How to fix laptop brightness and controls Linux EndeavourOS minimal install

Note to anyone trying to do a minimal install, (example being me rocking DWM with no display manager gang gang) or potentially any install of Linux-based OS as I have regarding problems with dedicated keyboard shortcuts and display brightness.

I will revise this as I am not entirely sure if every step is necessary.

  1. Install acpi with sudo pacman -Syu acpi

  2. Edit the GRUB bootloader configuration file with a text editor and admin permissions.

For me, that’s sudo nano /etc/default/grub. Go to the line GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="" and in-between the "" (two quotes) input acpi_backlight=, with any of the three variables after the equals (=) sign: video, vendor, or native.
For me native worked, but it will probably be either of the former for you.

  1. Update the GRUB config and reboot. The easiest way to do this is executing update-grub with administrator permissions and rebooting via inputing sudo grub-update; reboot in the terminal. You may have to use yay to install grub-update from the AUR with yay -Sy grub-update

  2. Install xfce4-power-manager via the command sudo pacman -Syu xfce4-power-manager. You can test xfce4-power-manager in the terminal by itself by running the command, and seeing if your brightness controls work. Try a GUI app or xbacklight or something of the sort if the actual keyboard doesn’t yield results.

  3. Edit your .xinitrc with a text editor and administrative permissions. This will execute xfce4-power-manager automatically at startup every time you boot your system. If you don’t have an .xinitrc, create one. Add xfce4-power-manager as a separate line to execute at startup. If you have nothing within your .xinitrc, you can get away with adding exec xfce4-power-manager and saving the file.

  4. Reboot and test your brightness. Everything should be set and ready to go. Congrats!


Instead of # update-grub, which you have to install first, you should use:
# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

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I wouldn’t bother installing it. If you are bothered by the full command, make an alias in your .bashrc:

alias update-grub="grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg"

On my HP i did not install anything. I just used the parameter acpi_backlight=video. i do’t have backlit keyboard.