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I'm installing ubuntu server 17.04 on an old pentium 4 machine connected to a basic hp flat screen monitor, nothing fancy.

If I installed a basic server with only basic utilities enabled I get inactivity screen dimming for free - which I like. this type of dimming does not involve losing the video signal from the PC as I do not see the monitor flashing "No Input Signal" when it dims.. I touch the keyboard and I'm back in business.

However, if I installed ubuntu as an "openSSH server" ONLY, turning off all other options including basic utilities, I lose the nice inactivity screen dimming.

I tried setterm --blank 1, which turns off the screen, but that also turns off the VGA video signal from the PC to my hp monitor. This type of blanking looks fine until i wake it up by touching the keyboard; I get this error:

drm:intel_pipe_update_end (i915) *ERROR* Atomic update failure on pipe A... scanline...

Is there a way to dim (not blank) the screen after a set time without turning off the video signal? I am guessing that when I installed a normal server with utilities I get one of those screen perks included, but I don't know which utility is responsible for nice screen dimming.

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