Monday, January 20, 2014

Fixing the brightness keys skip steps on Ubuntu 13.10 / 14.04 LTS -- my solution

As explained in sometimes there are multiple things fighting to do the job when you press the brightness keys on your laptop.

In my case, it seems like both the gnome-settings-daemon and the brightness switch for the video driver were both trying to adjust the brightness, so whenever I pressed I button, it adjusted twice.

Now while the proposed solution
sudo sh -c 'echo -n 0 > /sys/module/video/parameters/brightness_switch_enabled'
worked, it stopped me from adjusting brightness on a tty (ok not a biggie), but especially I've noticed that leaving brightness up to gnome is slow and sluggish.

So instead I thought I'd disable gnome instead. There's a lot of old information relating to gnome-power-manager and other deprecated configurations, but I managed to discover that gnome-settings-daemon uses the gsd-backlight-helper (on my system it is installed as /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-backlight-helper) to do its work.

To disable it, I just did
sudo chmod -x /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-backlight-helper # For Ubuntu 13.10
sudo chmod -x /usr/lib/unity-settings-daemon/usd-backlight-helper # For Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
You do lose the brightness OSD, but that's a price I'm willing to pay.