Turning off screen in Linux

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at redhat.com
Tue Oct 18 14:01:30 UTC 2022

Tim here.  I believe xrandr should let you do this.  First, you
need to get the name of your display according to xrandr:

  $ xrandr | awk '/primary/{print $1}'

For me that's "LVDS-1" but your output might be different, like
"VGA" or "HDMI-1" or something.

You should then be able to disable/power-down that display with

  $ xrandr --output LVDS-1 --off

If you need to re-enable it for whatever reason, change the "off"
to "auto":

  $ xrandr --output LVDS-1 --auto

I'm not sure how this interacts with screen-readers, and based on
my testing, it feels like applications might go a little weird,
getting resized to an itty-bitty size (I think my texting xterm got
resized down to fit in a 320x200 display, since it was shrunk down
when I re-enabled the screen).

If it's a problem for you, there might be a way to create a
virtual monitor, by including something like

  SubSection "Display"
    Depth 24
    Virtual 1024 768

in the "Screen" section of your xorg.conf file.  X should then think
you have two displays connected to your system, and you can use the
`xrandr ... --off` command to turn off the real one while still
having the virtual one of a size large enough to make X programs

Or possibly run "xvfb" to create a virtual X environment, possibly
adding the physical display to its configuration, and then using
xrandr to disable the real screen?

Just a few ideas,


On 2022-10-18 07:41, Linux for blind general discussion wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> Ubuntu Mate 22.04 64-bit.
> I suppose there are multiple ways to go about turning off the laptop
> screen on Linux, from switches to more invasive configuration modifications.
> I wonder, what is the ideal solution for us to set up, so it would be
> possible to turn off the screen, so we could save battery, protect the
> displayed information etc. but we could at the same time switch the
> setting when necessary without the need to log out / restart?
> Thanks for your advices!
> Best regards
> Rastislav
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> Blinux-list at redhat.com
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