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Thread: How do I adjust the screen brightness in Xfce?

  1. #1
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    How do I adjust the screen brightness in Xfce?

    I recently installed Xubuntu on an old Sony Vaio laptop. I normally would use the function keys to adjust the screen brightness, but they do not work. I checked the settings menu, but the only option I found was to adjust the brightness of the desktop background. How can I adjust the brightness of the entire screen?

  2. #2
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    Re: How do I adjust the screen brightness in Xfce?

    What model of Vaio do you have? Have you tried the acpi_backlight=vendor kernel parameter? For instructions on how to test it, see: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Gr...nu During Boot

    If that doesn't work, open a terminal window (Accessories->Terminal Emulator), type in the following command and post back the results:
    Code:
    lspci -vnn

  3. #3
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    Re: How do I adjust the screen brightness in Xfce?

    Hi Toz,

    Thank you for your help. The model number is: PCG-7G2L. I added the entry to the grub menu and I still cannot change the brightness via the function keys.

    I entered the command and here are the results:

    00:00.0 Host bridge [0600]: Intel Corporation Mobile 915GM/PM/GMS/910GML Express Processor to DRAM Controller [8086:2590] (rev 03)
    Subsystem: Sony Corporation Vaio VGN-S3XP [104d:81b7]
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
    Capabilities: <access denied>
    Kernel driver in use: agpgart-intel

    00:02.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Intel Corporation Mobile 915GM/GMS/910GML Express Graphics Controller [8086:2592] (rev 03) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
    Subsystem: Sony Corporation Device [104d:81b8]
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 16
    Memory at b0080000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=512K]
    I/O ports at 1800 [size=8]
    Memory at c0000000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M]
    Memory at b0040000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256K]
    Expansion ROM at <unassigned> [disabled]
    Capabilities: <access denied>
    Kernel driver in use: i915
    Kernel modules: intelfb, i915

    00:02.1 Display controller [0380]: Intel Corporation Mobile 915GM/GMS/910GML Express Graphics Controller [8086:2792] (rev 03)
    Subsystem: Sony Corporation Device [104d:81b8]
    Flags: fast devsel
    Memory at 44000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [disabled] [size=512K]
    Capabilities: <access denied>

    00:1b.0 Audio device [0403]: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) High Definition Audio Controller [8086:2668] (rev 03)
    Subsystem: Sony Corporation Device [104d:81bb]
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 40
    Memory at b0000000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
    Capabilities: <access denied>
    Kernel driver in use: HDA Intel
    Kernel modules: snd-hda-intel

    00:1d.0 USB Controller [0c03]: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB UHCI #1 [8086:2658] (rev 03) (prog-if 00 [UHCI])
    Subsystem: Sony Corporation Device [104d:81b9]
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 23
    I/O ports at 1820 [size=32]
    Kernel driver in use: uhci_hcd

    00:1d.1 USB Controller [0c03]: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB UHCI #2 [8086:2659] (rev 03) (prog-if 00 [UHCI])
    Subsystem: Sony Corporation Device [104d:81b9]
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 19
    I/O ports at 1840 [size=32]
    Kernel driver in use: uhci_hcd

    00:1d.2 USB Controller [0c03]: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB UHCI #3 [8086:265a] (rev 03) (prog-if 00 [UHCI])
    Subsystem: Sony Corporation Device [104d:81b9]
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 18
    I/O ports at 1860 [size=32]
    Kernel driver in use: uhci_hcd

    00:1d.3 USB Controller [0c03]: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB UHCI #4 [8086:265b] (rev 03) (prog-if 00 [UHCI])
    Subsystem: Sony Corporation Device [104d:81b9]
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 16
    I/O ports at 1880 [size=32]
    Kernel driver in use: uhci_hcd

