it's been giving me headaches and is super annoying. I can't use the keyboard controls for brightness or change it in the settings. I've tried searching for a fix but nothing has worked so far. Any suggestions?

Also i have played around with the graphics drivers and i'm currently using: NVIDIA binary Xorg driver. Should i change this? (Go easy on me, i'm a newbie :))

Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 9400M/integrated/SSE2 OS Type: 32-bit I'll provide any extra information needed

  • I tried the above on my Macbook late 2009 model and it worked! Thank you so much! I did have to do all the steps though, but it was easy, if anyone else is having this issue, then try it, it works!
    – user256230
    Commented Mar 8, 2014 at 20:16

1 Answer 1


♡ I found a solution! Hopefully someone finds this useful. I probably did more steps than required but here is what worked for me. ♡ (Nvidia users only)

  1. Open Terminal and enter the command below to open the xorg.conf file for editing:

    sudo -H gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf
  2. Once the file opens, find Section “Device” and add

    Option "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1" 

    (as shown below in bold line), and hit CtrlS to save it.

In my case, this file was empty so I entered the exact text and saved it to /etc/X11.

Section "Device"
Identifier      "Default Device"
Option   "NoLogo" "True"
Option "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1″


After restarting, if this did not work for you I also did the following:

  1. Just create a file in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-nvidia.conf with the following content:

    Section "Device"
        Option "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1"
        Identifier "Device0"

    Again, in my case some of these files didn't exist so I created them myself. When everything was in place I restarted and now my brightness controls are working

In order to create them manually open terminal and enter:

gksu nautilus

From there on navigate to: /etc/X11/ and create a folder named xorg.conf.d. Then inside that folder create a file named 50-nvidia.conf using gedit with the content listed in the step 3.

Now restart your computer.


  • Just to note, the first solution here worked for me on Ubuntu 20.04 on an iMac9,1 (early 2009), too. (For me, xorg.conf already existed.) Thanks! Commented Jun 27, 2020 at 23:07
  • This prevented Xorg from running on our iMac9,1 and consoles not accessible either. Lucky we could delete the files over ssh. Commented Jun 10, 2023 at 20:38

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