Fix Brightness Control Not Working for Ubuntu 13.10 & 14.04

Two of the most prominent issue with Ubuntu 13.10 are brightness control and sound. We saw how to fix no sound issue in an older post. In this quick post, we’ll see how to fix brightness function key not working in Ubuntu 13.10 and Ubuntu 14.04.

This article was originally written for Ubuntu 13.10 but it is equally able to fix brightness issue in Ubuntu 14.04 as well as Linux Mint 17.

On my Dell Inspiron, using the function key to change the brightness did not yield any results. Brightness was at the maximum and my attempts to lower it went in vain.

It turns out, there are two bugs related to brightness issue in Ubuntu. One relates to Nvidia graphics card and other relates to Intel graphics card. The solution, that worked for me, is for Intel one. Let’s first find out what graphics/video card to do you have.

Find video/graphics card in Ubuntu and Linux Mint

Run the command below in terminal to know what video card is used for the backlight/brightness:

ls /sys/class/backlight/

find graphics driver in Ubuntu

As you can see, the output for me is dell_backlight and intel_backlight. An indicator that the graphics card in use is Intel. Another way to find out the graphics card would be to go in System Settings->Details->Graphics. You can see the graphic card in use.

If your graphics card is Intel, you can proceed with the fix below.

Fix brightness control issue with Intel card in Ubuntu and Linux Mint:

Open a terminal and create the following configuration file, if it does not exist:

sudo touch /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf

Now we need to edit this file. You can use any editor be it a terminal one or graphical.

sudo gedit /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf

Add the following lines to this file:

Section "Device"
        Identifier  "card0"
        Driver      "intel"
        Option      "Backlight"  "intel_backlight"
        BusID       "PCI:0:2:0"

EndSection

Save it. Log out and log in back. The brightness control should be working through function keys now:

Fix brightness control not working in Ubuntu 13.10

That’s it. I think it’s one of the must to do thing after installing Ubuntu 13.10. Did it work for you? Let me know if you have questions or suggestions.

  • Pingback: How To Fix: No Sound In Ubuntu 13.04 and Ubuntu 13.10 [Updated]

  • steven

    Thanks for your tutorial Abhishek, it is work for login and logout, but it doesn’t work if you shutdown your computer and login to the system again. Can you give me more option how to make the brightness work permanently ? Thanks.

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Hmm…
      Thanks for update. In fact I did not check after shutting down. I’ll try again once I go back home and will update the tutorial with a ‘permanent’ solution.

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Working for me even after reboot.

  • steven

    hmmm, it is strange… maybe the option like

    Identifier “card0″
    Driver “intel”
    Option “Backlight” “intel_backlight”
    BusID “PCI:0:2:0″

    have different configuration between us. Can you give me clue how to get that value, so I can adjust in my system. I am using elementary Luna 0.2 FYI. Thanks in advance.

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      What’s the output of this command:

      ls /sys/class/backlight/

  • Reza

    Amazing! It worked for me perfectly on Thinkpad Edge 15 even after reboot. Thanks Abhishek.

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome :)

  • Jbal Tero

    AMAZING! It WORKED for me after so many research!. Sony VAIO VPCEG2AEN.

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Glad that it works for you :)

  • Ashok

    hi,
    i am using Linux mint 16, and is there a possiblity of reducing brightness beyond the function keys can key can provide?
    even in full dim, its too bright for my eyes. Help me out..

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      I think yes, you can change the configuration to tweak the brightness level. I’ll find out once I get back to my home computer.

      • parkcity

        can you please tell me which file to change for additional dimming

  • vikash singh

    ty ty worked very well

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      welcome Vikash :)

  • Henrique Campos

    It worked on sony vaio svt1411bpxs. Thanks!!

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome

  • Deepak

    Thanks it worked for ubuntu 14.04 upgrade from 12.04

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      You are welcome Deepak.

  • Somasundaram Mahesh

    That’s awesome fixed brightness issue on my laptop after years…!

  • Ikhsan Agustian

    works on my 14.04 fresh install

    thanks!

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  • ExitEden

    Worked for me in 14.04 on a Lenovo V570. Thanks for posting this!

