Restoring screen brightness step size on XFCE4

Posted by Nate Bargmann on Tue, Feb 21, 2012

I’ve been annoyed by the behavior of recent Debian/XFCE4/GNOME3 releases that have reduced the number of screen brightness levels from the T60’s default of 8 to 4.  The problem seems to stem from the removal of hal from recent desktop standards development.  I posted this question to a couple of related mailing lists and learned the above from Debian bug report 627336 and XFCE bug report 7541.

The work-around is to disable XFCE’s handling of the screen brightness hotkeys as follows:

xfconf-query -c xfce4-power-manager -n -t bool -p /xfce4-power-manager/change-brightness-on-key-events -s false

xfconf-query -c xfce4-power-manager -n -t bool -p /xfce4-power-manager/show-brightness-popup -s false

The first command disables XFCE’s handling of the hotkeys and the second disables XFCE’s On Screen Display.