Turn Off Linux Screensaver

It is easy to turn off linux screensaver under X window. But when it comes to text based login or terminal you will not find easy way to disable text based power saving mode (i.e. when your screen goes blank after a few minutes)

So how do I disable the blank screen mode, which activated after a few minutes? Answer is use setterm command.

setterm writes to standard output a character string that will invoke the specified terminal capabilities. Where possible terminfo database (terminfo is a data base describing terminals, used by screen-oriented programs and libraries such as ncurses) is consulted to find the string to use.

By default, the Linux kernel will use screen-save option to disable it you need to type command (it turns off monitor VESA powersaving features):

setterm -powersave off -blank 0

If it dumps back you with an error that read as follows:

cannot (un)set powersave mode

You need to shutdown X window system and rerun the above command. Better, add following two commands to your ~/.xinitrc file:

setterm -blank 0 -powersave off -powerdown 0
xset s off

Other useful options

This command also supports other useful options:

Resets the terminal to its power on state:

setterm -reset

Alternatively, initialize terminal:

setterm -initialize

Turns the terminal's cursor on or off:

setterm -cursor [on|off]

Turns automatic line-wrapping on or off (virtual consoles only)

setterm -linewrap [on|off]

Sets the foreground text color (virtual consoles only):

setterm -foreground blue

Sets the background text color (virtual consoles only):

setterm -background red

Enables or disables the sending of kernel printk() messages to the console (virtual consoles only). Useful if you get lots message from iptables firewall:

setterm -msg [on|off]

I regularly use these (above) options.


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