permanently disabling screen blanking in virtual terminals

Andrew McNabb amcnabb at
Thu Nov 10 18:24:12 UTC 2011

I have never been able to figure out how to permanently disable screen
blanking in virtual terminals.  Specifically, if I have a machine
running in runlevel 3, the screen blanks after 5 to 10 minutes, and I
haven't been able to figure out any way to disable this.

If I am logged in, I can run:

setterm -blank 0 -powersave off -powerdown 0

However, it doesn't work if I do this when sshed in:

setterm -blank 0 -powersave off -powerdown 0 </dev/tty1 >/dev/tty1

Ideally, I'd like something that can work in rc.local or when sshed in.
Am I missing something obvious?

Andrew McNabb
PGP Fingerprint: 8A17 B57C 6879 1863 DE55  8012 AB4D 6098 8826 6868

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