Fixing nvidia backlight in 2015: on Linux 3.13

22 September 2015

About a 1-minute read

I’m running Linux Mint 17.1 with Linux 3.13.0. I recently upgraded my nvidia driver to nvidia-346, and my backlight control broke (again!). We’ve been on the backlight merry-go-round for far too long.

Anyway, here’s a fix that might help. There’s a new kernel flag you can add to your grub file called video.use_native_backlight.

Let’s get started: open your grub config file at


And append the video.use_native_backlight parameter to your boot options:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash video.use_native_backlight=1"

Now update your grub installation by running update-grub as superuser.

My boot parameters used to include the classic acpi_backlight=vendor, but it looks like the nvidia-346 driver doesn’t handle that option as the older drivers did. Hopefully this will help you! (For reference, I’m on a ThinkPad T420)

Thanks to for the tip. I’m mainly reposting this so it will include the words “Linux Mint” and “T420” for wayward backlight-deprived souls.