I am runnning a Debian Stretch distribution with Cinnamon graphical interface.

I use this command to turn off the display

 xset dpms force off

It is useful to me when I want to sleep and just launch a video without being perturbed by the light of my screen. Note that if the mouse pointer is active (moves), then the display is turn on.


If the video is launched by VLC or Totem Movie Player, all is working fine.

If the video is launched by mplayer, display is turn off for 12s and then the video appears which is not what I expect...

I don't know why does the command "xset dpms force off" stop with the mplayer's app.

  • I think mplayer also changes dpms settings, and they may interfere with your settings.
    – dirkt
    Nov 16, 2017 at 7:46

2 Answers 2


Run mplayer like this

mplayer -nostop-xscreensaver [other options] video-file

or add the option into config file ~/.mplayer/config :


mplayer has been in pure maintenance mode for the past couple of years.

You may want to try MPV which is actively supported.

  • what would be the equivalent for mpv player?
    – Smilia
    Nov 16, 2017 at 21:13

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