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I use a docking station with 2 external monitors and keep my laptop lid closed when docked.

In Gnome's power settings, I have set "Do nothing" when laptop lid is closed and this works fine (after adding the option manually through gconf-editor). However, when the screens are set to go to standby, they actually just blank, rather than changing their DPMS mode. This wastes electricity.

If the laptop lid is open, the monitors go to standby as expected. Things also work correctly when not logged in (in GDM) so I think it must have something to do with Gnome.

Any pointers?

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Same problem here, VGA output to external monitor. Got it to work with

xset dpms 0 0 600

that's telling the monitor don't standby or suspend, but power off after 10 minutes (600 seconds)

I added the entry to System > Preferences > Startup Applications

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