When my Dell Vostro laptop is connected to the power, the screen is dimmed after 10 seconds. This is very annoying.

When my laptop is running on the battery, the screen is not dimmed after inactivity, this is what I want.

When I go to System settings → Screen, the Dim screen to disable power option is disabled.

How can I disable screen dimming after inactivity totally? I'm running 11.10.

When I create a new user account I don't have this problem. I have changed some settings with CompizConfig Settings Manager and with gconf, but I can't find timeout options for brightness.

2 Answers 2



You could try using caffeine. When you activate caffeine the screen wont fall a sleep or get dimmed, you can set it up in different ways.

  • You can find more info here, or on launchpad.
  • And install the program by typing sudo apt-get install caffeine
  • How can I make the settings the system default? What settings will I loose when I do that? That fixed the same problem for you?
    – i.amniels
    Commented Oct 23, 2011 at 9:51
  • You wont lose any setting you will just make all of you settings the default for other programs, it's a sort of "fix" or a "workaround".
    – Alvar
    Commented Oct 23, 2011 at 10:14
  • Thanks. Caffeine fixes the problem, but now my monitor doesn't turn off after 5 minutes of course. So cafeine is not a final solution for me. I think you are showing an older version of the power settings, in 11.10 this has been changed. Make default is not there.
    – i.amniels
    Commented Oct 23, 2011 at 10:52
  • ooh, sorry didn't know that they had changed.
    – Alvar
    Commented Oct 23, 2011 at 11:28

By default, the dimming checkbox at System Settings > Screen is disabled. So I enabled it and then again disabled it. Worked for me.

  • Good to hear. Did you report a bug on Launchpad.net? Please do so. That way the problem can be fixed and not just circumvented. Commented Jan 1, 2012 at 23:13

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