    00:1d.7 USB Controller [0c03]: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller [8086:265c] (rev 03) (prog-if 20 [EHCI])
    Subsystem: Sony Corporation Device [104d:81b9]
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 23
    Memory at b0004000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1K]
    Capabilities: <access denied>
    Kernel driver in use: ehci_hcd

    00:1e.0 PCI bridge [0604]: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge [8086:2448] (rev d3) (prog-if 01 [Subtractive decode])
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
    Bus: primary=00, secondary=06, subordinate=0a, sec-latency=32
    I/O behind bridge: 00002000-00002fff
    Memory behind bridge: b0100000-b01fffff
    Prefetchable memory behind bridge: 0000000040000000-0000000043ffffff
    Capabilities: <access denied>

    00:1f.0 ISA bridge [0601]: Intel Corporation 82801FBM (ICH6M) LPC Interface Bridge [8086:2641] (rev 03)
    Subsystem: Sony Corporation Device [104d:81b9]
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0
    Kernel modules: iTCO_wdt, intel-rng

    00:1f.1 IDE interface [0101]: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) IDE Controller [8086:266f] (rev 03) (prog-if 8a [Master SecP PriP])
    Subsystem: Sony Corporation Device [104d:81b9]
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 18
    I/O ports at 01f0 [size=8]
    I/O ports at 03f4 [size=1]
    I/O ports at 0170 [size=8]
    I/O ports at 0374 [size=1]
    I/O ports at 1810 [size=16]
    Kernel driver in use: ata_piix

    00:1f.3 SMBus [0c05]: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) SMBus Controller [8086:266a] (rev 03)
    Subsystem: Sony Corporation Device [104d:81b9]
    Flags: medium devsel, IRQ 10
    I/O ports at 18a0 [size=32]
    Kernel modules: i2c-i801

    06:03.0 CardBus bridge [0607]: Texas Instruments PCI7420 CardBus Controller [104c:ac8e]
    Subsystem: Sony Corporation Device [104d:818f]
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 168, IRQ 16
    Memory at b0108000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
    Bus: primary=06, secondary=07, subordinate=0a, sec-latency=176
    Memory window 0: 40000000-43fff000 (prefetchable)
    Memory window 1: 48000000-4bfff000
    I/O window 0: 00002400-000024ff
    I/O window 1: 00002800-000028ff
    16-bit legacy interface ports at 0001
    Kernel driver in use: yenta_cardbus
    Kernel modules: yenta_socket

    06:03.2 FireWire (IEEE 1394) [0c00]: Texas Instruments PCI7x20 1394a-2000 OHCI Two-Port PHY/Link-Layer Controller [104c:802e] (prog-if 10 [OHCI])
    Subsystem: Sony Corporation Device [104d:818f]
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 32, IRQ 18
    Memory at b0104000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=2K]
    Memory at b0100000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
    Capabilities: <access denied>
    Kernel driver in use: firewire_ohci
    Kernel modules: firewire-ohci

    06:03.3 Mass storage controller [0180]: Texas Instruments PCI7420/7620 Combo CardBus, 1394a-2000 OHCI and SD/MS-Pro Controller [104c:ac8f]
    Subsystem: Sony Corporation Device [104d:8190]
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 57, IRQ 17
    Memory at b0105000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
    Capabilities: <access denied>
    Kernel driver in use: tifm_7xx1
    Kernel modules: tifm_7xx1

    06:04.0 Network controller [0280]: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 2200BG [Calexico2] Network Connection [8086:4220] (rev 05)
    Subsystem: Intel Corporation Device [8086:2751]
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 32, IRQ 22
    Memory at b0106000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
    Capabilities: <access denied>
    Kernel driver in use: ipw2200
    Kernel modules: ipw2200

    06:08.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Intel Corporation 82562ET/EZ/GT/GZ - PRO/100 VE (LOM) Ethernet Controller Mobile [8086:1068] (rev 03)
    Subsystem: Sony Corporation Device [104d:81d0]
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 66, IRQ 20
    Memory at b0107000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
    I/O ports at 2000 [size=64]
    Capabilities: <access denied>
    Kernel driver in use: e100
    Kernel modules: e100

    I hope this helps. Is there an application that can change the screen brightness?

