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Turning Screensavers and Monitor Power saving on/off

How to turn automatic powersaving features on and off

Disable blanking in text consoles

To disable screen blanking in text consoles, type:

  setterm -blank 0

To make this setting permanent, just add it to your session script(s).

setterm manual page

Controlling screenblanking / powersaving in XFree

In XFree, screen blanking and power saving is controllet by the xset command.

To view your current settings:

  xset -q

The s option lets you set the screen saver parameters. This option accepts up to two numerical parameters, a 'blank/noblank' flag, an 'expose/noexpose' flag, an 'on/off' flag, an 'activate/reset' flag, or the 'default' flag.

To turn off screen blanking:

  xset s off

If the X screensaver has blanked the screen on a box without keyboard you can remotely login, then turn off the screensave and activate the screen with the commands:

  export DISPLAY=localhost:0.0
  xset s activate
  xset s off

Use +dpms and -dpms to enable/disable DPMS (Energy Star) features (power saving).

  xset +dpms
  xset -dpms

You can find more information about xset on the xset manual page.


xscreensaver is a common screen saver program for XFree. This is used by common window managers including gnome. You can add xscreensaver & to your ~/.xinitrc. if you want it to be started when you login.

You can check if xscreensaver is running with the commands pgrep xscreensaver and ps -aux | grep xscreens.

You can use it to lock your screen with xscreensaver-command -lock.

xscreensaver can be stopped and terminated with xscreensaver-command -exit.


The settings for KDEs screen saver are found in the KDE Control Center (kcontorl) under the menu Utseende og temaer.

Copyright (c) 2000-2004 Øyvind Sæther. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled ["GNU Free Documentation License"].

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