My hardware screen on my laptop turns white, when the console times out and blanks, upon idling. I would expect it to normally turn black or turn off the screen entirely. When clicking a button, the screen wakes up and presents the console as normal.

There are no relevant BIOS settings.

I am running Void Linux on an HP EliteBook 8530p laptop and I don't use a desktop environment, only console CLI, thus it's not a problem with X.

  • Is it a setting that determines how the "blanking" works?
  • Is it possible to change the behaviour of the blanking, so it turns off the screen until a key is pressed?
  • If none of the above, can you point me in a direction where I can find out if it's a hardware error?
  • Is the console on a framebuffer or does it use a text mode provided by the hardware? Jul 27 '15 at 22:14
  • @Gilles I don't know how to find out. :-(
    – Ragerin
    Jul 28 '15 at 8:12

If the console is using KMS (kernel mode setting), then it certainly could be a Linux issue. The drivers used for KMS (for example radeon on such hardware) are part of the Linux kernel.

We don't know, from the OP, if KMS or radeon are being used. If the answers to both of those are 'yes', then one could try booting a 3.18 or newer kernel with kernel parameter radeon.backlight=0. This might fix the problem, or could also cause a totally black screen, so be prepared to reboot under those conditions.

  • I do no longer own the affected laptop, so I cannot test if this answer is correct. The laptop was in fact equipped with a Radeon card and this could potentially be the correct answer. I do not remember trying with that kernel parameter.
    – Ragerin
    Mar 16 '16 at 19:18
  • I have the same problem on an RV610 (Radeon HD 2400 XT, iMac 8,1) using the KMS radeon driver. The kernel parameter radeon.backlight=0 solved it. It did not cause a totally black screen.
    – calavicci
    Dec 5 '19 at 15:22

As you're not using X Windows but console only, it doesn't seem to have anything to do with Linux. You should probably look into your BIOS settings.

  • As there is nothing to be done in the BIOS, regarding screen timeout, I am starting to believe it is due to faulty hardware.
    – Ragerin
    Jul 28 '15 at 8:16

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