I have a machine that I access only via SSH that I just updated to Debian 10 a couple of days ago. Since the update it seems to be going to sleep when it is inactive. This has never happened with previous updates like from 7 to 8 or from 8 to 9. It seems like maybe the sleep settings have reverted to a default state. How can I view and edit the power and sleep settings in the command line? Any guidance much appreciated. Thanks!

  • check this askubuntu.com/questions/47311/… if it helps – asktyagi Jul 11 at 2:43
  • Do you have a desktop environment installed? (I know you’re asking about the command-line, but if you have gdm3 running, its configuration needs fixing in Debian 10 to avoid sleeping.) – Stephen Kitt Jul 11 at 5:26
  • Thanks for your reply. Yes, I do. I can go to where I have the machine running and log in to the GUI temporarily. What do you recommend? – user308520 Jul 11 at 9:52

I ran into this with gdm3 after upgrading to Debian 10: whenever the computer was left at the initial login screen, it would go to sleep after a while.

To fix this, I had to edit the power settings for GNOME when running the gdm3 session; these are stored in /etc/gdm3/greeter.dconf-defaults, and the the lines to edit are those in the “Automatic suspend” section at the end of the file:

# Automatic suspend
# =================
# - Time inactive in seconds before suspending with AC power
#   1200=20 minutes, 0=never
# sleep-inactive-ac-timeout=1200
# - What to do after sleep-inactive-ac-timeout
#   'blank', 'suspend', 'shutdown', 'hibernate', 'interactive' or 'nothing'
# - As above but when on battery
# sleep-inactive-battery-timeout=1200
# sleep-inactive-battery-type='suspend'

Specifically, I changed sleep-inactive-ac-type to 'blank'.

I didn’t have to make any changes to the systemd or logind setup; this means that if I want to, I can still suspend the system manually.


you can try the following based on your needs:
Disable suspend and hibernation:

sudo systemctl mask sleep.target suspend.target hibernate.target hybrid-sleep.target

To re-enable hibernate and suspend use the following command:

sudo systemctl unmask sleep.target suspend.target hibernate.target hybrid-sleep.target

If you just want to prevent suspending when the lid is closed you can set the following options in /etc/systemd/logind.conf:


restart the service or reboot your machine

systemctl restart systemd-logind.service

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