Settings in /etc/kbd/config are not read

Bug #381517 reported by Daniel Richard G. on 2009-05-29
80
This bug affects 14 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
console-setup (Ubuntu)
Undecided
Unassigned
Nominated for Jaunty by Sebastian Krysmanski
Precise
Undecided
Unassigned
kbd (Ubuntu)
Medium
Barry Warsaw
Nominated for Jaunty by Sebastian Krysmanski
Precise
Medium
Barry Warsaw

Bug Description

Binary package hint: kbd

This concerns kbd 1.14.1-4ubuntu4 in Ubuntu Jaunty.

I am setting up a text-mode-only server that will normally run headless. I want to disable console blanking, so that in the event of a kernel panic, I can attach a monitor and read the stack trace. So I make the following edits to /etc/kbd/config:

* Set BLANK_TIME=0
* Set BLANK_DPMS=on
* Set POWERDOWN_TIME=0

And still, the console blanks after about twenty minutes or so (not that I timed it). It shouldn't even be necessary to make all three of these changes---I believe setting BLANK_TIME=0 alone should do the trick---but it underscores the point that console blanking cannot be disabled here.

Sebastian Krysmanski (manski) wrote :

Same here although I've set BLANK_DPMS=off . Anyway, my guess is that this is only affected by the "BLANK_TIME" setting as for me the screen is blank but not powered down (i.e. not in standby).

Daniel Richard G. (skunk) wrote :

A couple of points I neglected to mention in the original report:

1. Setting BLANK_TIME=0 in /etc/console-tools/config in Debian Lenny successfully disables blanking, so this problem is specific to Ubuntu.

2. For now, I've worked around this bug by invoking

    setterm -blank 0 -powersave off -powerdown 0

in /etc/rc.local . Inelegant, but effective.

Sebastian Krysmanski (manski) wrote :

I just installed "console-tools" to see whether this problem exists in this package, too. And it does. The setting "BLANK_TIME" is completely ignored and is set internally to 10 minutes. This seems to be set in the kernel (see linux/drivers/char/console.c). The "setterm" workaround works, however.

Btw: I'm using Ubuntu server. The problem exists on kernel 2.6.27-14-server as well as on kernel 2.6.28-13-server.

Daniel Richard G. (skunk) wrote :

This bug is still present in Karmic.

Luke J Militello (kilahurtz) wrote :

I can confirm this is an issue as well in both Jaunty and Karmic.

Luke J Militello (kilahurtz) wrote :

Oh, and also Hardy...

Luke J Militello (kilahurtz) wrote :

Here is a workaround I found on the Ubuntu forums. Credit goes to "Dr Small". I have confirmed this workaround works with Karmic and Lucid, however the problem is still present in Hardy even after applying Dr. Small's workaround. I don't know about Intrepid or Jaunty though.

http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=8927152&postcount=2

Luke J Militello (kilahurtz) wrote :

Correction, this works in Hardy as well; for some odd reason, you just need to reboot for it to take affect.

Daniel Richard G. (skunk) wrote :

This bug is still present in (fully up-to-date) Lucid. Does no one run headless servers on Ubuntu?

(Luke: Naturally you have to reboot the system for the workaround to take effect; /etc/rc.local is run on boot-up! :-)

Luke J Militello (kilahurtz) wrote :

Yes, I know this. What I was getting at is you cannot simply run the command in a root shell since once you close the shell (aka logout) the overrides get lost. You have to allow "init" to parse the command in from 'rc.local' at boot time in order for it to stick. :)

Marius B. Kotsbak (mariusko) wrote :

This workaround proposed above seems to work in Natty:

aptitude install console-tools kbd-compat console-data

Config is then set in /etc/console-tools/config instead of in /etc/kbd/config

It is a bit nasty in that it removes the virtual package "ubuntu-minimal".

summary: - Cannot disable console blanking in /etc/kbd/config
+ Settings in /etc/kbd/config are not read
Marius B. Kotsbak (mariusko) wrote :

The config file is read by /etc/init.d/console-screen.sh in package "console-tools". The package "kbd" misses a similar file in init.d.

Changed in kbd (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
xrayA4T (xraya4t) wrote :

Bug still present in 11.10

Steve Langasek (vorlon) wrote :

We need to port over the features from the previous console-common, console-tools packages so we can kill them off entirely for precise.

Changed in kbd (Ubuntu Precise):
assignee: nobody → Barry Warsaw (barry)
status: Confirmed → Triaged
importance: Undecided → Medium
Marius B. Kotsbak (mariusko) wrote :

Bug still present in current version of Precise.

Marius B. Kotsbak (mariusko) wrote :

Barry, is it any progress here?

tags: added: quantal
Marius B. Kotsbak (mariusko) wrote :

Out of this commit: http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~ubuntu-branches/ubuntu/raring/kbd/raring/revision/17

it seems like the change should be done in console-setup, and the config file for kbd should probably be moved there too.

Marius B. Kotsbak (mariusko) wrote :

Or maybe in keyboard-configuration package (also in console-setup source package)?

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in console-setup (Ubuntu Precise):
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in console-setup (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Daniel Richard G. (skunk) wrote :

Thanks to systemd, I've had to update my setterm invocation in /etc/rc.local to the following:

    setterm --term linux --blank 0 --powerdown 0 >/dev/console

("--powersave off" fails with an "Inappropriate ioctl" error because rc.local no longer runs directly on the Linux virtual console.)

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