Stopping the kernel's internal screen blank

Gain Paolo Mureddu gmureddu at
Sun Jan 23 20:04:14 UTC 2005

Robert Nichols wrote:

> Jeff Vian wrote:
>> On Sat, 2005-01-22 at 23:41 -0600, Robert Nichols wrote:
>>> What is the correct way to turn off the kernel's screen blanking?  This
>>> is part of the VT driver and is totally independent of the X Window
>>> System's screen blanking and screensaver, so don't tell me about "xset
>>> dpms off" or the various xscreensaver options.  The only way I've found
>>> to turn off the kernel's blanking is to log in on a virtual console and
>>> run "setterm -powersave off".  If I forget to turn it off, the kernel
>>> will shut off my monitor while I'm actively working because the VT
>>> driver is unaware of keyboard and mouse acrivity that occurs in an X
>>> Window session.
>>> Short of patching the kernel to disable that feature, is there a way to
>>> disable it automatically when X is running?  It would be nice to leave
>>> it active when X is not running, but I'd be happy just to get rid of 
>>> it.
>> Although it seems a bit of a hack, you could put the setterm line
>> in /etc/rc.d/rc.local and it should do what you want. 
> Unfortunately it doesn't seem to work unless I'm actually logged in
> on a virtual console.  I've tried
>    setterm -t linux -powersave off </dev/tty1 >/dev/tty1 2>/dev/tty1
> to no avail.  Yes, the command was executed with root privileges.  I've
> even run strace on it, and the command is doing its thing.  It just
> doesn't appear to affect anything.
> -- 
> Bob Nichols         rnichols42 at
Maybe you need to set it in the actual X ttys? like TTY7 and 8?

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