I want one where it reduces the screen's brightness, either by time or on demand (I don't mind). I have onboard Intel graphics. I don't want it to be like Redshift where it changes the screen's hue.

4 Answers 4


On a computer with Ubuntu 11.04 and onboard Intel graphics this works for me:

$ xrandr | grep connected | cut -f1 -d" "

Use the output name found (in this case "VGA1") and adjust the brightness

$ xrandr --output VGA1 --brightness 0.7

Note, that the xrandr man page has this to say about the --brightness flag:

However, this is a software only modification, if your hardware has support to actually change the brightness, you will probably prefer to use xbacklight.

  • This works brilliantly! Had to change it to HDMI1 instead of VGA1 for me (even though it's a DVI connection, I guess they've just called it HDMI1!). Thanks!
    – nLinked
    Commented Jun 17, 2011 at 16:28
  • Noticed this does not work on battery, irony? It seems it is trying to do things to brightness when you get on battery, but all those attempts turn the brightness to 100%
    – Drew
    Commented Jul 3, 2011 at 16:08
  • @ArchismanPanigrahi Thanks, for the tip! If the GUI app makes it into the official ubuntu repositories, I'll add a note of it in my answer. Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 7:48
  • 1
    Excellent suggestion, this worked for me too. In my case, interestingly, the xrandr --output eDP1 --brightness 0.2 approach works fine while xbacklight -set 20 fails.
    – landroni
    Commented Apr 27, 2014 at 7:21

The development build of Redshift will alter brightness. I am not sure if it will alter based on the time but you could ask the developer to add this feature.


Here are the basic steps required and the INSTALL file has more detailed instructions about building from source.

  1. You will need to install the following packages:

    sudo apt-get install build-essential libtool automake autopoint
  2. From the Terminal get a copy of the latest development source code:

    bzr branch lp:redshift
    cd redshift
  3. Create the configure file, compile and build:

  4. Test the created application works as exepected:

    ./src/redshift -b 0.1
  5. Install the application:

    sudo make install
  • Thanks.I have no idea how to download this dev version or compile it, but I think it's exactly what I'm looking for. Any way I can use this version?
    – nLinked
    Commented May 25, 2011 at 20:44
  • 2
    Redshift from the Ubuntu 13.04 repository has this feature, so no need to compile yourself! Just install it with sudo apt-get install redshift. Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 0:03

This maybe https://launchpad.net/brightness ? It uses the webcam as a sensor to adjust screen's brightness. (It uses OpenCV and you have to build it by your own)


I use Cairo-Dock with the Screen Luminosity plugin. Its a very easy access to brightness control.

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