  4. #4
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    Re: How do I adjust the screen brightness in Xfce?

    A few more things to try:

    1. Also try the kernel parameters:
    Code:
    acpi_osi=Linux
    acpi_osi=\"Linux\"
    acpi_osi=Linux acpi_backlight=vendor
    acpi_osi=
    2. Try the sony_laptop module:
    Code:
    sudo modprobe sony_laptop
    3. You have an intel video card. Kamal (a canonical kernel developer) has an intel-specific kernel that fixes the backlight issue with these video cards on some laptops. You may wish to give his kernel a try. See: https://launchpad.net/~kamalmostafa/...l-mjgbacklight

    4. If still no luck, when you press the brightness function keys, do you get a notification bubble indicating that the brightness changed (but the brightness doesn't change)?

    5. What do the following commands return?
    Code:
    sudo dmidecode -s system-product-name

  5. #5
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    Re: How do I adjust the screen brightness in Xfce?

    Hi Toz,

    1. None of the parameters worked.

    2. No Luck.

    3. According to the page this kernel is only for Gnome or Unity.

    4. I don't get any responses when I press the buttons.

    5. Here is the return: VGN-FS850

    This is strange, as everything else on this laptop works better on Xubuntu, except that the function keys don't work. Could something be blocking them?

  6. #6
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    Re: How do I adjust the screen brightness in Xfce?

    Quote Originally Posted by raginkestrel View Post
    Hi Toz,

    1. None of the parameters worked.

    2. No Luck.

    3. According to the page this kernel is only for Gnome or Unity.
    It should work for xfce as well (he makes i915-specific changes to the kernel for the intel driver like you have). You won't be able to use the gnome utilities but the Fn keys might work. Could be worth a try.

    4. I don't get any responses when I press the buttons.

    5. Here is the return: VGN-FS850

    This is strange, as everything else on this laptop works better on Xubuntu, except that the function keys don't work. Could something be blocking them?
    Does this command do anything:
    Code:
    sudo setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=96
    Another thing to try is to edit the udev keymap file and add your system (it doesn't look like it processes VGN-FS* systems):
    Code:
    sudo mousepad /lib/udev/rules.d/95-keymap.rules
    search for:
    VGN-FW*
    and replace it with:
    Code:
    VGN-FS*
    reboot and see if there is a difference.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Re: How do I adjust the screen brightness in Xfce?

    [QUOTE=Toz;11106390]It should work for xfce as well (he makes i915-specific changes to the kernel for the intel driver like you have). You won't be able to use the gnome utilities but the Fn keys might work. Could be worth a try.

    I will give this a try, as editing the keymap file did not work, neither did the "setpci" command.

    I will be a little slower on responding during the week, but I have not given up!

  8. #8
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    Re: How do I adjust the screen brightness in Xfce?

    Hi Toz,

    I installed the new kernel, but the function keys still do not work. However, I noticed that the screen is now a little dimmer, and I don't feel like I am staring into the sun every time I look at it. Any other options that you can think of? Otherwise, this current brightness setting is workable.

  9. #9
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    Re: How do I adjust the screen brightness in Xfce?

    With the new kernel, try:
    • the acpi_backlight=vendor kernel parameter again.
    • the setpci command again
      Code:
      sudo setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=96
    • install xbacklight (sudo apt-get install xbacklight) and try:
      Code:
      xbacklight -set 50

  10. #10
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    Re: How do I adjust the screen brightness in Xfce?

    Hi Toz,

    Success! I can adjust the brightness with xbacklight. Now I can finally say that I have resurrected this poor old laptop from Windows. Plus, I learned a lot about Grub, installing a new kernel, and getting back to using the command line. This was an excellent learning experience. Thank you.

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