Backlight control only works after suspension


Manjaro GNOME, Kernel 5.13 on Lenovo S145 with Intel graphics.

The backlight controls (F11+F12) do not adjust the screen brightness on boot, even though I can adjust it through software.

However, after I suspend the laptop and then resume, they work normally. Weird bug, I know.

I went through the Arch Wiki Backlight Control page but there was nothing on it.

Any idea on how to make them work permanently?

Thank you.

Test as many kernels as possible including the real time kernels. This type of strange behaviour is usually a result of the kernel or the bios. Be sure your bios is up to date.

Also, please post:

inxi -Fxxxz
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Not really, but I suggest you inspect journal for relevant messages.

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I have also tested it on Kernel 4.9 and it still does not work.

Here is the output:

  Host: leenux Kernel: 5.3.15-1-MANJARO x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc 
  v: 9.2.0 Desktop: Gnome 3.34.1 wm: gnome-shell dm: GDM 3.34.1 
  Distro: Manjaro Linux 
  Type: Laptop System: LENOVO product: 81MV v: Lenovo IdeaPad S145-15IWL 
  serial: <filter> Chassis: type: 10 v: Lenovo IdeaPad S145-15IWL 
  serial: <filter> 
  Mobo: LENOVO model: LNVNB161216 v: NO DPK serial: <filter> UEFI: LENOVO 
  v: ASCN36WW date: 05/31/2019 
  ID-1: BAT0 charge: 27.8 Wh condition: 31.0/30.0 Wh (103%) volts: 8.2/7.5 
  model: SMP L16M2PB1 type: Li-poly serial: <filter> status: Discharging 
  cycles: 32 
  Topology: Quad Core model: Intel Core i7-8565U bits: 64 type: MT MCP 
  arch: Kaby Lake rev: B L2 cache: 8192 KiB 
  flags: avx avx2 lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx 
  bogomips: 32012 
  Speed: 800 MHz min/max: 400/4600 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 800 2: 800 
  3: 800 4: 800 5: 800 6: 802 7: 800 8: 800 
  Device-1: Intel UHD Graphics 620 vendor: Lenovo driver: i915 v: kernel 
  bus ID: 00:02.0 chip ID: 8086:3ea0 
  Display: x11 server: 1.20.6 driver: i915 compositor: gnome-shell 
  resolution: <xdpyinfo missing> 
  OpenGL: renderer: Mesa DRI Intel UHD Graphics (Whiskey Lake 3x8 GT2) 
  v: 4.5 Mesa 19.2.7 compat-v: 3.0 direct render: Yes 
  Device-1: Intel Cannon Point-LP High Definition Audio vendor: Lenovo 
  driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus ID: 00:1f.3 chip ID: 8086:9dc8 
  Sound Server: ALSA v: k5.3.15-1-MANJARO 
  Device-1: Realtek RTL8821CE 802.11ac PCIe Wireless Network Adapter 
  vendor: Lenovo driver: rtl8821ce v: N/A port: 3000 bus ID: 01:00.0 
  chip ID: 10ec:c821 
  IF: wlp1s0 state: up mac: <filter> 
  Local Storage: total: 462.05 GiB used: 53.31 GiB (11.5%) 
  ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Toshiba model: TR150 size: 223.57 GiB 
  speed: 6.0 Gb/s serial: <filter> rev: 12.3 scheme: MBR 
  ID-2: /dev/sdb vendor: Samsung model: MZNLN256HAJQ-000L2 size: 238.47 GiB 
  speed: 6.0 Gb/s serial: <filter> rev: 4L0Q scheme: GPT 
  ID-1: / size: 233.44 GiB used: 53.31 GiB (22.8%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sdb2 
  System Temperatures: cpu: 33.0 C mobo: N/A 
  Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A 
  Processes: 245 Uptime: 1m Memory: 7.66 GiB used: 1.18 GiB (15.4%) 
  Init: systemd v: 242 Compilers: gcc: 9.2.0 Shell: bash v: 5.0.11 
  running in: gnome-terminal inxi: 3.0.37 

Test more kernels.

Is your bios up to date?

Do you even read anything that people attempting to help you are writing here? Or do you merely give it a cursory glance and simply ignore it.

Your BIOS is out of date and there is a high probability that this could be causing your problem. Generally in the past being a little out of date with your bios didn't seem to cause huge issues. However on the newest kernels it seems that an outdated bios is causing a lot more problems than it has on earlier kernels.

This goes for all the users who mindlessly post help requests on the forum daily. Be sure your bios is up to date, and test at least 3 different kernels before you go wasting support time on the forum. Do your due diligence before you post a never ending stream of help requests.

