I've used some old spare parts to make a sort-of kiosk for my kitchen. It's running OpenBSD and has a simple text based UI (no X Server).

I plan to add an Arduino with a motion sensor that communicates over serial port to my app so that if there is any motion the monitor will turn on and display the time and weather and after a period of no activity it will turn off.

I would like to know if this is possible to do in software before I have to take the monitor apart and create a hardware solution (emulate pressing the power button with an opto-isolator or transistor or hacking up the VGA cable).

I have a feeling this is possible because power-management software seems to be capable of doing so but I am not sure how to go about it.

1 Answer 1


You can use vbetool to turn the display on/off from the console.


$ sudo vbetool dpms off


$ sudo vbetool dpms on

This command construct will turn it off, and then if you hit a key turn it back on:

$ sudo sh -c 'vbetool dpms off; read ans; vbetool dpms on'


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