I am running an Ubuntu Server that boots to the console. After a long wile, the screen goes blank and I cannot type or unblank the screen. Even the caps lock / num lock do not change states. I am however, able to SSH into the computer.

Is there a way I can unblank the tty1 over SSH?

Is it possible to do this from the keyboard + not logged in + blank screen?

  • Try changing the terminals (as root): chvt 2; chvt 1 (to VT2, then to VT1).
    – peterph
    Oct 7, 2013 at 16:25
  • That did something. Changing to vt2 changed the state of numlock and back to VT1 restored it. But it did not unblank the screen. I typed my credentials blink on VT2 and logged in. I see myself by typing who over ssh. But the screen is still blank! :-(
    – Lord Loh.
    Oct 7, 2013 at 16:29
  • Try this: askubuntu.com/questions/138918/… Oct 7, 2013 at 16:32
  • This is the same as setting /sys/module/kernel/parameters/consoleblank to 0. It is already 0.
    – Lord Loh.
    Oct 7, 2013 at 16:35
  • 1
    try setterm -blank poke
    – peterph
    Oct 7, 2013 at 16:37

2 Answers 2


I found a working answer on Server Fault from reddit.

Even though I did disable blanking, the screen still goes blank, but I can bring it back with a key press. I can live with that for now.

The trick was to install console-tools and configure it from /etc/console-tools/config to have


Added on 2013-11-15: After an update, this broke down again! The display would blank and never unblank. This time I had to update the file in /etc/kbd/config. After fixing the file the computer remained on all night without blanking the display.


You can use :

setterm -blank poke --term linux < /dev/tty1
  • 1
    This worked for me on a Raspberry Pi. Needed sudo. Feb 3, 2017 at 17:04

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