Q: How do I configure my Sun workstation to make the monitor save energy?


It depends on the window system you are using.

  • CDE: Right click on the workspace (root window background) and select Programs... (or Tools and then Desktop Controls under Solaris 8) and then Style Manager... (renamed Screen Style Manager under Solaris 8). Click on Screen.

    Make sure that Screen Saver in On, Blank Screen is highlighted, and select the time you want to wait after the keyboard/mouse become idle before the monitor goes to sleep in the Start Saver line (10 minutes is the recommended value).

    Also make sure that Screen Lock is on and enter the same time as above on the Start Lock line (the lock automatically triggers the screen saver).

  • OpenWindows: Enter the following two lines in the file ~/.Xdefaults (if not already there), creating that file if necessary:
    XLock.mode:             blank
    XLock.enablesaver:      on
    
    Bring up the Workspace menu by clicking on the root window background and select Properties.... Pull down the Miscellaneous category.

    On the Screen Saver line, click on Auto and enter the time you want to wait after the keyboard/mouse become idle before the monitor goes to sleep. Click on Apply and logout.

  • other: Use the xset s command (e.g., xset s 600 will make the monitor go to sleep after 10 minutes of keyboard/mouse inactivity) and make sure you have the same ~/.Xdefaults entries as in the OpenWindows case above.
  • If, after leaving your computer unattended for quite a while (e.g., overnight), you find that the monitor's power light is green and there is heat coming out from the top/back of the monitor, the energy saving feature is not working. You should turn off the power to your monitor whenever you leave for more than an hour or so to prevent premature screen wear (in addition to saving energy of course).