I am using lightum to automatically control the screen's brightness depending on the surrounding light (on a Retina MacBook Pro).

The problem is, though, that KDE picks up the change and displays the OSD (same one that shows up when you change brightness with keyboard).

The brightness changes slightly every minute or so, making the OSD incredibly annoying. I would gladly get rid of it entirely if I could.

Some research

I looked in KDE's notifications settings, found nothing. I also grep'd ~/.kde/share/config, found nothing. Google didn't help either.

Apparently setting the brightness by doing

# echo 4 > /sys/devices/pci0000\:00/0000\:00\:02.0/backlight/acpi_video0/brightness

doesn't bring up the OSD. From the source code, lightum seems to be setting brightness via dbus (org.kde.Solid.PowerManagement.setBrightness).

  • 3
    As a workaround, I ended up modifying lightum to make it run as root as well and use the /sys/devices/.../brightness thing to set brightness instead. If anyone else finds this useful, you can use my fork of lightum - but make sure you start it up as root. I added this to visudo to be able to start it up automatically, with no password: <my_user_name> ALL=NOPASSWD:/usr/local/bin/lightum. May 24, 2013 at 14:34
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    Type sudo su then edit the brightness by echo .. > Apr 11, 2014 at 2:18
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    Please excuse the bump, but it seems that just running the search query: org.kde.Solid.PowerManagement.setBrightness will bring up the bug and (other) possible solutions ^^ Just btw. :)
    – Nostromov
    Apr 18, 2014 at 0:17
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    Now this isn't kubuntu but should work all the same refreshit.info/2012/08/…
    – Jessecast
    Apr 20, 2014 at 1:25
  • @Jessecast That website has an... unfortunate name :P
    – Tim
    Apr 23, 2015 at 16:20

1 Answer 1


You can do that by going into the Global Shortcuts control panel in System Settings and, under the "kded" section, remove the key binding for brightness up and brightness down.


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