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Screen hacks for your Raspberry Pi

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raspberry-pi
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Screen hacks for your Raspberry Pi

The following are hacks I need to keep in mind while using my Raspberry Pi, these hacks work for me, they may or may not work for you. To help you make sure we’re talking to apples, I’ll give you a run down of my hardware setup.

My Raspberry Pi Hardware

The Issues I ran into.

Blank screen/not booting for anything other than Raspberry Pi OS.

For some reason, if I picked any OS besides Raspberry Pi OS, the screen would boot up, the OS would start loading.. and then either be stuck on a grey window, or just go blank never to be seen again, and it would never finish a headless setup, so I couldn’t SSH in to troubleshoot things.

After lots of trial and error and googling, I’ve found the issue has to do with my use of the Official LCD. To fix this, I need to add the following line to config.txt on the SD card.

dtoverlay=vc4-kms-dsi-7inch

You can edit the settings however you want, but this is needed to get the official LCD to work with a lot of distributions, like Ubuntu, LibeElec, OSMC.

Screen doesn’t go blank when in in Text only mode.

Once I had everything working, I prefer to boot into text only mode. But, with that I noticed that the screen doesn’t time out anymore. It’s always fully bright and the prompt to login is always on. It’s 2022, so I’m not concerned about burn in or anything like that, but it’s just annoying to see the screen on at full brightness. So, I was inspired by this blog post and decided to blank my screen 3 minutes after booting or console activity.

Blank the console in 3 minutes

TERM=linux setterm -blank 3 >/dev/tty1

Check blanking time upon boot.

cat /sys/module/kernel/parameters/consoleblank