Random bright and dim laptop display

$ inxi -Fxxxz
System:    Kernel: 5.4.57-1-MANJARO x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 10.1.0 Desktop: KDE Plasma 5.19.4 
           tk: Qt 5.15.0 wm: kwin_x11 dm: SDDM Distro: Manjaro Linux 
Machine:   Type: Laptop System: Dell product: Latitude E6410 v: 0001 serial: <filter> Chassis: type: 9 
           serial: <filter> 
           Mobo: Dell model: 07XJP9 v: A03 serial: <filter> BIOS: Dell v: A17 date: 05/12/2017 
Battery:   ID-1: BAT0 charge: 75.1 Wh condition: 78.0/97.7 Wh (80%) volts: 12.5/11.1 model: SMP DELL MP49285 
           type: Li-ion serial: <filter> status: Charging 
CPU:       Topology: Dual Core model: Intel Core i5 M 560 bits: 64 type: MT MCP arch: Nehalem rev: 5 
           L2 cache: 3072 KiB 
           flags: lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx bogomips: 21290 
           Speed: 1463 MHz min/max: 1199/2667 MHz boost: enabled Core speeds (MHz): 1: 1463 2: 1463 3: 1463 
           4: 1463 
Graphics:  Device-1: NVIDIA GT218M [NVS 3100M] vendor: Dell driver: nvidia v: 340.108 bus ID: 01:00.0 
           chip ID: 10de:0a6c 
           Device-2: Ricoh HD Webcam type: USB driver: uvcvideo bus ID: 1-1.4:3 chip ID: 05ca:1814 
           Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.20.8 compositor: kwin_x11 driver: nvidia resolution: 1440x900~60Hz 
           s-dpi: 121 
           OpenGL: renderer: NVS 3100M/PCIe/SSE2 v: 3.3.0 NVIDIA 340.108 direct render: Yes 
Audio:     Device-1: Intel 5 Series/3400 Series High Definition Audio vendor: Dell Latitude E6410 
           driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus ID: 00:1b.0 chip ID: 8086:3b56 
           Device-2: NVIDIA High Definition Audio vendor: Dell driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel 
           bus ID: 01:00.1 chip ID: 10de:0be3 
           Sound Server: ALSA v: k5.4.57-1-MANJARO 
Network:   Device-1: Intel 82577LM Gigabit Network vendor: Dell Latitude E6410 driver: e1000e v: 3.2.6-k 
           port: 8040 bus ID: 00:19.0 chip ID: 8086:10ea 
           IF: eno1 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter> 
           Device-2: Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6200 driver: iwlwifi v: kernel port: 7000 bus ID: 03:00.0 
           chip ID: 8086:422c 
           IF: wlp3s0 state: up mac: <filter> 
Drives:    Local Storage: total: 232.89 GiB used: 9.66 GiB (4.1%) 
           ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Samsung model: SSD 850 EVO 250GB size: 232.89 GiB speed: 3.0 Gb/s 
           serial: <filter> rev: 1B6Q scheme: MBR 
Partition: ID-1: / size: 219.57 GiB used: 9.66 GiB (4.4%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda1 
Swap:      ID-1: swap-1 type: partition size: 8.80 GiB used: 0 KiB (0.0%) priority: -2 dev: /dev/sda2 
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 53.0 C mobo: N/A sodimm: 44.0 C gpu: nvidia temp: 60 C 
           Fan Speeds (RPM): cpu: 2870 
Info:      Processes: 191 Uptime: 54m Memory: 7.64 GiB used: 2.01 GiB (26.3%) Init: systemd v: 245 Compilers: 
           gcc: 10.1.0 Packages: pacman: 1245 Shell: Bash v: 5.0.18 running in: yakuake inxi: 3.1.05

Hello all,

My laptop display on my E6410 will randomly go dim and bright when I am using it and there is no change in the environment. I have checked the obvious settings and searched the old forum for any info but I could not find anything beside the obvious (power/display settings). I am relatively new to Linux and I have not used it in years.

The background is that I recently reinstalled my system because of a SSD failure and I wanted to keep my install as original as possible for reliabilty. Since then, it is up and running with the correct proprietary drivers; everything is functioning well but this issue has become an annoyance (it has brightened and dimmed half a dozen times while writing this). Thanks in advance for any advice! God bless.

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The Dell Latitude E6410 comes with an ambient light sensor and that might be malfunctioning.
Try:

  • Pressing Fn+ to turn off the ambient light sensor
  • Adjust brightness
  • See if it happens again.

As I don’t own your hardware, I can’t verify whether this survives a cold boot, so you might have to do this once every boot, but that’s still better than the brightness dimming a dozen times…

:sob:

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