  • Kevin

    Not working for me :(
    After doing all of that, when I reboot my system I have a beautiful black screen. It’s like my screen wasn’t even turned on… strange.

    My graphic card is an hybrid intel + ATI mobility radeon 5470 (tricky card, this one). Any ideas?

    • Kevin

      I forgot saying, I’m in Ubuntu 14.04

    • http://mgelbana.blogspot.com/ Muhamma Gelbana

      The same happened to me. To fix this, you have to boot to recovery mode. Which is, when the grub menu appears, don’t choose to boot to ubuntu, there is an another entry that should look something like “Advanced options” or “recover mode”, choose that, then a menu will appear, choose to login as root. Now you have root access to your system but all your disk is mounted in read-only mode. To remount it in a writable state, type the following command “mount -o remount,rw /” then delete the file you created, restart you system, search for another solution and when you find one, please do tell :)

  • dtelaroli

    Work fine in Dell Vostro 3560.
    Thanks.

  • Curtis

    Thank You, so much. My computer was to light and couldn’t see display well. This fixed it.

  • Bharath

    Thanks a lot! The brightness control works now on my Dell Inspiron 15 (3537) with Ubuntu 14.04 on it.

  • Hiro

    Does not work for me. Using Kubuntu 14.04 on a HP Pavilion 14″

    I’ve added acpi_osi=Linux to Grub, and fn keys work for volume, but it’s always pressed, it doesnot release :/

  • christer247

    This is great if you have intel. But I’m having the EXACT same problem with Nvidia Quadro!!! :( Can someone please tell me how to fix it so the FN brightness keys actually changes the brightness? It was only AFTER installing the proprietary Nvidia driver that this problem occured, before with the Nouveau driver I could change brightness without problems.. Also there’s an ugly Nvidia logo screen popping up for about one second during boot right before the login-screen. Can someone help, or point me in any direction please? :)

    • hbhh

      nvidia-331 and prime

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      I have no experience with Nvidia. Perhaps some other readers have a trick.

  • Darter

    Dosn’t work for me :(

    user@Darter:~$ ls /sys/class/backlight/
    acpi_video0 intel_backlight

  • http://awsmcode.wordpress.com Vinay Kumar

    I get this error when I try to create a configuration file

    “touch: cannot touch ‘/usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf’: Permission denied”

    I couldn’t also create a file using gedit in that particular folder as it shows “Permission denied” when I try to save.

    Please help.

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Try the same command with sudo before it:
      sudo touch /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf

  • Black_Cat_PL

    On Dell 14z (N411z) dosn’t work too…

    for command: ls /sys/class/backlight/ —–> I get this answer:
    acpi_video0 intel_backlight

    How to fix this bug? Some body please help…

    • Dario Jimenez

      i have the same problema, have you fix that?

    • rpgmaker

      Same here, have any of you found a fix to this problem? This was working fine up until 13.04. I don’t know what they messed up after that that screwed up this.

  • Marco Gonçalves

    Perfectly, thanks

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      welcome :)

  • sumit

    worked like a charm!!
    i upgraded to ubuntu 14.04 yesterday and was not quite sure what the problem was. Can you please explain a bit more on why this happens though?

  • http://mgelbana.blogspot.com/ Muhamma Gelbana

    This broke my system but I managed to recover. How can I confirm that my APU (Intel graphics integrated to the processor) is actuall card0 and not something else ?

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Thanks for the recovery steps Muhamma. It will surely be useful for other readers.

    • Amar Prabhu

      It broke my system Xubuntu 14 as well.

      acpi_video0 intel_backlight

      I did the same things as you did, came back to report – and same comment.

    • Amar Prabhu

      Found the solution. Update your Grub file in /etc/default/grub to

      GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”quiet splash acpi_backlight=vendor”

      update grub using the command

      update-grub

      Reboot and you are done.

    • Kai

      “…type the following command “mount -o remount,rw /” then delete the file you created”
      How do I delete the file?

