Brightness control? (Toshiba netbook)

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ander111
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Brightness control? (Toshiba netbook)

Post by ander111 »

Hi guys,

Sorry if someone has already asked about this---I searched the forum but couldn't find anything.

I've replaced Windows 7 with Linux Mint 9 (Isadora) here on my Toshiba NB255 netbook. Everything works great, except that I can't control the display brightness, which is always at maximum (yowch!).

The netbook's Fn keys don't work (which I understand is common because the proprietary driver for them is OS-dependent). And when I open Gnome's Power Management Preferences, no Brightness sliders appear on the "AC Power" or "Battery Power" panels.

Is there some other way to set this up? I've searched the Web for hours, but all I've found that seems related are some mysterious references to something called "Gconf", whose geekery quotient is over my head.

System Profiler says this netbook has an "Intel N10 Family Integrated Graphics Controller".

Except for the blinding display, Linux is so obviously superior, esp. on less-powerful systems like this... It'll be great when these kinds of things eventually get fixed, so we can freely recommend it to our Windows-addicted friends.

Thanks for your help. Cheers, ander

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richyrich
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Re: Brightness control? (Toshiba netbook)

Post by richyrich »

At boot time, use the key-combo to get into setup . . see if you can adjust it there for both ac and dc ! :)

ander111
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Re: Brightness control? (Toshiba netbook)

Post by ander111 »

richyrich wrote:At boot time, use the key-combo to get into setup . . see if you can adjust it there for both ac and dc ! :)
I think you're referring to BIOS. Thanks, but unfortunately this netbook's BIOS has no display settings.
Last edited by ander111 on Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:24 pm, edited 4 times in total.

ander111
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Re: Brightness control? (Toshiba netbook)

Post by ander111 »

[deleted by poster]
Last edited by ander111 on Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:22 pm, edited 7 times in total.

ander111
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Re: Brightness control? (Toshiba netbook)

Post by ander111 »

Unfortunately, running Linux Mint on my netbook, with no way to dim the display, is quickly draining the battery.

So if anyone comes up with a way to restore this basic functionality, please help. I'm sure lots of other people will appreciate it too.

ander111
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Re: Brightness control? (Toshiba netbook)

Post by ander111 »

Still no answer for this?

Sorry, but if no one can share a solution for this, I'll have to go back to Windows. I'd like to use Linux Mint, but it's just not practical to cut my battery life in half just because I can't dim the display.

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Re: Brightness control? (Toshiba netbook)

Post by WoodCAT »

Before you jump the ship, try the mint10. Or different distro :oops: . Mint10 is using newer kernel which can provide better driver for you netbook.

btw. I had same problem on my Lenovo t510 laptop if I install nvidia proprietary drivers I can't control the brightness so I stick with nouveau drivers which work just fine.

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Re: Brightness control? (Toshiba netbook)

Post by MechaKong »

Have you tried using the Brightness Applet? I have a Toshiba laptop that has the same issue with it's function keys in Linux, and using the Brightness Applet works well.

1. On the Mint desktop, right click on your task panel
2. Select "Add to Panel"
3. Then select the "Brightness Applet" and click "Add"

Once added, the Brightness Applet will allow you adjust your screen's brightness with a slider which can be controlled with either your mouse or your arrow keys.

ander111
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Re: Brightness control? (Toshiba netbook)

Post by ander111 »

Thanks, guys. I'm away from the system right now, but I'll try your ideas as soon as I can.
WoodCAT wrote:btw. I had same problem on my Lenovo t510 laptop if I install nvidia proprietary drivers I can't control the brightness so I stick with nouveau drivers which work just fine.
What are the "nouveau drivers" and how would I use them?

WoodCAT
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Re: Brightness control? (Toshiba netbook)

Post by WoodCAT »

ander111 wrote: What are the "nouveau drivers" and how would I use them?
They are open source drivers for nVidia cards. They are included with Mint install.

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Re: Brightness control? (Toshiba netbook)

Post by dhinds »

The issue you mention is one of those I've had to deal with on a ThinkPad X100e which was a bit sluggish running Mint 9 64 bit so I burned live CDs/DVDs for the lighter weight 32 bit versions of Mint (LXDE, FluBox and XFCE) as well as the Netbook Edition of Ubuntu (which I am using here now) and I can tell you that the Fn Key + the Brightness Keys combination definitely DOES work with Ubuntu Netbook Edition.

I am searching for solutions to a number of issues (i.e. being able to turn off the touchpad, reading and writing to NTFS partitions, getting my windoze PIM -EccoPro- running under Wine, Wireless drivers etc) and don't recall which of the 3 or 4 versions of Mint responded to the Brightness Control Commands but as I recall, some of them did, so burn some disks (including the Ubuntu Netbook Edition) and give them a try.

(My main problem was not being able to brighten the screen after the OS dimmed it, so it was an important issue, as I had to reboot).

Hope that helps.

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Re: Brightness control? (Toshiba netbook)

Post by knireis »

on my aspire one netbook the mint debian edition works fine with the fn button. However on my HP g62 it does not, also the brightness aplet does not work.

ander111
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Re: Brightness control? (Toshiba netbook)

Post by ander111 »

ander111 wrote:What are the "nouveau drivers" and how would I use them?
WoodCAT wrote:They are open source drivers for nVidia cards...
Oh, okay, thanks for the idea, but as I mentioned this machine has Intel graphics...

Guys, I'm still waiting for a chance to try your kind suggestions. I had to temporarily switch back to the Window$ h/d for a trip out of town. Will get back to the "real" OS as soon as possible & let you know how it goes. (LM is on an SSD, so I'm motivated to return to it for more than one reason!)

