I created a custom launcher on the Gnome panel containing the command "xlock -dpmsoff 1
". One click with the mouse does it. It displays a random screen saver effect for ten seconds and then the screen goes completely dark. When I touch the mouse or press a key, a login screen appears, requiring my user password to restore the Gnome GUI screen.
To get xlock to work, I first had to install David A. Bagley's xlockmore on Ubuntu 8.10, which was very easy:
sudo apt-get install xlockmore
Another way to achieve this result is with Brightside
. It works great for an aging Fry's Electronics "Great Quality" RX-7335 laptop I have in the bedroom. I have it set up so that when I move the mouse cursor to the upper left corner it quickly starts the screensaver -- a blank display in my case -- but this doesn't shut off the LCD backlight immediately; in fact, the backlight only goes off after about 30 minutes, according to the power management rules. When I want to go to sleep, I want it dark now
, so I defined the lower left corner of the screen as "Enter DPMS off mode" and I don't have to put up with the LCD backlight bleed-through. By the time my head hits the pillow, the room is completely dark, except for a couple of power status LEDs on the machine and my digital alarm clock.
That GQ RX-7335 laptop is history now, but Brightside continues to work well for me on a Shuttle XPC box with AMD Athlon CPU and nVidia GeForce graphics card, running Ubuntu 10.04.01 LTS. Unfortunately, Brightside isn't keeping up with the changing .deb package installation model, as it puts its icons in the wrong place under /usr
and doesn't create launchers in Gnome 2.30.2. A bit of manual tweaking is needed to make it conveniently accessible from the panel menu. If you're lost, you can type brightside-config
at the prompt in a terminal window to bring up the configuration dialog box. You should also add /usr/bin/brightside
to the startup applications so it's available every time you start the system, as Brightside's current installer doesn't do that for you. Running brightside-config
starts up Brightside if it isn't already running.