      • http://mgelbana.blogspot.com/ Muhamma Gelbana

        rm /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf
        [or]
        cd /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d
        rm 20-intel.conf

        • Felipe

          In my case none of the options deleted the file, when i tried with the first you put, the systems says “it can be deleted system of archives of only lecture” and the 2d option says that doesnt exist the archive or directory plz Help : /

          • http://mgelbana.blogspot.com/ Muhamma Gelbana

            Have you ran this command first ?
            mount -o remount,rw /

          • Felipe

            Yes I started with that command but got the results indicated. : /

          • http://mgelbana.blogspot.com/ Muhamma Gelbana

            Try browsing to the directory so you only need to specify the filename and not the full path. I don’t know how else can this be solved :/

          • Felipe

            Muhamma, finnally the problem was solved, I still cant use the brightness control but my laptop resurrected, it seems my problem was an error in tipying one of the commands line : /

          • http://mgelbana.blogspot.com/ Muhamma Gelbana

            I’m very glad it worked !
            I hope Linux will have better graphics support in the future. I love Linux and I hate to go back to windows again.

  • Pingback: 10 Or 20 Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr [Greg Laden's Blog] | Gaia Gazette

  • Raj

    Thanks, this worked perfectly! I had tried modifying the grub conf before, and that fixed the brightness but had the undesirable effect of causing the system to freeze. Your solution finally did the trick.

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome Raj.

  • Malik

    Thanks Abhishek it worked for me “Linux Mint 16 Cinnamon 64 bit” on Dell inspiron 15 3521

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Thanks for the info that it works on Linux Mint 16 as well.

  • Lazlo

    XUbuntu 14.04 : It works !

  • Amar Prabhu

    For those who this fix did not work (it didnt for me), do the following:

    Update your Grub file, line no 11 in /etc/default/grub to

    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”quiet splash acpi_backlight=vendor”

    update grub using the command

    update-grub

    Reboot and you are done.

    • Sumi

      Hi Amar,
      this worked for me like a charm.

      Thanks.

      • Amar Prabhu

        Cool. Glad it helped.

    • kai

      Thank you, this worked for me. The font seems weird though.

    • Sycokinetic

      I didn’t run update-grup yet, but editing the file and rebooting seems to have fixed all of my function keys. I’m not sure why adding acpi_backlight=vendor would affect more than the backlight, but for now I’m not complaining. :)

    • John Weland

      Great work, now I just need to know what commands to use for my shortcut keys.

    • ANG

      I edit the text, but when I go to save it I get an error “Can’t open file to write” Any suggestions?

      • Amar Prabhu

        Check your permissions.

        • ANG

          Permissions were checked. I spent a few hours trying to find why it wasn’t working when all of a sudden everything clicked and came into play. The fn keys work great now. Thanks!

      • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

        Try to put write access on the file

    • Adam

      how do i edit it

      • Amar Prabhu

        VIM or any other editor. Open it with Super User permissions.

    • Bernardo

      The best solution I have found.

    • Juan

      Thank you Amar!

    • xsoultribex

      i have this kind of set up but its not working in fn

  • Manoj

    Awesome. Thanks yaar…

  • eaglgenes101

    What about those that jumped the gun and installed mir?
    Same procedure? Or do I work with the mir files instead?

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  • Bruno

    Works in Latitude 3540!

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  • petra

    thanks, works great for Dell Vostro 3560 and Mint 16

  • Vitor

    Wow, Linux is so intuitive, it amazes me, ugh.

    Anyway, this fixed the problem for me, thanks.

  • Dumas V

    This did not work for me. When I added the code mentioned above, I get a black screen and will not boot back into Ubuntu. Also, since this is a clean install when booting before this, I have never gotten a screen to allow me to select recovery mode, it normally just boots in Ubuntu from turning on the machine.

    Is there anyway to recover without having to install the OS again?

  • Anto

    thanks a lot, it works :D

  • Pingback: Many Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu 14.04

  • mkrooted

    Thanks very much! It works!

  • fero bernath

    hi guys, this initially broke my Ubuntu 14.04 installed on Packard Bell EasyNote TX86 because the firs quotemark is superfluous. Correctly it should read:

    Section “Device”
    Identifier “card0″
    Driver “intel”
    Option “Backlight” “intel_backlight”
    BusID “PCI:0:2:0″

    EndSection

    Once I corrected the entry, all is OK and the hardware buttons for screen brightness work like a charm. Hope it helps.

