Failed to get `xbacklight` to work without `xf86-video-intel`

This is a follow-up to this post:

I managed to solve the problem described in that post by uninstalling xf86-video-intel from my system, but now xbacklight no longer works.

I followed the steps described in this archwiki post:

The article has a section describing the "No outputs have backlight property" error that I’m currently facing. The proposed solution is that I add a /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf file with the following contents:

Section "Device"
    Identifier  "Intel Graphics"
    Driver      "intel"
    Option      "Backlight"  "intel_backlight"

Note: I did check /sys/class/backlight and verified that the symbolic link intel_backlight exists in that directory.

However, when I rebooted, the boot process was stuck (I couldn’t even access the TTY), so I had to press the power button to turn the machine off.

The logs for the failed boot can be found here:

Can anyone help me shed some light on this?

Have you tried xorg-xbacklight?

And config setting listed here, point 6.

@Zircon34 Thanks for the reply. Yes. All of that is already inside my i3 config file. As I mentioned in my post, xbacklight was functioning before I removed the xf86-video-intel package.

But now, every time I used xbacklight, it gives a “No outputs have backlight property.”

The archwiki provides a solution, but it didn’t work for me.

Just wondering if you have the xorg-xbacklight package installed and not xbacklight. The former works for me the latter not.

sudo pacman -S xorg-xbacklight

Just in case that helps. Also logout and back in to test.

Else there are other backlight packages, would have to check.


xorg-xbacklight is already installed on my system.

try brightnessctl.

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There you go! Also need to change the config file? Right.

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@Zircon34 @Shjim

Yup. I’m aware that there are other tools out there for brightness control. I’m just trying to understand why the solution proposed in ArchWiki ( didn’t work for me.

I did this, and it prevented my machine from booting. I don’t understand what went wrong.

To be honest, I am not sure, perhaps incorrect driver name?

Arch wiki says:

Xorg configuration
Note: The following requires xf86-video-intel.
There may be no need for any configuration to run Xorg.

However, if Xorg does not start, and to take advantage of some driver options, you can create an Xorg configuration file similar to the one below:

Section "Device"
  Identifier "Intel Graphics"
  Driver "intel"

Hence uninstalling xf86-video-intel may not work with that config.

Edit: something I found in the arch wiki, try setting the kernel parameter as i915.enable_dpcd_backlight=1. To be honest I never had those problems on Intel graphics, just giving a couple of possible ideas. You can try this without making it permanent by pressing the correct key combo upon booting in grup, I think it is e. Then adding the kernel parameter.

One obscure point that is easy to miss with using xorg-xbacklight and the xbacklight command line tool, the user executing the command has to be in the video group.

There used to be (and probably still is) an installation message that indicates this.

HTH if you get back there.

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In the end, it was a choice between light or brightnessctl.

Went with brightnessctl because it is easier to use.

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