Force power off the monitor on Linux

If you run a computer or a laptop remotely, you may need to shutdown its monitor, so that if you connect to it using VNC, the mouse and keyboard do not result in the screen automatically reopening and showing everything done on that computer.

This was tested on Linux Mint 17 XFCE

You need to have the vbetool installed:

sudo apt-get install vbetool

and then run the command:

sudo vbetool dpms off

Sometimes, I needed to run the command twice when running it through a remote ssh session using putty.

sudo vbetool dpms off;sudo vbetool dpms off

To turn the monitor on again use this:

sudo vbetool dpms on

Tip: you can set this last command “sudo vbetool dpms on” to run as a shortcut, while allowing it to run without password using sudoer, in case you went to the physical computer and want to turn-on the screen again.