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Disable the lock screen and screen blank on Ubuntu 12.04/12.10 (Updated)

This has been annoying me for a while on a PC, as the GUI doesn’t seem to take any notice of the settings. These command line setting should however make a difference:

<Update> turns out while it made a difference to my install it didn’t make a difference to some of the commenter’s, however I have added another solution at the end of the post.

Disable Screensaver Lock in Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin)

Whenever Ubuntu is idled for a certain time, roughly 5 minutes, it goes into screensaver mode and lock itself. You must always enter your session password to unlock it and logon. Well, if that’s becoming a problem, then this brief tutorial is going to show you a one-line command to turn it off.  It’s easy! Just copy and past the commands below in terminal, then press Enter to turn that feature off.


  • Turn off Screensaver lock in Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin)
  • Enjoy!

To get started, press Ctrl – Alt – T on your keyboard to open Terminal. When Terminal opens, run the commands below to disable screensaver lock.

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.screensaver lock-enabled false


That’s it. The next time you computer goes idle, you won’t need to enter password in order to continue your session. Just move the mouse and touch a key on the keyboard to continue.

Disable Screensaver (Black Screen) in Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin)

Is your desktop screen going dark or showing a blank screen when idled? By default, Ubuntu is developed with screensaver enabled. It is automatically activated when your computer becomes idled for roughly 5 minutes. When watching movies or online flash videos and the screensaver is activated, it darkens your display. If this is becoming a problem and you want to turn it off, then this brief tutorial is going to show you a single line command that will turn if off for you.


  • Turn off screensaver in Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin)
  • Enjoy!

To get started, press Ctrl – Alt – T on your keyboard to open Terminal. When it opens, copy and paste the commands below, then press Enter to disable screensaver.

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.screensaver idle-activation-enabled false


That’s it! Your display will never go dark or black again.



If the above didn’t work for you, try this:

Remove the acpi and acpi-support packages

dpkg –get-selections | grep acpi
acpi-support install
acpid install
sudo apt-get remove acpi-support acpid

28 comments on “Disable the lock screen and screen blank on Ubuntu 12.04/12.10 (Updated)

  1. sean346343
    June 28, 2012

    ty. you deserve money for this.

    • Corey Fairbanks
      February 28, 2013

      This is how I did it: paste this into Terminal,

      ~$ gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power idle-dim-time 1

      hit enter, minumize or close terminal, play movie…….watched a 2 hour movie with no problems..

      • projectzme
        February 28, 2013

        Will try that tonight..

  2. Winner
    August 30, 2012

    Thank you so much! how irritating.

  3. Adam
    September 6, 2012

    I just tried this (after changing the power settings for the monitor, and disabling the screensaver in the GUI and having no luck) but my screen still blanks.

    So I checked the setting again:
    gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.screensaver idle-activation-enabled

    and sure enough, it’s false. But ubuntu still kills the video signal after 20mins or so!

    Any ideas? Google is showing me only the gsettings solution. Surely I don’t reboot do I? Could it be something to do with xubuntu or xfce4? Probably but what? arrgh the googling continues. make a comment if you have an idea, would you? I’ll be listening. 🙂

    • projectzme
      September 6, 2012

      I will take a look later

    • Chris
      July 3, 2013

      Don’t know if you’re still looking for a solution to this. But for xubuntu the method which worked for me (after trying most of what else I found) was to put

      xset s blank
      xset s 0

      in the.xsessionrc startup script, which you can just create in the user’s home folder. Can’t say exactly what it does but I have an idea, because it’s not the first xset finagle I’ve tried.

  4. yo
    September 17, 2012

    Did not work for me either 😦

  5. trinity
    October 25, 2012

    install xscreensaver and set time to high number.
    Add xscreensaver to Startup Application.

  6. mark bofwer
    October 29, 2012

    12.04LTS & gnome classic – using gsettings . . . did not work for me.

  7. Pone
    November 9, 2012

    Remove the acpi and acpi-support packages

    dpkg –get-selections | grep acpi
    acpi-support install
    acpid install

    sudo apt-get remove acpi-support acpid

  8. Clicker
    November 20, 2012

    By removing those packages you also remove the hardware drivers for your video card, at least it does that if you run nVidia.


