screen blanking considered useless

Florin Andrei florin at
Wed Sep 19 22:44:31 UTC 2007

In text mode, the console goes blank after a predetermined time - I 
think it's 15 minutes or something like that.

I would argue that this is unnecessary nowadays. Machines in text mode 
these days are typically servers, and those run headless in the vast 
majority of cases (or with the monitor turned off to save power). Screen 
blanking does nothing in that case, and it's actually confusing when you 
switch inputs in the console multiplexer - is this input actually 
connected, or is the machine powered off, or is just the screen blank?

It seems like screen blanking is a remnant from the days when systems 
running in text mode with a monitor attached and powered on were a lot 
more likely. Nowadays, this is probably very rare.

What I usually do on servers is run "setterm -blank 0" on each server, 
then add the same command to rc.local so it's persistent. But this is 
unnecessary work for the sysadmin.

It would be nice to have an option somewhere in the installer allowing 
the sysadmin to set the blanking time, or disable it altogether. My 
preference would be to disable it by default and let the sysadmin 
override that in the installer, but I think it's fine if it's enabled by 
default as long as it can be changed in the installer (and it becomes a 
kickstart parameter too).

Florin Andrei

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