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Re: Brightness control? (Toshiba netbook)

Post by WoodCAT »

I wasn't actually suggesting you to use these driver, just using my laptop driver as a example. I wish I could help you, but I have never owned intel video card. Google is your friend. I just found how to get the brightness control going while using nVidia drivers. :D :D :D
( add Option "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1" in xorg.conf )

good luck

ander111
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Re: Brightness control? (Toshiba netbook)

Post by ander111 »

WoodCAT wrote:I wasn't actually suggesting you to use these driver, just using my laptop driver as a example. I wish I could help you, but I have never owned intel video card.
Oh, okay. Actually it was a good idea for you to mention the Nvidia solution, as other LM users with these kinds of problems may end up seeing this thread.
MechaKong wrote:Have you tried using the Brightness Applet?
I tried it, but it has no effect. As soon as I try to do anything with it, it closes. It also shows the screen as being at minimum brightness. I assume that reflects the OS's inability to address the hardware.
dhinds wrote: don't recall which of the 3 or 4 versions of Mint responded to the Brightness Control Commands but as I recall, some of them did, so burn some disks (including the Ubuntu Netbook Edition) and give them a try.

I'd really prefer to stay with Gnome rather than one of the scaled-down window managers. It also seems unlikely that any of them would include extra, specialized stuff like drivers for specialized hardware, when they're intended to be lighter (no pun intended).

I'm glad to know Ubuntu Netbook Edition can probably handle this. I did try it on a friend's system a while back, but was much more impressed with LM, you know? :?)

Anyway, I'm downloading UNE and LM Debian as we speak. (When you have a family and a business, you usually have to do fun things like this one bit at a time.) Cheers, ander

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Re: Brightness control? (Toshiba netbook)

Post by ander111 »

Okay, I finally had a chance to try LM 10 (Debian) and Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10.

Ubuntu Netbook Edition:

_ The hardware brightness keys had no effect.

_ The Brightness applet had no effect (as with LM 9), and there were no brightness settings in Power Management.

And I must say, it's all moot anyway—because even if UNE had let me control brightness, I'd never want to use it. I found its interface maddening. Taskbar at the top of the screen, and it's practically blank? No main menu, just a long stack of icons at the left—unlabeled, so you have to hover on them to see what any of them are? No context menus anywhere?

I finally figured out how to see the apps: You go all the way to the bottom of the icons, click the one called "Applications", and a launcher appears. Then it disappears each time you run something—so each time you want to run something, you have to scroll to the bottom of the icons again till you see "Applications"... Am I missing something obvious? (Well, end of rant.)

Linux Mint 10:

_ Hardware brightness keys had no effect.

_ LM 10's new interface certainly is pretty (and so logical, after UNE!). But the Brightness applet had no effect, and no brightness settings were available in Power Management.

BTW:

_ Whenever I've tried adding the Brightness applet, it's actually appeared with a "no" symbol (red circle with diagonal) on its icon. So it's clearly not finding a way to work.

_ In both LM 9 and 10, the CompizConfig app includes a "Opacity, Brightness, and Saturation" section that lets you set hotkeys for increasing/decreasing brightness. And they work, but only for the active window. And only that instance of it—so if you dim a window, then exit and re-run the same app, you have to dim it again. Can't say I see the practicality of that.

Well, thanks for trying, guys. This is too bad, because Linux seems perfect for netbooks. It's so much faster, more secure on the Net, doesn't bog down with fragmentation... I'd sure like to use it, and I'm sorry to have to "jump ship" back to Window$ over something that's not even on the screen. But unless you have any more ideas...

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Re: Brightness control? (Toshiba netbook)

Post by m4daredsun »

Same problem on my T130 with Linux Mint 9, 10 and Ubuntu 10.10 desktop (32 and 64 bit).

The only way I've found so far to dim the brightness is to open a terminal and type

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sudo setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=90
The last number can be anything between 0 and FF (hex: 0 ... 99 ... FF). If you type exactly the above line, you should reduce the brightness from the max value FF to 90.

Not very practical :roll: :roll: :roll: , but at least it does something...
The only limiting factor of the Linux operating system is its user - Linus Torvalds

ander111
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Re: Brightness control? (Toshiba netbook)

Post by ander111 »

Just tried it (with various values), but unfortunately it does nothing. Brightness is clearly driver-dependent on this thing. Thanks for the suggestion though.

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Re: Brightness control? (Toshiba netbook)

Post by Txnca »

I just read in one of the forums here about something called Toshiba functions. The guy said to do an "apt search tosh" in terminal and several would come up. One of them does do the display on laptops as this is specifically written for Toshiba laptops. You should find several things but the one that you should install if I am remembering correctly is "toshutils". It has all sorts of things for the Toshiba laptops though in it which I bet almost anything would also work on their netbooks.
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ander111
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Re: Brightness control? (Toshiba netbook)

Post by ander111 »

The apt search showed references to "toshutils" and "toshset". Synaptic says that toshutils and toshset are already installed in LM 9. When I try "sudo apt-get install toshutils", I see:

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toshutils is already the newest version
But how do I run them? I can't find a bit of info on the Web about actually using them. Even the official website doesn't give you a clue. Anyone know?

When I try running "sudo toshutils", I get:

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sudo: toshutils: command not found
"man toshutils" returns:

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no manual entry for toshutils
When I try to run toshset, I get:

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required kernel toshiba support not enabled
Say what? Help!

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