Among the many new features in GNOME 45 is keyboard backlight control from the Quick Settings menu.

When GNOME 45 (currently in beta) is running on a device with compatible, configurable backlit keyboard present a new keyboard toggle is shown in the drop-down status menu.

Clicking on the keyboard toggle turns your keyboard backlight on or off. Clicking on the arrow icon to the right of the toggle unfurls an interactive slider you can use to adjust the brightness of your keyboard’s backlight.

The new keyboard backlight toggle (and slider) in GNOME 45 beta
The new keyboard toggle (and slider) in GNOME 45 beta

That’s pretty much all there is to this new toggle — but all there needs to be, really.

Many backlit keyboards let you change brightness directly on the device itself, either using dedicated keys or a keyboard shortcut combo.

But not all do.

Thus, adding a toggle to the Quick Settings menu on devices with compatible hardware is a welcome change.

And I speak from experience.

Prior to now I’ve had to make do workarounds when it comes to adjusting my own laptop’s backlit keyboard on Linux.

On Ubuntu 22.04 LTS I used the Keyboard Backlight Slider GNOME extension. This offers a slider to adjust keyboard backlight from the Status Menu (familiar, eh?). Sadly that add-on requires GNOME 42 or earlier (i.e. pre-Quick Settings version).

For the past few Ubuntu and Fedora releases, I’ve run a manual script that adjust my keyboard backlight at a lower-level. Though this isn’t not a major hassle to use it’s not exactly frictionless since it requires me to switch attention from whatever I’m doing to run it.

So I welcome this addition.

Want to try it out?

GNOME 45 will be released in September. A number of Linux distributions plan to ship it, including Fedora 39 Workstation (or Fedora Workstation 39, can never which way around it goes) and Ubuntu 23.10. Rolling release distros are, naturally, a given.