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How To Disable Power Saving Features via Command Line in Ubuntu 20.04 Kiosk Systems

Ubuntu 9

In this article, we will guide you through the process of disabling power saving features via the command line on Ubuntu 20.04 Kiosk Systems. This can be particularly useful in scenarios where you want to maintain the screen display and system performance without any interruptions due to power saving modes.

Quick Answer

To disable power saving features via the command line in Ubuntu 20.04 Kiosk Systems, you can use the gsettings command to disable automatic brightness and dimming of the screen, and the xset command to manage Display Power Management Signaling (DPMS). By using these commands, you can maintain constant screen display and system performance without interruptions due to power saving modes.


Power saving features, while useful for personal computers or laptops to extend battery life, may not be ideal for kiosk systems that require constant display and performance. Ubuntu 20.04 Desktop comes with several power saving features such as Automatic Brightness, Dim Screen While Inactive, and Automatic Suspend. Fortunately, all these features can be managed via the command line using the gsettings command and the xset command for Display Power Management Signaling (DPMS).

Disabling Automatic Brightness

Automatic brightness adjusts the screen brightness based on the ambient light in the room. To disable this feature, use the gsettings command as follows:

gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power ambient-enabled false

In this command, set is used to change the value of a key, org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power is the schema, and ambient-enabled is the key that controls automatic brightness. Setting it to false disables the feature.

Disabling Dim Screen While Inactive

The screen may dim after a period of inactivity to save power. To prevent this, use the following command:

gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power idle-dim false

Here, idle-dim is the key that controls the dimming of the screen. Setting it to false disables the feature.

Disabling Automatic Suspend

Automatic suspend puts the system into a low-power state after a period of inactivity. To disable this feature, use the following commands:

gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power sleep-inactive-ac-type 'nothing'
gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power sleep-inactive-battery-type 'suspend'

In these commands, sleep-inactive-ac-type and sleep-inactive-battery-type are the keys that control the automatic suspend feature. Setting sleep-inactive-ac-type to 'nothing' disables the automatic suspend when the system is plugged in. Setting sleep-inactive-battery-type to 'suspend' ensures the system will suspend only when running on battery power.

Managing Display Power Management Signaling (DPMS)

DPMS is a standard to reduce power consumption in monitors when the computer is not in use. To check the status of DPMS, use the following command:

xset -q | awk '/DPMS is/ {print $NF}'

In this command, xset -q queries the current settings, and awk '/DPMS is/ {print $NF}' filters the output to show the status of DPMS.

To disable DPMS, use the following command:

xset -dpms

To enable DPMS, use the following command:

xset dpms

In these commands, -dpms disables DPMS, and dpms enables it.


Disabling power saving features on Ubuntu 20.04 Kiosk Systems can be accomplished easily via the command line. By using the gsettings and xset commands, you can manage these features to suit your specific needs. Remember to use these commands responsibly to ensure optimal performance and longevity of your system and display.

How can I check if the power saving features are enabled on my Ubuntu 20.04 Kiosk System?

You can check the status of power saving features using the gsettings command. For example, to check if automatic brightness is enabled, use the command gsettings get org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power ambient-enabled. If the output is true, it means the feature is enabled.

How can I re-enable the power saving features if I want to enable them again?

To re-enable the power saving features, you can use the same gsettings commands mentioned in the article but set the values to true. For example, to enable automatic brightness, use the command gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power ambient-enabled true.

Can I disable only specific power saving features and keep others enabled?

Yes, you can disable specific power saving features while keeping others enabled. You just need to use the respective gsettings commands mentioned in the article to disable the specific feature you want to disable.

Will disabling power saving features have any impact on the system’s performance?

Disabling power saving features should not have a significant impact on the system’s performance. However, keeping power saving features enabled can help conserve power and extend battery life on laptops and personal computers.

Are the changes made via the command line permanent?

The changes made via the command line are persistent and will remain in effect until you modify them again using the same commands or revert to the default settings.

Can I manage power saving features through the graphical user interface (GUI) instead of the command line?

Yes, Ubuntu 20.04 provides a graphical user interface for managing power saving features. You can access it by going to "Settings" > "Power" in the Ubuntu desktop environment. However, this article focuses on managing power saving features via the command line for kiosk systems where a GUI may not be available or convenient to use.

Is it recommended to disable power saving features on a kiosk system?

Disabling power saving features on a kiosk system can be beneficial if you require constant display and performance without interruptions. However, it is important to consider the power consumption and heat generation implications of disabling these features, especially if the kiosk system is running 24/7.

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