When using keyboard's keys to adjust brightness I'm only getting 10 values (levels) of screen brightness. Meanwhile using Xfce plugin for brightness, I can fine-tune brightness.

However I want a highly adjustable brightness level.

Is there any way to change brightness level of adjustment to "finer steps" (let's say 30 steps) using Fn+key in Xfce ?

  • What distribution are you using? What video card? – Gilles Jul 2 '14 at 21:46
  • distro is arch and card is intel – banuy Jul 7 '14 at 1:50
  • What exact model of video card? – Gilles Jul 7 '14 at 7:41

Has this actually been answered yet? I just found a way to do this, albeit by using the <super> key instead of <functions>. Please note, this also works perfectly for Peppermint Linux as well. I know this because it's what I use and love. Since it's a combination of XFCE and LXDE, I'm positive it'll work for both DEs.

First, you absolutely need to install the Light package available on GitHub here:
(If you're using Arch, it's available in the AUR as light or light-git.)

Once that's completed go into your keyboard settings and make new keyboard shortcuts for the following commands and shortcuts. Now just because I have selected the shortcuts that I did, does not mean anything. If you want to use something else, go for it. I opted to use the key because I could not get my XFCE to recognize that I was holding the button while trying to set the shortcut. You might have better luck.

I'm going to use this format for the shortcut and command:

Shortcut A  |  Command A
Shortcut B  |  Command B
    etc.    |    etc.   

I'm also going to leave out the <___> from "super" because I don't feel it's necessary to keep typing those characters each time. You'll know what I mean when I type "super", right?

(Please note, that the capitalization does seem to matter. "Up" will work in a shortcut; meanwhile "up" will not._

The commands I'm going to use are "light -A 5" and "light -U 5". They translate to "Brightness Up by 5" and "Brightness Lower by 5". That gives you a total of 20 steps of brightness to work with. If you want to use a different number, go for it. I would suggest you stay away from numbers smaller than 5, though. I am also going to use "light -S 100" and "light -S 5". They translate to "Set Brightness to Max" and "Set Brightness to Min".

Anyway, here's the shortcut and commands:

super + Up    |  light -A 5
super + Down  |  light -U 5

super + shift + .  |  light -S 100
super + shift + ,  |  light -S 5
super + >  |  light -S 100
super + <  |  light -S 5

Feel free to add any other shortcuts you feel you'd use frequently!

Please let me know if this works for you! I'll definitely appreciate any feedback :)


There is an open feature request for this here:


It is not too hard to make the changes and recompile xfce4-power-manager by yourself from the source. My specific version was here:


Unpack it, cd to the directory, type ./configure at the prompt and get the missing packages (e.g. sudo apt-get install xfce4-panel-dev) then ./configure again.

Eventually it will be happy. Then type make. If it's still happy then type make install and reboot. Voila, you've got more brightness levels.

  • Welcome to Stack Exchange (Unix & Linux).  As I'm sure you know, if you type steak, the computer (generally) doesn't execute stake.  So, do you by any chance mean "type ./configure" and "then ./config again"?  Or do you mean ./configure both times? – G-Man Jul 18 '15 at 18:45

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