IS it possible to somehow trigger screensaver or make the monitor sleep/off? I want to disable screensaver/monitor sleep as it gets annoying at times, however I still want a way to save power via such methods

5 Answers 5

sleep 1; xset dpms force off

source: http://www.shallowsky.com/linux/x-screen-blanking.html

You might find suspending the computer just as convenient.

  • Sometimes, I have things running in the background and dont want it to suspend
    – Jiew Meng
    Jun 5, 2011 at 10:07
  • sleep 1; xset dpms force off works but is it possble to attach it to a launcher or keyboard shortcut? I tried creating a custom launcher and pasting in sleep 1; xset dpms force off in command but it does nothing
    – Jiew Meng
    Jun 11, 2011 at 5:11
  • try /bin/bash -c "sleep 1; xset dpms force off" instead.
    – ijk
    Mar 17, 2012 at 16:38
  • ~$ sleep 1; xset dpms force off<br> ~$ sleep 1; xset dpms force suspend<br> pity have two times the same HP Monitor Laptop has 1xVGA + 1xHDMI both commands set HDMI to sleep (LED from blue as active to orange as sleep) BUT the VGA driven Monitor keeps blue LED and on screen shows missing signal (not powering off).
    – linolino
    Jan 18, 2022 at 14:13

I figured after some searching in Google I can do

gnome-screensaver-command --activate

So I used it in a keytboard shortcut :)

UPDATE: hmm, the LCD backlight is still on, I guess what I really wanted is monitor off ...


Ubuntu 12.04 instructions

  1. Open System Settings from the menu
  2. Click on Keyboard
  3. Click the tab Shortcuts
  4. Click on Custom Shortcuts
  5. Click the little "+" icon to create a new shortcut
  6. Both in name and command enter xset dpms force off , then click Apply
  7. Click on your new shortcut where it says Disabled
  8. Press the F12 key

This will set the F12 key to turn off your monitor. Press anything to turn it back on again.


It sounds like you want to put the monitor to sleep manually.

The closest thing I can suggest is to set the Power Management Preferences to put the display to sleep at the minimum time of one minute, then use the 'Inhibit Applet' on the Gnome Panel to disable sleep manually.

When you start the computer, click the applet to keep the monitor on. When you are ready to put the monitor to sleep, click it and the display will shut off a minute later.

Not very elegant but it's what you are wanting, with a one-minute delay. Hopefully someone else has a better response.

  • Hi I found that /etc/acpi/screenblank.sh can be used but I get an error ... so it offs the LCD then truns in back on ... awk: line 1: regular expression compile failed (missing '('):0)
    – Jiew Meng
    May 1, 2011 at 14:36

Running gnome-screensaver-command -a will trigger the screensaver.

  • hmm I found that somewhere too, but I now thing what I really wanted is make the monitor sleep manually, as screensaver will not off backlight
    – Jiew Meng
    May 1, 2011 at 14:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.