Laptop screen saver and IPFire compatible wifi cards and USB sticks

HI, I recently got IPFire running on a old Dell E6510 laptop. I am happy with how IPFire is running. It’s just for home use with a few computers.
The one drawback is that the screen is always on. I am concerned about longterm burn-in of the screen.

The screen does not turn off if I close the lid. I checked BIOS settings and there is nothing to turn off the screen. I have searched and searched for eg “IPFire screen saver” and have only found one post on IPFire but it was not resolved.

So then I thought I would get a used desktop, eg an i5 HP or Dell box. I would have to buy a Wifi card/adapter for it. I started searching for all the eg USB wifi dongles listed at and none of them seem to be available. Eg at all the items are showing "Currently unavailable. We don’t know when or if this item will be back in stock. "

If someone could help me with the following that would be much appreciated:

  1. I am wondering if is out of date?

  2. Is there any setting I can set in IPFire Linux/command prompt to turn off the screen after a certain amount of time? Or any other way to do it?

  3. If I buy a desktop instead, how will i be able to find a USB wifi or wifi card that works and that is available to be bought at eg amazon or a local electronics store?

  4. Can anyone recommend any USB wifi sticks?

  5. Is it safe to assume that most USB wifi sticks will work, I can just buy one and it should work even if it is not on

Thanks once again ahead of time…

Dear moderators,
I have not had a response to my post above. Not to imply I have sense of entitlement that I should :slight_smile:
But I would like to know if I can do something better like maybe split this into 2 separate questions? Since 1 is about laptop screen and the other about wifi adapters?


I am unfortunately not aware of the current situation of the hardware pages in the wiki. Neither can I help when it comes to disabling a screen after a certain amount of time.

Since you are in search of a small hardware to run a firewall on, might I suggest having a look at those appliances:

(Full disclosure: I am neither an employee nor otherwise related to that company.)

Those are known to work flawlessly with IPFire, and might be a more robust hardware solution causing less headache. :slight_smile: Just writing this in the hope it will be useful… :wink:

Thanks, and best regards,
Peter Müller

@ipfireuser1000 there is /usr/bin/setvesablank in ipfire, unfortunately it does not give me -h
looking on the Net, I found /usr/bin/setvesablank -b on Give it a try. It accepts on|off

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Some laptops also support disable the backlight of the LCD in /sys/class/leds/*/brightness but there is no function in IPFire to do this automaticly. Often there are also Fn+“KEY” combinations that can control the diplay. But all depends on your specific hardware…

Some issues that you might consider:

  • closing the lid generally assumes a GUI OS, that puts the laptop into some lower power mode.
  • that would nevertheless invoke some command to the hardware, which should be achievable in IPF
  • I have a Compaq V3000 that I use as a test IPF m/c. It gets quite warm, on the kbd surface, even with the lid open. Running with lid closed would not be a good idea.

Not quite, but if you log in as “root”, then after a few minutes of inactivity, you will automatically be logged out, at which point only about 6 lines of the screen are lit.

I’m not clear how much of an issue “burn in” is with LCD screens. Those probably have micro-fluoros at the sides, which would eventually fail.

@pmueller - Thank you for your input and suggestions for hardware. I will certainly keep it in mind.

@pavlos, and @arne_f,
Thank you for the suggestions, I will give those a try…

Thanks for your input. I did check the BIOS settings, many different Fn-key combinations, and could not find anything that worked using the laptop hardware or firmware. I also closed the lid in the dark and could still see light coming from the screen in the crack between the lid and laptop base. I will avoid running with the lid closed as you suggest. Also the suggestion to log in as root and let it log out to reduce the number of lines is helpful.

Hi, I thought I would just report what I have done in case it may be useful to others in future.

I have tried some different hardware combinations to get a good IPFire (for my needs, which is a simple home-based) system running and came up with the following solution:

HP Compaq 8300 Elite i5 Desktop
TP-Link TL-WN881ND Wireless N300 PCI Express Adapter

Red zone is wifi using the above Wireless adapter to connect to a wifi router.
Green zone is Ethernet using a direct ethernet cable to connect the HP desktop running IPFire to a laptop.


Using on my laptop:

My laptop directly connected using wifi connection to wifi router - 16 to 20 Mbps download speed.

My laptop connected to my HP desktop with IPFire (Thru Ethernet) and HP Desktop connected to wifi router - 35 to 40 Mbps download speed.

So for me I am very happy with the results and being able to use IPFire because I now have a great firewall AND improved wifi connection speeds!

Also I had first tried a
TP-Link Wireless N300 High Gain USB Adapter, 300Mbps, (TL-WN822N)
on the HP Desktop - I was always getting between 8 to 12 Mbps down and 0.25 to 0.5 up which was not good speed to me.
So I abandoned this device and then tried the
TP-Link TL-WN881ND Wireless N300 PCI Express Adapter which works very well.

Both wireless adapters worked out of the box with IPFire.

For laptop this card is cheap and fast. AR5BXB112.
Normal and half size.