Turn/Keep Backlight Off or Brightness ALL THE WAY Down

I've replaced my screen with "special" screen (Pixel Qi) that when the backlight is off, basically doubles as e-paper so it is visible in sunlight. The Fn+F6 shortcut works great to turn the backlight off while keeping the LCD active (which is exactly what I need).

The problem is that the moment i move the trackpad or use the keyboard, it "wakes" and turns the backlight back on.

The obvious easy solve would be being able to turn the brightness all the way down, but the lowest setting is still SOME backlight, and i need it off.

So the goal is either:
1) use terminal to turn backlight off while keeping LCD/computer on and usable
2) find out how to turn backlight all the way down using "slider" or terminal input ("echo" a setting)
3) keep whatever Fn+F6 does from caring that the keyboard/trackpad is being used and not turning backlight back on

I working with an Acer Aspire One running Mint xfce (would this be unique to that distro? I'm open to switching distro's if there another where this wouldn't be an issue)

A few things I've tried that DIDN'T work...

- Using xrandr to turn the display off didn't work, as it appears to control the entire screen, not just the backlight.
- xbacklight. The lowest setting is not off and so had the same effect as turning the screen all the way down with the slider.
- echo'ing the backlight setting files themselves, of which there are two: intel_backlight and acpi_video0. Even at 0 for either/both, this didn't get the backlight off. (Btw, is the fact that there are two different controllers messing me up?)

I did run a check to see if Xorg recognizes the Fn+F6 keystroke and it does NOT, so I'm wondering where/how that change is being effected in the first place and how to override the waking from that "lever".

I'm fairly new to Linux and command line, so descriptiveness and small words are appreciated!
Thanks for any all help!
 


TechnoJunky

Silver Member
Silver Supporter
It sounds to me like you have an external monitor that you want to use instead of the laptop's monitor. I'm assuming you still want to use your laptop's keyboard which is why this is being difficult.
I use KDE so I'm not familiar with the Xfce. But in KDE's settings, there's a Display option and in it I can tell it to disable my laptop display and only my external monitor is enabled. You might want to check there.
If you have an external keyboard, you can set the power settings to turn off the display when the laptop is closed, instead of hybernating and just close it when you use the external monitor.
 
It sounds to me like you have an external monitor that you want to use instead of the laptop's monitor. I'm assuming you still want to use your laptop's keyboard which is why this is being difficult.
I use KDE so I'm not familiar with the Xfce. But in KDE's settings, there's a Display option and in it I can tell it to disable my laptop display and only my external monitor is enabled. You might want to check there.
If you have an external keyboard, you can set the power settings to turn off the display when the laptop is closed, instead of hybernating and just close it when you use the external monitor.
Thanks for the quick reply!
It's actually not an external. I replaced the internal display on the laptop with this 3rd party screen that is "transflective" so it can be visible without the backlight on (think: e-paper when the backlight isn't on and regular LCD when it is on). So it's about keeping the backight off on the primary display.
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
G'day @Damon Kornhauser and welcome to linux.org :)

You have not mentioned whether the Acer's BIOS setup utility includes an option for changing illumination, often there are backlight settings included which can be used under Linux.

Interesting, this Pixel Qi, I had not heard of it.

I am moving this Thread to Desktop /X where it may draw more responses apart from that of friend @TechnoJunky above.

Good luck

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz
 
G'day @Damon Kornhauser and welcome to linux.org :)

You have not mentioned whether the Acer's BIOS setup utility includes an option for changing illumination, often there are backlight settings included which can be used under Linux.

Interesting, this Pixel Qi, I had not heard of it.

I am moving this Thread to Desktop /X where it may draw more responses apart from that of friend @TechnoJunky above.

Good luck

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz
Thanks for the recategorization!
I'm a bit new to diving this deep... regarding the BIOS setup, how would I verify if it includes an option for changing?
 

poorguy

Well-Known Member
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