I searched and found similar issues from years ago but the fixes do not work. I have a new Dell XPS 15 running elementary OS 5.1.7 and the brightness controls do not work. Here's what nvidia-smi is reporting:

| NVIDIA-SMI 450.142.00   Driver Version: 450.142.00   CUDA Version: 11.0     |
| GPU  Name        Persistence-M| Bus-Id        Disp.A | Volatile Uncorr. ECC |
| Fan  Temp  Perf  Pwr:Usage/Cap|         Memory-Usage | GPU-Util  Compute M. |
|                               |                      |               MIG M. |
|   0  GeForce GTX 1650    Off  | 00000000:01:00.0 Off |                  N/A |
| N/A   46C    P0     5W /  N/A |      5MiB /  3914MiB |      0%      Default |
|                               |                      |                  N/A |
| Processes:                                                                  |
|  GPU   GI   CI        PID   Type   Process name                  GPU Memory |
|        ID   ID                                                   Usage      |
|    0   N/A  N/A      1161      G   /usr/lib/xorg/Xorg                  4MiB |

...and neofetch:

OS: elementary OS 5.1.7 Hera x86\_64

Host: XPS 15 7590 

Kernel: 5.4.0-80-generic 
GPU: NVIDIA NVIDIA Corporation Device 1f91 

GPU: Intel Device 39b Memory: 2276MiB / 15647MiB

Any ideas on how to fix this?

  • To add, the slider moves but there is no change in brightness which seems to be set at max.
    – AnthonyG
    Jul 21, 2021 at 13:10
  • Also tested this with Version 6 Beta 2 and same issue. I really want to use Elementary OS on this new laptop but this is a deal breaker. Does anyone know how to get this working?
    – AnthonyG
    Jul 21, 2021 at 19:29

2 Answers 2


Maybe this is a kernel compatibility problem, maybe because your laptop is very new the screen brightness module is not yet built in 5.4.0-80-generic, try installing a more recent kernel.

If you'd like to try i suggest the Liquorix kernel or the Xanmod kernel, our maybe just install a mainline kernel with Ubuntu Mainline Kernel Installer.


Actually it turns out to be an OLED issue with all Linux distros. Returning the laptop and purchasing one that doesn’t have an OLED display.

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