Here's the deal: Back when I installed Ubuntu 14.04 last year, I also added GNOME Shell to it. Sometimes I log into Unity, other times I go with GNOME Shell.
In the GNOME Shell session, under System Settings > Brightness & Lock, I have "Dim screen to save power" checked, and "Turn screen off when inactive for:" is set to "10 minutes."
Yet, the screen never turns off. There's no problem in the Unity session -- the screen turns off after the time interval that I've set. But I can't get it to work under GNOME Shell. I've resorted to running the following commands:
$ xset +dpms
$ xset dpms 600
That'll make the screen turn off after 600 seconds (10 minutes) of inactivity. But I have to do that every time I start a new GNOME Shell session.
I haven't seen this issue with GNOME Shell in other distros, only in Ubuntu. I'm not sure if it has something to do with having GNOME Shell installed along with Unity, or if some other settings are messing things up, or if it's just a bug from Ubuntu.
I've actually given up on trying to find a fix. Next year when 16.04 comes out, I'll install GNOME Shell and see if the same thing happens.
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