How can I dim only select screens of my multiple-monitor linux system?

I have 5 monitors connected to my computer 4 *15 inch and one 27 inch. sometimes i want to use only the main screen (27) and have the rest black or in power save How can i do this? I'm running ubuntu linux 13.10 with kde. To blackout all screens I use xset dpms force off but this will be undone as soon as i touch the mouse or keyboard.

1 Answer 1


You can use -display :HOST:DISPLAY to chose display to apply dpms setting like this:

xset -display :0 dpms force off
  • Thanks for the quick answer. i have been trying but get a 'xset: unable to open display ":0:0"' response,
    – k.mooijman
    Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 16:40
  • sorry the format is -display host:dpi, same as $DISPLAY value, so -display :0, -display :1 etc. should work.
    – ek9
    Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 17:14
  • -display :0 turns of all screens and -display :1 gives a unable to open display ":1" error message , as i understand :0 indicates the host in this case the whole X11 display system.
    – k.mooijman
    Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 20:12

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