    • projectzme
      November 20, 2012

      And if you then reinstall Nvidia drivers? Does it reinstall those packages? Which Nvidia driver do you use?

    • projectzme
      November 29, 2012

      Doesn’t work for me, screen still blacks out.. Hence the post.

      • strider
        November 30, 2012

        Kudos, I am Currently trying ‘xset s off’ in startup. Already installed BUM and disabled acpi to no avail.

      • projectzme
        November 30, 2012

        Its interesting that no one thing seems to solve what seems to be such an obvious flaw, the first post worked on several desktop 64bit installs for me, but today after an update of a fresh install has not on my media PC. I’m wondering if it has to do with the video driver because I noticed this works fine on non Nvidia pcs. I will investigate further next week and update the post.

    • Stan
      December 19, 2012

      First thing I tried, Doesn’t work for me. Ubuntu 12.04, macbook with Nvidia. Amazing that MacOS can get this right but after how many releases and ubuntu still doesn’t work flawlessly with external display, shutting lid and other display issues. And i realize that Nvidia is not much help to the Linux folks.

      • projectzme
        December 19, 2012

        Seems to me from all these comments on my post it’s a holy trinity of getting Graphics Driver, Linux Kernel and some random file right for this stuff to work. It is really good greeting great feedback like this as sometimes knowing what doesn’t work, is just as important to knowing what does work.

  9. Lynn Ransdell
    December 4, 2012

    I just installed 12.04 32-bit on a Dell Precision 380 with it Nvidia card it came with (don’t remember the model). Only things I’ve done so far are: 1. Applied all updates, 2: installed “synaptic”, and 3. changed wallpaper to one of the included graphics I like better. Followed the instructions above to disable both lock-enabled and idle-activation-enabled and it has now been 12+ minutes since I touched either the mouse or keyboard… the gsettings changes seem to work for me.

  10. johnw
    December 5, 2012

    I was searching through the gsettings looking for the setting that would turn off the switch for “Turn screen off when inactive for:” option in the system settings >> Brightness and Lock. This is where you set the idleness delay. To disable this I think you have to set it to “Never” or through gsettings, I think this should do the trick:

    gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.session idle-delay 0

    • projectzme
      December 5, 2012

      I will give this a go on my test PC and report back.. Great feedback, thank you.

    • projectzme
      December 6, 2012

      This did work for me, top job, I will be updating the post with this info

  11. Pete matthews
    January 22, 2013

    all this to disable a frigging screensaver, and you wizards of smart think that you can get marketshare for ubuntu away from windows…give me a break.

    • projectzme
      January 22, 2013

      Very, very valid point, it’s the little things like this which need to be fixed.. I actually agree with you. However as with most things in life, when you can ssh, nmap, mount iso files, mount ssh network shares and perform several other tasks out of the box with Windows then I’d work with it. I can take a little screensaver pain. However would be nice if it was.fixed.

  12. rich
    January 23, 2013

    none of the solutions i’ve seen so far anywhere, worked for me, so i set the brightness of the ‘dim’ setting to be 32767 (was 30)- thus while it is probably still ‘dimming’ it doesn’t change the screen.
    gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power idle-brightness 32767

  13. Alan
    February 15, 2013

    “all this to disable a frigging screensaver, and you wizards of smart think that you can get marketshare for ubuntu away from windows…give me a break.”

    Well, for me, I brought it on myself by installing…I forget which freely available screensaver off of the Ubuntu Software Center (I was thinking, I wonder if there’s clone of the old Afterdark flying toasters? Idiot!), dinked around with it for a bit, decided it sucked, then threw it off, uninstalled it.

    Previous to doing that my screen would never blank. Now, after going to additional lengths to track down and uninstall/purge anything vaguely responsible, I STILL can’t stop the screen from blanking.

    It’s strange. The virginal, unsullyed installation was working fine. This is yet another lesson on NOT installing software packages willynilly.

    (Due to another little mishap, I’ve also changed auto-update to only accept the security updates and nothing else.)

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This entry was posted on June 25, 2012 by in guides, howto, Linux, tip, Ubuntu and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .
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