Managing HDMI output from console,


As I keep building mi “poor’s man monitoring sbc” I now wish I could turn on and off the display depending on various factors.

As I am targeting a console only model (no X server) what I have researched suggests I would require the “vbetool” or “tvservice” packages, but tit seems they are not available for ARM (I am using an Odroid C2, which has aarch64 AKA ARM64 AKA ARMv8 SoC).

“xset” and “randr” work only with Xserver, and !setterm" doesn’ t seem to work when in tmux.

So my question is if either vbetool ortvservice could be added to DietPi, or perhaps there is some hard limitation that makes it impossible.

Thanks in advance.

Of course thinks could be added but as always, more request than time to implement all things. In general DietPi is developed and maintained by a single person, with the help of the community. You are welcome to support implementing stuff :wink:


Yes, I know adding things means more work for the developers, and in fact I am not actually making a request (not yet at least) but simply asking about it.

The fact that “vbetool” seems to be available only for x86 and no distro seems to have an ARM port available actually made me wonder if it can be even built for ARM at all.

I am very new to DietPi and some of the things I am trying to put together around it in this project, so I still don’t know which are voluntary choices and which are hardware limitations.

About community collaboration, I am not a software developer but I might get involved in other ways…


yes vbetool is not available on ARM board.

Regarding setterm: you could try putting it into a service file. This way it could be executed from CLI

  1. create a script file
setterm --blank 1 --powerdown 2
  1. create service file /etc/systemd/system/screen-off.service
Description=Blank screen after 1 min and turn it off after 2 min. Any keypress will turn it back on.


  1. Make the script executable
chmod +x /path_to_your_script/
  1. start the service
systemctl start screen-off.service

Your screen should blank in 1 minute

@Joulinar, thank you for all the time you put up helping users in the forum, it doesn’ t go unnoticed!

I will check your suggestions, and setterm is an option I haven’ t tested enough yet.

I have made a few first attempts though and so far, when issued within a tmux session, I haven’t succeeded. For what I gather setterm works on “real” terminals (ttyNN) and tmux panes are more like software/virtual terminals (tttyS), you might see ti as somewhere between a raw hardware console and an emulated “X” terminal.

But I have only tinkered with tmux for a couple of hours yet, so don’ t take my word for it

on my test, using the service was working quite well. At least I could blank my screen by have it running from a SSH session :slight_smile: However it was not going into power-safe mode.