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Old 01-14-2019, 09:55 AM   #1
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Registered: Dec 2012
Posts: 20

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Xrandr brightness being reset

I'm trying to lower the display brightness with xrandr but every time I do something keeps resetting it to 1 (i.e. maximum) within a few seconds. I have two displays, HDMI1 and VGA1 both running on the i915 driver. The problem happens in the same way with either display.

The command I am using is e.g.
xrandr --output HDMI1 --brightness 0.4
I've tried disabling the gnome-settings-daemon Color Plugin which apparently can help with this issue (see here). I'm not sure I've actually managed to disable the plugin (I used my own method in dconf as I ran into problems with the one in the link) or how to to check but suffice to say it hasn't worked.

My distro is Debian Buster by the way.

Edit: Deleted
Edit 2: I have tried in both GNOME and KDE now and managed to check if the Color Plugin is running in both with:
ps aux | grep gsd-color
It is still running but only in GNOME. However I'm getting the brightness reset problem in both GNOME and KDE so I doubt the Color Plugin is the issue.

Last edited by makeyourself; 01-14-2019 at 01:04 PM.
Old 01-15-2019, 02:53 AM   #2
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short answer:
full-featured desktop environments are likely to interfere with xrandr.
what you really want is to set brightness via the means provided by those DEs.

this a laptop?
Old 01-15-2019, 01:44 PM   #3
Registered: Jul 2017
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Another few random thoughts: Is it possible there's a broken keyboard (or other input device) that is issuing a command to set the brightness somehow? Or how about some funky process like Firefox full-screen video or vlc?

Is it possible to turn on X debugging high enough to see anything useful in the logs?
Old 01-16-2019, 12:08 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies, I have fixed it! The whole time it was a program called redshift (changes colour temperature at night) causing the problem. I had disabled redshift's behaviour so I assumed it was having no effect. But it was still running so apparently it was. Furthermore, I am able to set the display brightness for day and night in redshift's configuration file and have it applied automatically at start up, which is exactly what I wanted.


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