Tech Tip: Go Green On Your Screen(saver)

 in

I usually lock my screen when I leave my cubicle for a tea-break etc. With all the talk of saving energy these days I've disabled screen-savers on my system. Still, when I'd lock my screen I noticed that the LCD didn't turn off completely. Wanting to go as green as I could I wanted to switch off the LCD as well.

The following command does that:

  xset dpms force off

When I press "Alt+Ctrl+L" (lock screen), the following command is invoked:

  gnome-screensaver-command --lock

What I want now is to associate the following command with a different shortcut key:

   gnome-screensaver-command --lock; xset dpms force off

So that I can lock as well as power off my LCD screen with a keyboard shortcut. To do this I installed xbindkeys to add a custom shortcut key. When you have xbindkeys installed create created the default config file:

  xbindkeys --defaults > /home/your-user-name/.xbindkeysrc

Now assign a shortcut key. To do this you edit the config file (or if you prefer you can install xbindkeys-config) and append the following lines to the file:

# lock&blank
"gnome-screensaver-command --lock; sleep 1; xset dpms force off;"
alt+control+k

You also should remove all the enabled lines (comment them out), at least in my case they somehow interfered with my other shortcuts. I also had to add the sleep 1 between the commands to get it to work, perhaps due to compiz animation time.

Now, when I press "alt+control+k" I save power as well as lock my screen.

Tested on Ubuntu 8.10 running on Lenovo T61p.

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Why do screen(savers) don't really save ?

k.sangeeth's picture

1. They consume more power than a switched off display(the calculation for this is pretty simple :) )
2. screensavers do consume some amount of CPU cycles.
3. Keeping the display switched on continuously may reduce it's lifetime.

Sangeeth Keeriyadath
www.sangeek.com

KDE

Mitch Frazier's picture

For KDE do:

dcop kdesktop KScreensaverIface lock
sleep 1
xset dpms force off

Mitch Frazier is an Associate Editor for Linux Journal.

> For KDE do: > dcop

Antonio's picture

> For KDE do:
> dcop kdesktop KScreensaverIface lock
> sleep 1
> xset dpms force off

NOOO

Since years ago KDE uses D-Bus, so it should be:
qdbus org.kde.krunner /ScreenSaver org.freedesktop.ScreenSaver.Lock; sleep 2s; xset dpms force off

See more in:
http://foss-boss.blogspot.com/2008/11/ride-d-bus-control-your-linux-desk...

Depends on which version of KDE you're using

Mitch Frazier's picture

If you're using KDE4 then yes, use dbus. If you're using KDE3, which I am, then no, use dcop. I should have mentioned that this was for KDE3.

Mitch Frazier is an Associate Editor for Linux Journal.

works in XFCE too

Mark Pettit's picture

Very neat. I also used the xscreensaver-command -lock;sleep 1;xset dpms force off, saving it into a text file, making it executable, and then configuring that as
a hot-key under XFCE (used linux-key + L). and blow me down, it worked.
Thanks

I just plugged my lcd's into

lowtech's picture

I just plugged my lcd's into a powerstrip on the desktop. and then jut hit that button. :)

May need to disable gnome-power-manager's backlight handling

Anonymous's picture

Because the current gnome-power-manager's backlight control is completely broken, you may need to disable it by setting /apps/gnome-power-manager/backlight/enable to false in gconf-editor. At least on my laptop gpm kept turning the backlight back on after a minute or so after running xset dpms force off.

You just need to set

ngine13's picture

You just need to set /apps/gnome-power-manager/backlight/idle_brightness to 0. I tested it and works so far. :)

No i'm wrong.. :(

ngine13's picture

No i'm wrong.. :(

it works with xscreensaver too

Anonymous's picture

the same tip can also be done if you use xscreensaver instead of gnome's
even doing $xscreensaver-command -lock; sleep 1; xset dpms force off in a terminal works
I also was looking for a way to turn off my laptop's screen so thanks for the tip :)

You can assign the shortcut

ngine13's picture

You can assign the shortcut key using "Commands" in CompizConfig Settings Manager (in Gnome).