Timeout is too short on dimming

Bug #33349 reported by Corey Burger on 2006-03-02
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
gnome-power-manager (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

By default, gpm will turn off the monitor after a very short while of non-activity, around 30s. This should probably be extended to 2 minutes. It is also not clear that it is treating keyboard inputs as activity.

Changed in gnome-power-manager:
assignee: nobody → dsilvers
Daniel Silverstone (dsilvers) wrote :

Are you sure it's turned off and not just dimmed?

Daniel Silverstone (dsilvers) wrote :

I've sat here and tested under various circumstances.

Unless your gnome-screensaver is significantly different to mine, then gnome-power-manager will only dim the screen on activation of the screensaver since that's when g-ss tells g-p-m that the session is idle.

Can you please start gnome-power-manager --no-daemon --verbose in a terminal; collect its output and attach a trace to this bug, indicating where in the trace it turns the screen off?

Oliver Grawert (ogra) wrote :

note that the upstream schema file had a bug that had dpms_off set to 1 or 2 minutes, if the OP used this early version and changed any settings, the broken dpms setting might still be in the user schema ...
i'd suggest to try to run:

gconftool-2 --recursive-unset /apps/gnome-power-manager

as user

Changed in gnome-power-manager:
assignee: dsilvers → nobody
Bryce Harrington (bryce) wrote :

Setting to incomplete for answer from Corey.

Changed in gnome-power-manager:
status: New → Incomplete

Just to add my notes on this:

I have tried to time how long it takes for the backlight to be dimmed and it seems to vary for no good reason. I timed it at 30 secs and 1 min (stopwatch) and then another time it just didn't dim.

I'll try and isolate it a bit better and attach the verbose log sometime.

Corey Seliger (seliger) wrote :

I've been fighting this with Hardy and the references here made me dig a bit more and found this:

$ gconftool-2 -Tg /apps/gnome-power-manager/backlight/idle_dim_time

This basically tells GPM that "idle" means 30 seconds. So, I did this:

$ gconftool-2 -s /apps/gnome-power-manager/backlight/idle_dim_time 120 -t int

If my calculations are correct, that should increase the delay before the screen dims down to 2 minutes.

As for what "activity" means, I have found that moving the mouse and typing equally triggers GPM to bring up full brightness.

I think a long term solution to this issue is to put a slider into Power Management Preferences screen to allow this to be customized without tinkering with gconf. I always saw people's iBooks dimming down to save power and I'm glad it is now supported here -- just needs to be fleshed out a bit more.

Kevin Hunter (hunteke) wrote :


To put some more meat on this from another user, I often will sit "idle" reading a long web page, figuring out a page of code, or deciding what to write next, and inevitably the screen will get dimmer while I'm in the middle of a thought process. This comes at just the right time to be annoying and distracting to me. If the timeout was shorter, I would turn the feature off completely. If it was longer, I don't think I'd recognize the benefits of the dimming before my screen saver cut in, dimming the screen entirely. What I think would be helpful is two-fold:

  * People think differently, at different speeds, and with different queues acting as distractions. An option to change the timeout before dim would be awfully nice. Here is where the slider option might fit well.
  * Other times, I think the timeout would be great set to a shorter value, except for key moments when I'm clearly working. In these moments, it should not interfere at all. An option to perform a mouse gesture / keystroke combination / mouse placement that would temporarily disable or increase the timeout length would be awfully useful. Perhaps the upper right of the screen, or something similar to OS X's hot corners.

Corey Seliger (seliger) wrote :

I suggest creating a BluePrint for such a feature. That way it gets on the radar as a feature enhancement rather than here as a bug. Being a laptop user of Ubuntu, I would definitely sign on and support that process of getting some people on such a feature.

Is this still a bug or does the workaround count as a means for closing this one?

Kevin Hunter (hunteke) wrote :

I suppose this is a request for a feature. I /could/ do the command line, but what I love about Ubuntu is that for the most part, I don't have to. It's not a decent enough work around to satisfy this (admittedly picky) user.

How does one go about making this a blueprint request?

Kevin Hunter (hunteke) wrote :

Any news? Has this turned into a blueprint yet? I'm not finding it if it is.

Changed in gnome-power-manager:
status: Incomplete → New
Charlie Kravetz (charlie-tca) wrote :

Thank you for taking the time to make Ubuntu better. Since what you submitted is not really a bug, or a problem, but rather an Feature Request to improve Ubuntu, you are invited to post your idea in Ubuntu Brainstorm at https://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/ where it can be discussed, voted by the community and reviewed by developers. Thanks for taking the time to share your opinion!

Changed in gnome-power-manager:
status: New → Invalid
To post a comment you must log in.
This report contains Public information  Edit
Everyone can see this information.

Other bug subscribers