Discussion:
text console no longer turns off (it blanks, but powered) after 4.12.5 or xf86-video-ati update
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David C. Rankin
2017-08-16 03:14:42 UTC
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All,

I have 2 Arch servers that boot to the default text console. It has always
properly blanked (DPMS power off) after the default timeout (6-7 min?). After
update to the 4.12.5 kernel, which occurred at the same time of the
xf86-video-ati (1:7.9.0-1 -> 1:7.9.0-2) update, the monitor no longer powers
off when the screen blanks. An hour later there is still the
blanked-but-powered light from the monitor (I don't know if this is called
backlight power for the text console rather than X).

The problem continues after the 4.12.6 update. So there was either something
in the 4.12.5 kernel update that is preventing the console power-off from
working, or something in the xf86-video-ati update that did it.

There is nothing in the journal about video or dpms. What else can I check
to help figure out what broke? With X at least there is xset, but I'm not sure
what to look at for the default terminal?
--
David C. Rankin, J.D.,P.E.
Ralf Mardorf
2017-08-16 04:10:28 UTC
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It has always properly blanked (DPMS power off) after the default
timeout (6-7 min?).
Hi,

I'm using X and an Intel graphics, so I only could try to interpret the
manpage.


$ man setterm | grep powerdown
--powerdown [0-60]
Sets the VESA powerdown interval in minutes. Without an argument, it defaults to 0 (disable powerdown). If the console is blanked or the monitor is in suspend mode, then
the monitor will go into vsync suspend mode or powerdown mode respectively after this period of time has elapsed.
--powersave powerdown
Puts the monitor into VESA powerdown mode.

IIUC it's turned off by default. It's turned on by default, when using
X.


$ man xorg.conf | grep OffTime -A4
Option "OffTime" "time"
sets the inactivity timeout for the off phase of DPMS mode. time is in minutes, and the value can be changed at run-time with xset(1). Default: 10 minutes. This is only
suitable for VESA DPMS compatible monitors, and may not be supported by all video drivers. It is only enabled for screens that have the "DPMS" option set (see the MONITOR
section below).

$ man xorg.conf | grep n\ \"DPMS -A2
Option "DPMS" "bool"
This option controls whether the server should enable the DPMS extension for power management for this screen. The default is to enable the extension.

Regards,
Ralf
Ralf Mardorf
2017-08-16 04:21:50 UTC
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With X at least there is xset, but I'm not sure what to look at for
the default terminal?
Since I'm using X I didn't know setterm, but the Arch Wiki mentions
it:

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Display_Power_Management_Signaling#DPMS_interaction_in_a_Linux_console_with_setterm
Ralf Mardorf
2017-08-16 04:32:21 UTC
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PPS: A few days ago I tested a LCD monitor. Screen blanking already
caused the monitor to completely power off (after hat it was needed to
turn on the monitor by the monitor's power button). Perhaps you changed
some Eco settings of your monitor? Maybe your monitor powered off
triggered by screen blanking and now it doesn't do it anymore?
David C. Rankin
2017-08-16 08:49:17 UTC
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Post by Ralf Mardorf
PPS: A few days ago I tested a LCD monitor. Screen blanking already
caused the monitor to completely power off (after hat it was needed to
turn on the monitor by the monitor's power button). Perhaps you changed
some Eco settings of your monitor? Maybe your monitor powered off
triggered by screen blanking and now it doesn't do it anymore?
Ralf,

Thank you for your suggestions. I'll go through the DPMS page again. I
haven't change a single-thing on my system, so Eco setting, no monitor
settings, no nothing. Past 7-8 years same config, monitor always powers down,
as soon as the updates went in on 8/11, DPMS just quit working for the text
console. Crossing-fingers the DPMS has a hidden nugget somewhere inside :)
--
David C. Rankin, J.D.,P.E.
David C. Rankin
2017-08-20 19:16:20 UTC
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Post by David C. Rankin
Post by Ralf Mardorf
PPS: A few days ago I tested a LCD monitor. Screen blanking already
caused the monitor to completely power off (after hat it was needed to
turn on the monitor by the monitor's power button). Perhaps you changed
some Eco settings of your monitor? Maybe your monitor powered off
triggered by screen blanking and now it doesn't do it anymore?
Ralf,
Thank you for your suggestions. I'll go through the DPMS page again. I
haven't change a single-thing on my system, so Eco setting, no monitor
settings, no nothing. Past 7-8 years same config, monitor always powers down,
as soon as the updates went in on 8/11, DPMS just quit working for the text
console. Crossing-fingers the DPMS has a hidden nugget somewhere inside :)
Ralf, all,

I can use 'setterm --blank 3 --poweroff 4' to have the screen blank and
poweroff just as it has always done since 2009 up to the 4.12.5 kernel and
xf86-video-ati 1:7.9.0-2. Now for the first time I am having to manually set
it. What changed? Why should I now have to manually use 'setterm' where before
this was automatically set to a reasonable default?

Does anybody know if this is an Arch change or an upstream change?
/etc/issue has not changed in months, e.g.

$ l /etc/issue
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 20 Mar 26 16:57 /etc/issue

How do I set a default for the system so all of the text consoles VT1-6
automatically poweroff? I see the "Bash loop to set ttys 0-256" in the DPMS wiki:

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Display_Power_Management_Signaling#DPMS_interaction_in_a_Linux_console_with_setterm

but having to put that in a profile seems like a cludge. /etc/issue apparently
can be used for preventing blanking/poweroff, but is this the correct file for
setting the poweroff systemwide?

The http://webpages.charter.net/dperr/dpms.htm link doesn't address system
config (just how it works) Thanks for any wisdom on this topic you can provide.
--
David C. Rankin, J.D.,P.E.
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