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DPMS (Display Power Management Signaling) is a standard from the VESA consortium for managing the power supply of video monitors for computers through the graphics card. The most common use is to shut off the monitor after the computer has been idle for some time.

For further information see Wikipedia:VESA Display Power Management Signaling

DPMS settings

There are multiple settings that influence monitor power savings:

  • xorg.conf: The monitor section can contain a DPMS option:
Section Monitor
       Option "DPMS"
  • xorg.conf: The ServerFlags section can contain a NoPM option:
Section "ServerFlags"
       Option "NoPM" "true"
  • xset can be used from the command line to turn DPMS on/off:
xset -dpms


xset +dpms
  • KDE has a control panel power management
  • Often the BIOS also has options for power management

It is not obvious how these 5 work together. If you know please write it here.


Turn DPMS on/off with a remote

(Added by Ian Forde)

If you're using MythTV with a monitor and a remote (via lirc), it is possible to use DPMS to power off your monitor. Imagine the scenario where you're using Myth in a bedroom...

Let's say that you've got a Hauppauge grey remote, and want to use the red button for this. Assuming that you've got that button defined in /etc/lircd.conf, put the following into ~<myth user>/.lircrc

 # Red Button
   prog = irexec
   button = Red
   repeat = 4
   config = /usr/local/bin/monitorpowerbutton.sh

Then you want the following in /usr/local/bin/monitorpowerbutton.sh:

 STATUS=`xset -q | grep "Monitor is" | awk '{print $3}'`
 if [ "${STATUS}" = "On" ]
   xset dpms force off
   xset dpms force on
 exit 0

Inspired by Jarod's power button trick for mythfrontend...

There are more scripts for this purpose at Customized remote control keys

DPMS with lirc and irxevent

(Added by Chris Pinkham)

If you have DPMS enabled and use irxevent with LIRC to control your Myth box, then you may want to configure LIRC to automatically unblank the screen when you press any button on the remote. MythTV will not unblank the screen automatically if you use irxevent to send keypresses to mythfrontend. A simple solution to this is to run irexec along with your existing irxevent and insert the following few lines into your .lircrc file. This will make sure that your screen is unblanked when you click any button on the remote control.

   prog = irexec
   button = *
   config = xset dpms force on &