Subject: Re: Screenblank does not work properly
To: J. T. Nelson <>
From: Dion van der Grijp <>
List: port-i386
Date: 05/05/2005 06:28:00
On 04 May, 2005, at 23:25, J. T. Nelson wrote:

> I am having trouble with screenblank with v2.  Turning on screenblank 
> causes
> the screen to blank after the specified period of inactivity.  
> However, I
> can not get the screen to turn back on by touching keys on the 
> keyboard.  I
> have tried all of the settings such as -i /dev/wskbd, -i /dev/console, 
> etc.,
> but no luck.  The only way I can get the screen to come back on is by
> logging on as root.
> I am using wscons with 4 screens.
> I have not observed this problem with X, but have not had the screen 
> blank
> under X either.
> Is this a bug in screenblank, or is there some obscure switch that 
> needs to
> be set somewhere, such as in wscons.conf?
> Thanks in advance.
> JTNelson

AFAICT this problem has been around for many years.  Something seems to 
be fundamentally wrong
with this piece of code, and somehow nobody has succeeded in making it 
work properly.  It's
not clear why it cannot be made to work, and what exactly is preventing 
that from happening.
FreeBSD, for example, has a properly functioning screen blanker - why 
not NetBSD?

I'm guessing that part of the problem (for NetBSD) is getting the 
screen blanking function to
work across all architectures as non-specifically as possible, which 
would probably not be that

Yes, there are other more pressing matters to attend to, but this one 
needs attention too. :-)
I would really like to see screenblank work properly.  I've been 
wondering: what does everyone
else out there running NetBSD do?  Switch of the terminal when leaving 
for a while?  Or just
allow the screen to burn in? :-)  Perhaps (I'm guessing) a lot of users 
rely on screen blanking
as provided in the X Window environment, and that's great, but what 
about those who do _not_
use a GUI environment?  They also need the screen to go blank.

Somehow a non-functioning screen blanker detracts from NetBSD's other 
good characteristics.

"Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly."
                     --Henry Spencer (Usenet signature, November 1987)