How-To Geek

Keep the Display From Turning Off on Ubuntu

Displays that constantly turn off drive me crazy. I like to be able to walk by my computer and immediately see what is on the screen without it turning blank. Thankfully Ubuntu provides a way to easily configure this setting.

Navigate to the System \ Preferences \ Power Management menu, and you will see this window:

Here you can easily move the slider all the way to the right to prevent the display from shutting off.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 11/7/06

Comments (8)

  1. Yeorwned

    This does not function properly in LTS 6.06. The screen still turns off after several hours, even with the screensaver disabled.

  2. Reez

    I have feisty, and those settings are IGNORED by the system. It still turns off the screen. I hate it! Is there something I can do?

  3. jan

    In a console write

    setterm -blank 0

    hi from Jan

  4. Tj

    The above didn’t work :( Please help

  5. John H

    There are so many variables, what hardware drivers your system has, what desktop you’re running (Ubuntu is gnome by default but could be running KDE or even a rarer environment). With a recent Ubuntu version just use the GUI like the instructions at the top of this page “Navigate to the System \ Preferences \ Power Management menu”. If you really want to use the command line try:

    xset -dpms

    This should turn off all power saving features. To put them back run:’

    xset +dpms

  6. Nikolaj

    I have tried several solutions for this. The general settings didn’t work….the display blanked out after 15 minutes, no matter what.

    Here was the solution I found:

    Check if you have the file xorg.conf in /etc/X11/
    If you don’t, create it.
    Add this text to the file (if you already have it, just add it at the bottom):

    Section “ServerFlags”
    Option “blanktime” “0”
    Option “standbytime” “0”
    Option “suspendtime” “0”
    Option “offtime” “0”

    This works!

  7. wwwookie

    Thanks Nikolaj for the xorg.conf lines, they work great if you type them in, but they’ve been printed with the wrong type of quotation marks. so if you copy and paste these lines, X will not start!

    Try again with:

    Section “ServerFlags”
    Option “blanktime” “0”
    Option “standbytime” “0”
    Option “suspendtime” “0”
    Option “offtime” “0”

    This uses the normal double quote found above the 2 in the UK, or the comma in the US.

  8. wwwookie

    Sorry Nikolaj!
    Now I see what’s happening! Nikolaj posted the correct version, but the quotes and spaces are being changed by something on this webpage.

    Do not copy and paste the above lines, type them out yoursef!


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