Archives For November 30, 1999

Have multiple monitors connected to your Ubuntu 22.04 machine? There’s now an indicator to dim all or individual monitor screen brightness with sliders.

You can dim external monitor brightness with either physical buttons or ddcutil utility. However, an indicator applet in system tray can be more effective, and here’s one for Ubuntu 22.04 with default GNOME 42.

It’s a Gnome Shell extension, that adds a light bulb to top-right corner in panel. By clicking on it, will show you the slider to dim all the connected monitors, as well as individual sliders to dim certain screens.

And, by moving the slider to far right will make the screen totally dark, just like being turned off.

Besides dimming monitor screens, it can also change the colors with RGB sliders, which also can apply to either all or individual monitors.

As my laptop’s external HDMI port is broken, I can’t try out the multi-monitor support. But, the dimming and RGB color (need to at least move dim slider a bit to right) functions are working very well in my case in Ubuntu 22.04 Desktop PC.

My test without multi-monitors

How to Install the Dimming Control Indicator

First, launch Ubuntu Software, then search for and install “Extension Manager” app.

Install Extension Manager in Ubuntu 22.04+

Then, click on top-left ‘Activities’ button to open overview screen, search for and launch ‘Extension Manager’.

When the tool opens, navigate to ‘Browse‘ tab, and finally search and install “VividShade: Multi-Monitor RGB Dimming Control” extension.

The indicator applet will appear on panel immediately after installation.


To uninstall this extension, also launch “Extension Manager“. Click expand it under first tab, finally click on red “Remove” button.

Running Ubuntu on Desktop PC or laptop with external monitor? You can add a slider in top-right system menu to control the screen brightness.

Unlike laptop’s built-in screen, most Linux today does not provide brightness control for external monitors.

Fortunately, there’s a ddcutil utility can do the job via ddc/ci protocol, which is supported in most external monitors. And, there’s an extension to add the slider control to system status menu.

brightness slider for external monitor

The extension supports all current Ubuntu releases, including Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 22.04, and Ubuntu 24.04, as well as other Linux with recent Gnome desktop, such as Fedora Workstation, Debian, RHEL.

NOTE: DDC/CI is usually enabled by default. Just in case, use your monitor’s physical button to make sure the option is enabled!

1. First of all, press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal. When it opens, run command to install the ddcutil utility in Ubuntu:

sudo apt install ddcutil

2. Next, add your current user to ‘i2c’ group to grant permissions:

sudo gpasswd --add $USER i2c

3. Install “Extension Manager” tool from Ubuntu Software (or App Center) for installing and managing extensions.

Install Extension Manager in Ubuntu Software/App Center

For Ubuntu 20.04, run command to install “Gnome Extensions” app instead, as well as agent package for browser integration.

sudo apt install gnome-shell-extension-prefs chrome-gnome-shell

4. Ubuntu 22.04 + can now launch “Extension Manager” and use the tool to search and install “Brightness control using ddcutil” extension.

For Ubuntu 20.04, go to this page in web browser, install browser extension if prompted (refresh after installation), and finally turn on the ON/OFF switch to install that extension.

5. The extension by default add an indicator applet in panel with brightness slider. To configure it, open ‘Installed’ tab in “Extension Manager” (or ‘Gnome Extensions’ app for Ubuntu 20.04).

Then, click on either gear button or ‘Settings’ button for that extension. Finally, set button location to “System Menu” and turn on “Hide System Indicator” for better integration.

That’s all. Enjoy!

brightness controller

Brightness Controller is a simple open-source utility to control brightness, RGB, and color temperature of your displays in Linux.

It allows you to change the brightness to a better degree of control, ranging from 1% to 100%! It should be mentioned that it changes the present brightness value set via hardware control of your monitor. For example, if you set your Monitor’s brightness to 50% using hardware buttons, then that 50% will be the 100% value in Brightness controller.

Brightness Controller is developed with Python2 and Pyside. It supports an arbitrary number of displays!

brightness controller

Install Brightness Controller via PPA:

For all current Ubuntu releases, including Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 16.10, Ubuntu 17.04, and the next Ubuntu 17.10, the utility is available via the PPA repository.

1. Open terminal via Ctrl+Alt+T. Run command to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:apandada1/brightness-controller

Type in your password (no visual feedback) when it asks and hit Enter.

2. Then check updates and install the utility:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install brightness-controller

For those who don’t want to add PPA, grab the .deb package from HERE.


To remove the utility, simply run command:

sudo apt-get remove brightness-controller && sudo apt-get autoremove

To remove the PPA, go to system settings -> Software & Updates -> Other Software tab.

How to Install Brightness Indicator in Ubuntu 14.10

Last updated: November 17, 2014

Indicator Brightness

The Fn brightness control doesn’t work on your Ubuntu Laptop? Try indicator-brightness, an applet on panel to set your screen brightness, which also supports keyboard shortcuts.

The indicator-brightness is inspired by the original Gnome brightness applet, it allows the Unity users to set screen brightness by using the indicator menu or the scroll wheel of your mouse over the indicator icon. With it, you can assign custom keyboard shortcuts to control brightness with your keyboard.


Install Brightness Indicator Ubuntu 14.10:

It’s easy to install the applet though the developer doesn’t update the package for Ubuntu 14.10. And it works good on my laptop.

To install it, click the link below to go to the developer’s PPA package repository and download the .deb installer for Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty.

Download indicator-brightness

Select download the “indicator-brightness_0.4~bzr11~ubuntu14.04.1_all.deb”. Once downloaded, double-click the package to open it with Ubuntu Software Center and finally click the “install” button.

Once installed, start the applet from the Unity Dash and enjoy!

To add custom shortcuts to control screen brightness:

Open System Settings and navigate to “Keyboard -> Shortcuts tab -> Custom Shortcuts”.

Click the plus sign to add two new shortcuts with:

  • name: Brightness up

    /opt/ --up
  • name: Brightness down

    /opt/ --down

Assign shortcut keys to them and done!

Add Brightness Control Shortcuts

If the brightness controls don’t works in your system or you’re not satisfied with the default Fn function key, here’s an app indicator allows to change screen brightness in all the possible brightness values. The applet works in Ubuntu and its derivatives, such as Linux Mint and Elementary OS Luna.

brightness control indicator

It’s useful for me because the Fn+Arrow key in my laptop only change the brightness in 4 levels (zero, one third, two-thirds, full).


  • Clicking the icon shows you all the possible brightness values, to a maximum of 15 steps.
  • The current value is indicated with a dot.
  • Clicking a menu item sets the brightness to the desired value.
  • Scroll wheel event is enabled on the icon. Scrolling up means higher brightness, scrolling down lower.
  • Control screen brightness with custom keyboard shortcuts.
  • Install Brightness Indicator:

    Press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open terminal. When it opens, run below commands one by one to install the indicator from PPA:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:indicator-brightness/ppa
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install indicator-brightness

    Or you can download the .deb package and double-click to install it from

    Once installed, open it from the app menu. Add these commands to your custom keyboard shortcuts to control brightness with your keyboard. You need Elementary Tweak to add a custom shortcut key.

    /opt/ --up


    /opt/ --down

    brightness control shortcut key