Closing lid should not turn off external LCD

Bug #23220 reported by Ben Maurer on 2005-10-04
This bug affects 10 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
gnome-screensaver (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

If you have a laptop with external monitor attached, and you close the laptop
lid, the external screen should not blank. Idealy, to save power, heat, etc. the
laptops screen would be shut off, but that's a bonus.

A use case here: watching movies on a TV, you often want to close the laptop
because it's distracting to have two versions of the movie playing.

Another use case: very often, people use their laptop or netbook as a docking station, with external keyboard and external monitor.

Oliver Grawert (ogra) wrote :

note that we dont support gnome-screensaver in this release but it will be
looked after for dapper (6.04)

Matt Zimmerman (mdz) wrote :

Oliver, are you sure this is a gnome-screensaver issue, rather than acpi-support?

Oliver Grawert (ogra) wrote :

i think it involves more, acpi-support needs to be notified from xorg about
having a internal and external display, the screensaver (whichever) needs to be
hacked up to respect such a notification that gets handed through from
acpi-support and only save the internal screen, its a pretty major change and
additionally the security should get thought ove... if i lock my laptop, i dont
want someone to be able to just plug in a external monitor to get access
without password.

Andreas Schildbach (schildbach) wrote :

Actually I like the Breezy behaviour of switching all screens off when closing the lid. That way, no one can read any sensitive information when I go for lunch.

Since closing the lid usually kicks in the screen lock, the second display would not show anything anyway, so why not shut it off to safe power?

Ben Maurer (bmaurer) wrote :

This has not been addressed yet in dapper.

This issue can happen in a few situations. For example, when watching a movie on a laptop with a large screen one might want to not have the laptop screen on. Also, consider a docking-station setup.

Simon Law (sfllaw) on 2006-04-27
Changed in gnome-screensaver:
status: Unconfirmed → Confirmed
Kenneth Bingham (qrkourier) wrote :

This bug is quite ancient, but I seem to have the same problem with my Eee PC running Hardy. I realize the logical default behavior may be to turn off all displays when the laptop lid is closed, I just need to know how to make a change to that behavior, since I would prefer to close the lid while using an external monitor.

Thanks so much, Everyone.

Kenneth Bingham (qrkourier) wrote :

Update: I set the power management to "do nothing" when laptop lid is closed on AC power. Even so, the LCD (or at least the back-light) does extinguish when the lid is closed, and the external remains on as desired.

Kai Jauch (kaijauch) wrote :

Still broken in Intrepid. When the lid is closed, the external monitor also gets turned off, even if the internal display is already disabled by xrandr.

Expected (default!) behaviour:
- external monitor is connected, lid is being closed
- internal display is turned off, external monitor remains active
- move mouse or hit a key
- internal display stays off
- lid is being opened
- internal display is turned on

Actual (default!) behaviour:
- external monitor is connected, lid is being closed
- internal display and external monitor are being turned off
- move mouse or hit a key
- both displays are turned on, even though the lid is still closed

This is very annoying, especially since bingnet's suggestion to set power management to "do nothing" does not only keep the external monitor on, but the internal display as well (as I would have expected).

Any chance of this being fixed?

Helmers (guido-helmers-gmail) wrote :

Works fine for me in Ubuntu 8.10 (although it's not the 'default' behavior...)

I have set "When laptop lid is closed = {Do nothing}" in [ System > Preferences > Power Management > On AC Power ]. When I close the lid, then my laptop monitor is turned off (and stays off) and the external monitor is still active. Isn't that exactly the way it should work?

Who would ever want the laptop monitor to be active when the lid is closed (regardless the settings in Power management) ?!

sovnarkom (sovnarkom) wrote :

Regression in Jaunty?

Now I think my bug is a duplicate for this. But you with some other symptoms.
I found some information in

sovnarkom (sovnarkom) wrote :

Now I'm using such key-binded (dirty concept) script to (fix) consequences of this bug and similar to fix some problems with hot-plugging and hot-unplugging of external VGA screen.

Sorry for posting this here, but this place is very findable by google.

# sometimes goes grazy when virtual screen configuration changes and eats a lot cpu.
killall avant-window-navigator

# it's better to restart xfwm4 or metacity or may be compiz
killall xfwm4
xfwm4 &

# Some magic with xrandr and panels will use LVDS in
# my configuration
# | LVDS |
# ----------
# | VGA |
xrandr --output VGA --off
xrandr --output LVDS --auto -o normal --pos 0x0 --output VGA --auto --above LVDS
xrandr --output VGA --auto --below LVDS

# after all changes we can run avant
sleep 5
avant-window-navigator &

sovnarkom (sovnarkom) wrote :

seems to not affect xfce4 session, only gnome

floflooo (florent-angly-gmail) wrote :

I'm affected by this bug! It seems to me that the power management preferences should have an additional option that detects if an external screen is connected. This option would turn off the laptop screen when the laptop lid is closed, making the desktop go from an a dual-screen setup where the laptop monitor is the primary display to a single-display where the external display is the primary one.

At this time, I have to setup the laptop to use both monitors (extended desktop) in the display preferences, change the power management preferences to "do nothing" when the laptop lid is closed, turn off the laptop display in the display preferences and finally close the laptop lid. A bit tedious...

Oliver Grawert (ogra) on 2009-06-25
Changed in gnome-screensaver (Ubuntu):
assignee: Oliver Grawert (ogra) → nobody
Sam Dieck (samd) wrote :

its happening to me in jaunty, if i close the laptop's lid, my external monitor goes off, even if i put "do nothing when the lid is closed" under 'ac' in power management


Felix Zweig (f.zweig) wrote :

Using Karmic, Im not able to select "Do nothing" in the power management dialog. The list only includes
* Blank screen
* Hibernate
* Suspend
* Shutdown

So, if anybody is working on this, could we at least have the old behavior back?

nowatson (nowatson) wrote :

Felix, See reply 7 in Bug #390816

This is happening in 12.04!

Is this a regression? I can't remember having this problem before, but it is very annoying when watching a movie or when using a usb keyboard instead of the laptop keyboard. This should be a basic feature for every modern OS!

In power settings, I have "do nothing" when lid is closed.

Should this be considered a bug for xorg-server? Or gnome-power-manager?

Yes, in 12.04 this happening! Again....

description: updated
b1r3k (ldros7) wrote :

some workaround description is available here:

how to have: lid closed, external display working and internal display turned off at the same time

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