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Hi Fero,

      If you copy paste it, the first ” will not appear.

  • Angalan

    Doen’t work even for me…
    Samsung NP900X3D

    for command: ls /sys/class/backlight/:
    intel_backlight samsung

  • ameer

    amazing! thanks a lot man, thank you so much!

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      welcome..

  • monika

    couldn’t do.. this is coming -> “touch: cannot touch ‘/usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf’: Permission denied ” after entering this “touch /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf”.. help me asap..

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      try sudo before it. I am editing the article.

      • monika

        thanks .. :D it worked :D

  • monika

    i hv ubuntu 14.04

  • http://www.mdcconcepts.com/ Aniket

    for lenovo z570 and similar use ” echo 150 > /sys/class/backlight/intel_backlight/brightness ” in terminal with root access.

    For diffrenet brightness, change 150 to any othe number (ex. replace 150 to 250 for more brightness)

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Thanks for sharing Aniket. I hope it works for many.

  • Lyes Alger

    waw its ok for me thx a lot

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      glad it helped you

  • Ali Rıza Şahinkaya
    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      The link is not in English but it may help someone. Thanks.

  • nicolausgr

    Great! It works perfectly on a Dell Inspiron with Intel Graphics card & Ubuntu 14.04. Thanks!

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      welcome

  • Martin

    Finally!!! Thank you for this solution! I updated my eeepc from Lubuntu 13.10 to 14.04 and suddenly the brightness problem appeard. But with the configuration file:

    sudo touch /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf

    Now we need to edit this file. You can use any editor be it a terminal one or graphical.

    sudo gedit /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf

    Add the following lines to this file:

    Section “Device”
    Identifier “card0″
    Driver “intel”
    Option “Backlight” “intel_backlight”
    BusID “PCI:0:2:0″

    It works!!!! Thank you!!!!

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome Martin :)

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  • http://followthegeeks.com Mohamed Semlali

    It works on 14.04.

  • lemming

    great work, dude! After searching for a solution on my eeepc 1215n (editing grub didnt work) for days (cummulative) you finally brought light to me (shining through my screen into my face now)! thanks alot, man!

  • Redga

    It worked lika a charm!! Thank you so much.

    Every time that I power on, the brightness is at full, is there any way that the system “remembers” the level of brightness in which I power it off?

  • Howard

    it works for me. Thanks!

    • Howard

      btw my model is lenovo w540 ubuntu 64 trusty

  • snaprails

    You Star! Worked a treat on Packard Bell Easynote TJ65. Lack of brightness control had been annoying the hell out of me since install :-)

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      welcome

  • Prashant

    Thank you very much !!

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      welcome Prashant

  • ishan bakshi

    hi, i could not find the 20-intel.conf file in this location: /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf . My graphics driver is “Mobile Intel® GM45 Express Chipset x86/MMX/SSE2″. Any suggestions plz ?

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  • jeremy5321

    Some using ubuntu 14.04 and LM17 might need to add video.use_native_backlight=1

  • shthek

    worked like a charm for me. Thanks!

  • Pingback: Ubuntu 14.04 Intel Brightness After Resume - Tech Forum Network

  • lucky

    Worked for me, thanks!! Lenovo z570 with Ubuntu 14.04.

  • ubermook

    You are a genius! I had been searching for a solution for this for so long and it has worked. Now I can use my Lenovo b570 with Linux on battery. At last. Thank you!

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome ubermook :)

  • WayOutt

    Man!THANKS!!!!Lenovo v570 (i3 2310 geForce 525,OpenSuse Tumbleweed) works with xorg & grub flags.

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome :)

  • Jilguero ostras

    Thank you very much. It also works on Ubuntu 13.10.
    Jilguero.

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      You are welcome Jilguero

  • http://www.it-consulting.am Vahe Sahakyan

    Hi, thank you very much.

    Perfect solution !!!!

