I saw you wrote an article a few days ago about how to change the sleep delay time on a Windows computer. How do I do the same thing on Ubuntu Linux?
I’m always tempted to start any Linux tutorial, particularly Ubuntu Linux, with the phrase “if you can do it on Windows, you can do it more easily in Linux”, but this is one case where that’s not actually true. It’s not that the sleep settings aren’t accessible through System Settings, just like it would be on a Mac or Windows PC, but that the actual settings you want to change are in two places, not just one.
There’s also probably a command line way to change these settings, but really, I love the command line, but if there’s a graphical alternative, that’s what I’ll use 99% of the time!
The terminology between a Windows/Mac and Linux system are different too, as will be obvious as we jump into it. To start, boot up your Ubuntu Linux system and log in. On the top right, you should see a gear icon that gains you access to the main system menu:
As highlighted, you want to choose “System Settings…” to get to where all the system configuration and preference changes can be specified with your Ubuntu Linux server or desktop system. There are a lot of them and yes, it looks a whole lot like both the Windows and Mac system config window too:
To start out, let’s jump into the “Brightness & Lock” options window on the top row. Its options are as shown:
This is where you want to decide about the balance between a fast screen sleep to save power when running on battery versus the annoyance of an overly fast sleep that means you can’t just stare at a page and think about what you’re reading. Or read it at all!
I have it set to 5 minutes, but that’s still too short. I suggest 10-15 minutes as a good choice for this option.
The other System Setting you want to examine are the “Power” settings. Those options are as shown:
If you have the system wait 30 minutes to sleep, but suspend when inactive for less, the suspend is going to win and your system will be shutting down faster than you expect. Hence the need to check both settings to ensure that your Ubuntu Linux computer works as you desire.
One possibility: Never suspend your system, as highlighted. Or at least make sure it’s not shorter than your time-to-sleep setting!
Oh, and one more setting. When you do return from sleep, does it prompt for your password each time, driving you another level of crazy? You can change that behavior in System Settings by choosing “Security & Privacy“. Here’s what you can change:
Easy enough to disable it requiring your password when it “wakes from suspend”, as you can see. Hope that helps you fine tune your Ubuntu Linux system settings.
Pro Tip: While you’re here, check out our extensive Linux help area. Tons of useful articles!