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Adjusting screen brightness

The machine on which Linux Mint is installed an old Acer Aspire 5732Z ("Gandalf")

It has buttons to adjust the brightness of the screen's backlight.  When the user uses these buttons, Linux Mint correctly presented a fading-popup box (a slider bar) to denote relative brightness.  But Linux Mint did not actually adjust the brightness of the screen.

It seems to be a known issue in the Linux Mint forums and solved in multiple  stages by the Easy Tips Project.

I followed the instructions on Easy Tips section 5.2 in Gandalf's admin account, then re-booted, then logged in using the user account, and the brightness adjustment function worked correctly.

Easy Tips asks the user to discover the relevant property of the machine, then creates a file that contains a script of parameters that other programs in Linux Mint understand.

This method worked for Gandalf, because Gandalf has an integrated Intel chipset.

Useful commands at the Terminal

ALT+T (or the Mint) menu gets to the Xfce terminal.

inxi -Fxz (source, LMFs), an equivalent of Windows System Information.   Gandalf's current configuration is set out below.

ls, lists a directory.  Equivalent of MS-DOS dir.

lspci, a utility for displaying information about PCI buses in the system and devices connected to them.  I've no idea what the Windows equivalent is.  I've never needed to use it, and this is a sign of the main difference between Windows and Linux Mint.

grep prints (by default to the terminal screen) lines from within a file that match a search pattern on the search string.  Again, I've never needed this in Windows.  (There's a pattern emerging here...).

EasyTips uses these two above commands using a pipe symbol, |.  This seems to work the same way in both Linux and MS-DOS/Windows, i.e. the output of the first command is fed into the second command.  Thus, lspci | grep VGA feeds the entire output of lspci (which is quite long) into grep, and grep presents only those entries which contain "VGA".

sudo, executes the following command as another user.  Linux Mint - actually, I'd guess Ubtunu underneath the Mint interface - then refers to security policy to find (effectively) a user with the right privileges to execute the command.  In a two-user machine - admin user and normal user - sudo should typically pick the admin user.  gksudo runs a graphical user interface equivalent of sudosudo and gksudo can be shortened to su and gksu respectively.

touch changes the file timestamps.  I've never needed to use an equivalent command in Windows, but I have used an equivalent technique (simply open the file in the correct application, adjust, save, undo, save again), typically in the context of testing file sync tools (Google Drive, SyncBack, etc).  Another Linux command rsync appears to form the basis of the Linux equivalent of Syncback, with some graphical front-ends already built as at 2010.

xed is a text editor bundled in with all versions of Linux Mint.  The MS-DOS equivalent is edit.  Windows provides Notepad as the simplest text editor in a graphical user environment;

Sources for the above: Easy Tips.

man (source: can't remember!) invokes the user manual in the terminal screen for other Linux commands, e.g. man man brings up the user manual for the man command (!).  Keystrokes f  (forward), PgDn, ↓, b (back), PgUp, ↑, q (quit) seem to be the most useful.  The MS-DOS equivalent is to use the /? parameter in the command itself.  Thus, dir /? is to MS-DOS what man ls is to Ubuntu Linux Mint.

Output of inxi -Fxz

System:    Host: GANDALF Kernel: 4.10.0-38-generic x86_64 (64 bit gcc: 5.4.0)
           Desktop: Xfce 4.12.3 (Gtk 2.24.28) Distro: Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia
Machine:   System: Acer (portable) product: Aspire 5732Z v: V3.07
           Mobo: Acer model: Aspire 5732Z v: V3.07
           Bios: Acer v: V3.07 date: 02/10/2010
CPU:       Dual core Pentium T4400 (-MCP-) cache: 1024 KB
           flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 ssse3) bmips: 8777
           clock speeds: max: 2200 MHz 1: 2200 MHz 2: 1200 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Intel Mobile 4 Series Integrated Graphics Controller
           bus-ID: 00:02.0
           Display Server: X.Org 1.18.4 driver: intel
           Resolution: 1366x768@59.97hz
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Mobile Intel GM45 Express
           GLX Version: 2.1 Mesa 17.0.7 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio:     Card Intel 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio Controller
           driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:1b.0
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.10.0-38-generic
Network:   Card-1: Broadcom BCM43225 802.11b/g/n driver: wl bus-ID: 04:00.0
           IF: wlp4s0 state: up mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Qualcomm Atheros AR8132 Fast Ethernet
           driver: atl1c v: port: 1000 bus-ID: 05:00.0
           IF: enp5s0 state: down mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 320.1GB (14.2% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sda model: WDC_WD3200BEVT size: 320.1GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 291G used: 40G (15%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda1
           ID-2: swap-1 size: 3.15GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/dm-0
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 47.0C mobo: N/A
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 185 Uptime: 18 min Memory: 1787.2/2936.5MB
           Init: systemd runlevel: 5 Gcc sys: 5.4.0
           Client: Shell (bash 4.3.481) inxi: 2.2.35


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