Laptop cover switch in FC5

Michael H. Warfield mhw at
Tue Apr 11 15:17:04 UTC 2006

Hey Dan,

On Sun, 2006-04-09 at 04:15 -0400, Dan wrote:
> Michael H. Warfield wrote:
> > Hello all,
> >
> > 	There has been a bit of a change between FC4 and FC5 that has bit me.
> >
> > 	I have a Dell Laptop that I'm often using with an external monitor.
> > I've used this with "clone" mode and "dual head mode" and "xinerama" at
> > different times.  Under FC4, I would normally just close the laptop
> > screen when hooked to the external monitor and work on that monitor.  I
> > found that in FC5, as soon as it hits the cover switch the laptop
> > activates the screen saver.  I think in FC4 it merely executed a "screen
> > off" for the internal screen which turned off the laptop screen and left
> > the external screen alone.  FC5 now results in both screens blanked
> > until I open the laptop again and enter the password into the
> > screensaver.
> >
> > 	Anyone have any idea how to get the old behavior back?  I can't find
> > the "hook" that tells it how to behave.
> >
> > 	Mike
> >   
> I don't think it's a difference in how FC4 handled the external monitor; 
> the difference is that in FC5, the kernel has the framework for the 
> suspend and hibernate operations, so power management is implemented in 
> a much more useful fashion. You can look through gnome-power-manager 
> (the preferences for the battery icon in the tray) and see if there is 
> an option to make the screen not go blank immediately when the lid is 
> closed.

	Great...  Thanks!  You pointed me in the correct direction to look.

	Unfortunately, there seems to be no option in gnome-power-manager to
NOT blank the screen (or just blank the internal screen or turn off the
backlight or run any sort of manual script like we use to do).  So
that's just flat out more lost functionality which we had using acpi
events and actions under FC4 and earlir.  Plus, when it blanks the
internal screen, it blanks the external screen as well.  That's got to
be considered a bug.  What would the lid switch have to do with an
external monitor.  It also triggers the screensaver, if the screensaver
is enabled, but that's easy enough to deal with by just disabling that.

	But that seems to be just the first bug.  Running that one down, I
found the explanation to a much worse bug.  One of the things I commonly
have been doing daily is to, at my desk, close the lid on my running
laptop, unplug it from the network and external monitor, walk into a
conference room from my desk for a daily conference call, and then open
the lid and plug in a network cable there.  Then I run on battery for
the hour of the call and reverse the process back to my desk.  I noticed
that when I do that under FC5, the laptop is dead as a doornail.  I have
to do a hard power off to recover it.  Ever since upgrading to FC5, I
have to walk around with the laptop cover open if it's powered on.  That

	So tracking this down, I came to discover that what is happening seems
to be gnome-power-(mis)manager getting seriously dicked up or getting
the machine state dicked up.  When I close the cover under AC power,
gnome-power-manager blanks the screenS.  When I unplug the AC power,
gnome-power-manager goes to suspend to ram.  When I open the cover, the
laptop comes out of suspend (power indicator indicates running) but
never reactivates the screen and doesn't respond to the keyboard.  I can
manually suspend to ram and then close the cover and open the cover and
it recovers just fine.  I guess by manually suspending it, I never give
gnome-power-manager the opportunity to commit random acts of terrorism
when the lid and power state change ina way it wasn't prepared to
handle.  It just seems to be this thing with gnome-power-manager
blanking the screen, then suspending to ram, that leaves the machine in
a state that can not recover when the lid opens back up.

	Setting the "running on battery" setting to "blanks screen" instead of
"suspend" works around THAT problem very nicely.  I didn't want it
suspending when I close the lid anyways (which is usually just to reach
for something) and when I want it suspended or hibernated, I can suspend
or hibernate it from the panel, just fine.  So, that's progress at
least.  I can close the cover when I walk between my desk and my
conference room once again.

	I liked it MUCH better when the battery applet was just a battery
applet and didn't try to do things I really didn't want it doing.  I'd
like to just KILL the gnome-power-manager, but I want the battery
applet.  Sigh...

> -Dan

	Guess I'm off to file a couple of bugzilla reports on
gnome-power-manager...  Two bugs plus lost functionality.  Par for da

Michael H. Warfield (AI4NB) | (770) 985-6132 |  mhw at
   /\/\|=mhw=|\/\/          | (678) 463-0932 |
   NIC whois: MHW9          | An optimist believes we live in the best of all
 PGP Key: 0xDF1DD471        | possible worlds.  A pessimist is sure of it!

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