4 Ways to Fix the Laptop Brightness Problem In Ubuntu

4 min

Four quick ways to fix the everlasting Laptop brightness problem in Ubuntu.

Ubuntu plus most of the Linux distributions always had issues with Laptop brightness. The default hardware controllers never in the Laptop keyboard worked most of the time after a fresh install.


Follow below definite steps that worked till now for most of the Laptop based on feedback on this website at our old article.

The described methods worked for the below models (so far). For the complete list of Laptops/Desktops where either of these four methods worked, refer to the list at the bottom of this article.

  • ASUS G75-VW
  • Dell Vostro 3000 Series
  • Samsung RV411 Series

Fix the Laptop Brightness Problem In Ubuntu

Method 1: Fix Brightness Enabling Laptop Specific Drivers

  • Open the file /etc/default/grub using gedit or any other text editor.
    Find the below line.
  • Change above line to:
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash acpi_backlight=vendor"
grub update for brightness control
grub update for brightness control

This would ensure to load device specific drivers before default drivers in Linux.

  • Save the file and close the text editor.
  • Open the terminal and run the below command.
  • Reboot.

After reboot, try adjusting the brightness using Laptop dedicated control keys.


Method 2: Fix Brightness Using a Software

If the above method did not work, you can try below method using an app.

This app called ‘Brightness Controller‘ is capable to control display using a simple GUI. It supports multiple displays as well.

The app is available in PPA. You can run below command to install it Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak, Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:apandada1/brightness-controller
sudo apt update
sudo apt install brightness-controller

For other download options, you can refer to this page.


After install, you can find it under the application menu or search it in Dash. Once opened you can see a bar that controls the display brightness which you can adjust as per your need.

Method 3: Fix Brightness by configuring X11

Follow this method if none of the above fixes work. This should be the last resort.

Open a terminal session. Then browse to the X11 config file path /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d

cd /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d

If you do not find any file in the above path, then check the below path for the configuration. This is mainly for those systems where you have logged in as a local user and not a root user.

cd  /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d

Then list the files via ls. You can see something like below.

X11 Path
X11 Path

For this example, you can see it has a file named 10-evdev.conf. For your system, it might be different. So open the file via test editor as root.

sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-evdev.conf

Add below lines entirely at the end of this file and save the file.

Section "Device"
Identifier "Device0"
Driver "nvidia"
VendorName "NVIDIA Corporation"
Option "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1"

Sample file below:

Editing the conf file
Editing the conf file

Once you are done, restart the system.

You should be able to control the brightness now using the laptop hardware keys.

Method 4: Fix Brightness using xrandr

If none of the above methods give you hope, then try the following method. This uses xrandr’s properties, which is the official config utility for X server Resize and Rotate.

Open a terminal and find out the name of your display using the below command. In the below screenshot, you can see two outputs because in my test system two displays are there.

xrandr | grep " connected" | cut -f1 -d " "

So, next is to change the brightness using the display name. So, use the following command by changing the monitor name. In this example I have used eDP-1 which is my system’s display. The brightness value range is 0 to 1, where 0 is the dimmest and 1 is the brightest.

brightness control using xrandr
brightness control using xrandr
xrandr --output eDP-1 --brightness 0.7

To revert, you can use the above command with brightness=1.

Drop a comment if any of these methods worked for your laptop. Don’t forget to mention your Laptop model for the benefit of others.

Above methods are tested and working well in below Ubuntu releases:

  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, Ubuntu 17.10, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Ubuntu 19.10, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

List of hardware (Laptops, Desktops) where either of the above method worked till now (updated June 2020):

  • Toshiba C-665
    Toshiba Tecra A9-S9016X
  • Dell Vostro 3000 Series
    Dell Latitude E6530
    Dell XPS 15
  • Samsung RV411 Series
    Samsung Notebook NP370R5E
  • Intel HD4000
    Acer Aspire 5810
    Lenovo G580
    LG P430
    HP Pavilion G Series
    Gigabyte Aero15
  • ASUS G75-VW
  • ASUS K52F

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