    I have same problem with my HP Probook 470g0. with the graphic card Intel® Ivybridge Mobile.

    It’s works and fixed the issue.
    Thank’s again
    Vahe

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome Vahe :)

  • Mihai

    Thanks!!!

    Had the same issue on a HP Probook 4540s – Ubuntu 14.04.

    Problem solved!

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome Mihai

  • Seji

    Works perfectly on Linux Mint 17 @ ASUS UL80-VT

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Glad to hear that :)

  • gomaaz

    saved my day on Xubuntu 14.04 64bit. Thanks!

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      good to hear that :)

  • Gleise

    Thanks a lot! I just upgraded my Ubuntu 12.04 to 14.04 and had no idea what was happening. Your post saved me a lot of time.

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome Gleise

  • John Weland

    So I followed this tutorial and it didn’t work… at first. I then followed the “featured comment” by Amar Prabhu and my brightness control DOES work now via slider however I still have to setup my shortcut keys and I’m not sure what command I need to send on the hotkeys to make it work.

  • ANG

    Abhishek, I can create the file but when I try to edit the text and save it I get an error that I don’t have permissions to do that. I’m on 14.04. What would you suggest?

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Did you try sudo?

      Also, can you put the write access on it using command line:

      sudo chmod u+w /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf

  • jk

    Thanks, work fine for me. Ubuntu 14.04

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      welcome jK

  • Dan

    Awesome! Thanks

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      welcome

  • ミチャルド

    Thanks! It worked at the first try! :D

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      welcome :)

  • esculapweb

    thanks! it works for me and now my eyes can work again)

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      welcome :)

  • Kuro

    Has any one figured out a legit way to fix the brightness issues on a computer that has an Nvidia graphics card? Because I have been looking around for a while and I haven’t had any luck…..

    My graphics card as stated in my detail: GeForce GTX 660M/PCIe?SSe2

  • Hnizil Mehdi

    thanks lot .

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome

  • Michael Garofano

    The standard fix on this page worked HP 8440p, Xubuntu 14.04

  • kinjal

    It worked for me. I installed Ubuntu 14.04 on Dell Inspiron series laptop and lost brightness control function. Got your steps fix this problem at first attempt. Thanks

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      You are welcome Kinjal

  • Kevin

    Many thanks, worked on my Samsung S3510 Laptop with Mint 17.

    Just make sure you don’t copy the first “

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      It shouldn’t be copied. Its just themes that puts ” before quotes.

  • Kaushal

    Worked perfectly on Acer Aspire V3 on Ubuntu 14.04 with Intel® Ivybridge Mobile. Thanks! :)

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome Kaushal.

  • jonah

    thanks dude, worked perfect on my sony vaio

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome Jonah

  • tim lion

    fuck yeah!
    worked for me, thanks mate…

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      you are welcome Tim :)

  • anom

    Not only did this not work, but the limited information given in this tutorial caused me to ruin the graphics driver. Now mdm will not start. Thanks a lot.

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      you can revert the changes from the command line at login and reinstall unity again.

  • parkcity

    Thanks works great!! is therea way to dim even more? can you please tell us which file to configure?

  • aby337

    works great..THANK YOU :)

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome

  • Alaskan

    thank you :)

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome Alaskan..

  • Orestis Gorgas

    The article method worked for Inspiron 15 3521.

  • Tsvetelina

    Thank you it worked! :)

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome :)

  • xsoultribex

    20-intel.conf i dont have this kind of file.. can you tell me why? im using ubuntu 14.04 LTS kernel 3.13.0.32 generic

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      You’ll have to create it.

  • Ati Rosselet

    worked for opensuse 13.1 on vostro 3560 w/radeon+intel
    Thanks – now I have screen brightness control back!!

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome Ati :)

  • Thejas

    Thanks for the blog. Brightness settings were configured successfully on my dell intel laptop.

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      You are welcome Thejas

  • Venk

    it worked !!!

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome Venk

  • guestname

    Worked for my Asus UL50VT w/ Mint 17! Thank you very much, I’m surprised that it was so simple to fix yet nobody else had something that worked for me.

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome. Things are often less complicated.