SUMMARY: weird screenblank behavior

From: Steven Giovannetti (
Date: Tue Sep 03 1991 - 14:02:11 CDT

The original question:

     Is anyone experiencing strange problems with /bin/screenblank? I have
had problems with screens blanking and not coming back when a user types a key
or moves the mouse. The machine is perfectly fine otherwise. You can telnet
into the things but the screen remains dark. Killing screenblank often clears
up the problem, but sometimes even that doesn't help. I am running 4.1.1 and
most of the problems seem to be happening on my SPARCstation I hosts.

Some extra information I left out:

     I have been running ntpd that constantly re-adjusts the time. The problem
happens more frequently on systems that are running the MIT X11R4 server. It
has happened only once on an system running the OpenWindows server.

Summary of the replies:

Most of the replies stated that the screenblank program is sensitive to the
following conditions:

 * programs that reset the system clock
 * the screenblank in the MIT X window server
 * running multiple screen blanks

It seems that my problem was related to the ntp software that I was running.
Some of my secondary time servers were way out of sync. Fixing those seems
to have solved my problem.

A couple of people also reported that a simpler way to unwedge the machine,
when screenblank refuses to respond is to cat something to /dev/console.

Thanks to all who replied:

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Steve Giovannetti
Siemens Corporate Research
755 College Road East
Princeton, NJ 08540

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