Tech Tip: Go Green On Your Screen(saver)

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;"

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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