I am using ASUS UX303 LN, Laptop and Ubuntu Gnome 14.04 is installed on it. I cant find a way to turn on my keyboard backlight on it. The keyboard shortcut that works in windows is not working here. Please help

  • you must check the layout of your keyboard and change it to what fits your needs
    – user284234
    Jul 4, 2015 at 12:50

6 Answers 6


To enable the backlight:

echo 2 | sudo tee /sys/class/leds/asus::kbd_backlight/brightness 

The 2 at echo 2 | can be changed to a value between 0 - 3, with 3 being the brightest.

To disable the backlight, enter:

echo 0 | sudo tee /sys/class/leds/asus::kbd_backlight/brightness

The path may vary depending on laptop model and your OS. For example Lenovo Thinkpad L390 running Manjaro has /sys/class/leds/tpacpi::kbd_backlight/brightness. You can use find to see the correct path:

find /sys/class/leds -name '*kbd_backlight'
  • 2
    It works when i type in, but when I add it as a custom keyboard shortcut its not working Jul 4, 2015 at 15:14
  • 1
    Why turning on keyboard backlight needs administrative permission?
    – funicorn
    Jan 11, 2018 at 12:13
  • 1
    @funicorn because you are changing hardware features
    – TellMeWhy
    Jan 11, 2018 at 22:50
  • echo 0 | sudo tee /sys/devices/platform/thinkpad_acpi/leds/tpacpi::kbd_backlight/brightness echo 3 | sudo tee /sys/devices/platform/thinkpad_acpi/leds/tpacpi::kbd_backlight/brightness Thinkpad...
    – xerostomus
    Mar 14, 2021 at 12:50


xset led on


xset led 3

This worked well with my CMSTORM (Cooler Master Storm Devastator) keyboard.

  • This worked for me. Plus, an easier way to apply this command at start up is to use Ubuntu's Startup Application and just and this command there. Worked perfectly Sep 18, 2022 at 13:05

You can turn on backlight by this command

sudo tee /sys/class/leds/asus::kbd_backlight/brightness <<< 3

This will set it to maximum. The number at the end means brightness ( 0 - 3).

You can link this command to some hot key combination.

You can also read article regarding setting up Ambient Light Sensor.

  • It works when i type in, but when I add it as a custom keyboard shortcut its not working Jul 4, 2015 at 15:17
  • 2
    This is actually another topic how to setup a script requiring sudo to a key combination. It must be answered already somewhere. I make a script and set that it does not require a password in sudoers.
    – Pilot6
    Jul 4, 2015 at 15:21
  • Works for live tech ergonomic keyboard as well. Feb 26, 2020 at 13:05
  • This gives me tee: '/sys/class/leds/asus::kbd_backlight/brightness': No such file or directory 3. Anything else I can try?
    – Andyc
    Sep 14, 2020 at 17:52
  • This means that there is no backlight, or it is not supported.
    – Pilot6
    Sep 14, 2020 at 18:00

Here's how I got it solved:

# Adjust the keyboard backlight level

shopt -s -o nounset

declare -i KBD_BACKLIGHT_MAX=`cat /sys/class/leds/asus\:\:kbd_backlight/max_brightness`
declare -i KBD_BACKLIGHT_LEV=`cat /sys/class/leds/asus\:\:kbd_backlight/brightness` 

# We need a parameter, etiher inc or dec
if [ $# -eq 0 ] ; then
   exit 192

case $1 in
-inc ) 
   # increasing:
   if [ ${KBD_BACKLIGHT_LEV} -lt ${KBD_BACKLIGHT_MAX}  ] ; then
      echo ${KBD_BACKLIGHT_LEV} | tee /sys/class/leds/asus::kbd_backlight/brightness
-dec )
   # decreasing:
   if [ ${KBD_BACKLIGHT_LEV} -gt 0 ] ; then
      echo ${KBD_BACKLIGHT_LEV} | tee /sys/class/leds/asus::kbd_backlight/brightness

exit 192

Save the above script in /opt/tweaks/kbd_backlight_adjust.

Then this needs to be run with sudo from a keyboard shortcut so we must add a line to sudoers.

Use visudo and add this line to the bottom:

your_username ALL=(root) NOPASSWD: /opt/tweaks/kbd_backlight_adjust

And finally create your keyboard shortcuts using these commands for increasing and decreasing the keyboard backlight:

sudo /opt/tweaks/kbd_backlight_adjust -inc


sudo /opt/tweaks/kbd_backlight_adjust -dec

That should do it :-)

  • excelent ! just missing the command chmod +x /opt/tweaks/kbd_backlight_adjust to enable of script execution.
    – cgasp
    Jun 4, 2016 at 22:30
  • Thank you for this script. It worked fine for me and solved my problem.Running Ubuntu 20.04 on Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga Gen4
    – RazTaz
    Jun 20, 2020 at 22:21
  • What if I have no opt/tweaks directory?
    – Andyc
    Sep 14, 2020 at 17:52

I had the same issue with an Asus ROG laptop I'd purchased. Here's what I did to fix keyboard shortcuts in general.

sudo vim /etc/default/grub

You’ll find this line:


Simply add on to the end of it:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash acpi_osi="

Save, Exit and Reboot

  • This is not working for me on an ASUS ROG G401IU with Ubuntu 20.04. I tried with both acpi_osi=, acpi_osi=linux with and without acpi_backlight=vendor. When I reboot the computer, the keyboard backlight is off again.
    – Andyc
    Sep 6, 2020 at 6:11

You can easily update kernel using "Ukku Kernel Update Utility" https://github.com/teejee2008/ukuu Updates to 5.x kernel solve all my problem on Asus UX433F (backlight, sound).

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