I'm running Arch Linux with Mate Desktop version 1.16.0 on Linux kernel 4.8.13. I have a weird problem. My screen turns black after around 5 or 10 minutes and I can not find out why. Here is my mate configuration:


As you can see, the power-management is completely disabled and set to never go to sleep or turn off the display. And the screensaver is set to 2 hours minimum and also disabled.

I have no idea what else I could check. I went through the whole mate control panel to find any hidden settings. Does anyone have any idea why my screen turns black after approximately 10 minutes idle time?


XServer has its own settings for power management and screen saving functions. From the man page:

Option "BlankTime" "time"

sets the inactivity timeout for the blank phase of the screensaver. time is in minutes. This is equivalent to the Xorg server’s −s flag, and the value can be changed at run−time with xset(1). Default: 10 minutes.

Try these commands to completely disable the power management setting for X. Open a terminal and run the following:

xset -dpms # Disables Energy Star features
xset s off # Disables screen saver

If this works for you, to make these settings permanent in one of the files for .xorg.conf configuration files. Use man xorg.conf and pick one of the config file location files.

Example xorg.conf settings for these values:

Section "Monitor"
Identifier  "Monitor1"
    Option "DPMS" "false"

Section "ServerFlags"
    Option "BlankTime" "0" # Not sure if a value of 0 here will disable this

Alternately you can use a .xinitrc file if you are using xinit to start your X session and just insert the xset commands from above (my preference).

  • Accurate answer and exactly what I was looking for. Screen was on all night :) – Waqar Lim Dec 13 '16 at 10:10

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