Don't be THAT guy!!!

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I was googling for a way to update the BIOS and then planned to get on here again to give feedback.
Feeling a little sensitive today? I hope your day gets better. Thanks for the help, anyway.

I will try out a few things and come back.

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Yes. How did you know?


Generally when people give you suggestions the polite thing to do is to at least acknowledge their attempt to help you. By ignoring my bios suggestion in your earlier reply it makes it appear that you have dismissed the suggestion.

The word "sensitive" does not apply, perturbed might be more apt.

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Usually you are one of the first to suggest a bios update. This used to be a low percentage fix. Not any more. The new kernels are super picky about having a current bios installed.

I'm getting a little tired of making this suggestion lately and wasting support time for countless posts as the suggestion is ignored repeatedly. Finally the suggestion is applied after repeatedly having to suggest it and then the issue gets resolved. It is getting a little more than frustrating.


At the risk of stirring the pot unnecessarily... I have found the following software to work better in some instances than the normally available backlight tools:

You are not stirring the pot, any suggestion that could potentially help is appreciated.

Don't forget to

It usually gives helpful direction for the cause of the problems.

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The past year or so, it seems enough weird/spurious hardware/firmware problems have been eliminated that it should be the first step taken.

I've got a 2019 machine that's a bit persnickety in that regard. Plus, it's not just computers but also peripherals, such as my Logitech Performance MX mouse & K800 keyboard that have also benefited by firmware updates.

Then there are the the fairly old machines that may have never had an upgraded BIOS and they can be--or not--very problematic, especially "Windows" machines. I just received a 2010/2011 laptop as a gift--Gawd knows why--and I'm not looking forward to the old FreeDOS method. :frowning: :frowning: :frowning:

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Thanks for your time, everybody.

I have been struggling to update the BIOS since yesterday, but to no avail. It seems like the only available option for me would be to install Windows in dual boot.

I have not tried out alternative Kernels because the last time I did that my machine broke and I am not willing to go through that again.

I tried making it work with Light but could not assign the proper hotkeys.

I went through the journal [boot>hit backlight controls(did not work)>suspension>hit backlight controls(worked) but I could not figure anything out since I am not an expert. I tried posting it here but it was too big.

Lenovo's are usually the easiest laptops to update on Linux and should not require a Windows install at all to update.

Installing a new kernel is next to impossible to break your Manjaro install. Always have multiple kernels installed at all times. Being able to install as many kernels as you want at the push of a button is one of Manjaro's greatest strengths.

I think you need to do a little more research on just how this stuff all works.

Some info to research: 1
UEFI BIOS update with fwupdmgr / fwupd


I tried all of these. Thinkpads might have it easy, but Ideapads not so much.

Lenovo only provides an .exe file for my model. The iso/image methods don't work. I also tried tried the FreeDOS method, which seems like it does not work anymore.

Also tried the fwupd method but my device is not supported.


For exe's use a Windows boot disk.

Performing an .EXE format BIOS update in Linux:

If the bios update utility is an ".EXE" format you will need to run the executable file from within a Windows environment.

The easiest way you can do that without installing Windows is from a Windows based boot disk.

Download Hirens boot CD and burn the image to a CD or USB boot disk.

Download your bios update .exe file from your manufacturer, and place it on a FAT formatted USB flash drive

Boot from the Hiren's Boot disk, and insert the USB drive containing the bios update exe.

Once in the Hiren's boot environment you should be able to open, launch, and apply the bios update.

Other alternate Windows based live boot disks you can use for BIOS updates:

FalconFour’s Ultimate Boot CD


Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD)

Trinity Rescue Kit

Gandalf’s Windows 10PE
Gandalf’s Windows 10PE

Boot Repair Disk
Boot Repair Disk

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Why such a detour? Visit the manufacturer's website, you can probably enter the serial number of your notebook and get the latest bios immediately. If the manufacturer then means well, he offers you a variant for flashing the bios without having to start an OS, for example directly with a usb stick. :wink:

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Managed to update my BIOS successfully after 2 days of trial and error. :sweat_smile:
Unfortunately, the backlight controls still don't work.

After of 12 years on Linux, I am at my wit's end with this one and have not been so frustrated before.
Thanks to everyone who is contributing. Unfortunately I haven't figure out how to quote multiple people at once.

I assume you used journalctl -f to follow key-press. If so, post the parts of these key-presses.
Else post to a pastebin service and share the link.

You may find man journalctl helpful.

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