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Thread: Ubuntu 12.10 MacBook Pro 8,1 Battery only 3 hours..

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Ubuntu 12.10 MacBook Pro 8,1 Battery only 3 hours..

    Now that I have my desktop beast running I barely use my laptop any more so I decided to run this as my $1,500 facebook machine and use Ubuntu as the daily OS. The problem isn't that I'm getting about 3 hours of battery life (4 hours with the screen brightness on lowest, keyboard backlight off, and volume on mute) but it's that the guide I was using doesn't fully work as it says.

    I used this guide and installed a compiled version of Ubuntu 12.10 for MacBook Pro 8,1
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MacBookPro8-2/Quantal

    I used that guide and followed all the steps, I used an ethernet connection to do all of the updates and had to manually enable WiFi like it says further down that page. After enabling WiFi I went down futher to the battery section and there is a link that brought me here.
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1215928

    From there it says to do a number of things for the battery.
    My battery reads 57.7wH however using the code
    Code:
    cat /proc/acpi/battery/BAT0/info
    won't work. I had to use a different code I googled.
    To start up PowerTop the code supplied says
    Code:
    sudo powertop -d
    however I had to use
    Code:
    sudo powertop --calibrate
    which then shows that my watt hour usage is 21.7wH

    I've tried the other codes further down the page and nothing seems to be working for me, I'm still only getting between 3 and 4 hours battery life when I should be getting between 8 and 12.

    I would really like to start using this as my daily laptop again but this time with Ubuntu but this battery thing is killing me, I'm away from a charger for a lot longer then 3 to 4 hours a day. I would just barely make it though the day on a full battery running OS X so I need that battery life back to make this a feasible reality.

    Thanks for any input, I looked into laptop-mode but that is apparently been disabled in 12.10.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    47
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    Ubuntu Gnome 13.10 Saucy Salamander

    Re: Ubuntu 12.10 MacBook Pro 8,1 Battery only 3 hours..

    That seems weird. I can get 2-3 hours on a much less efficient laptop... How many cycles are on your battery? Might be time for a new one. The macbook pro that I had went from getting 4-6 hours on a charge down to 1-2 hours after two years... It doesn't take time for their batteries to get less and less from a charge. Could also be the ubuntu set up. Do you have the right display drivers? Also what version of the macbook is it? (look up the year it should say something like macbook (8,1)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    35

    Re: Ubuntu 12.10 MacBook Pro 8,1 Battery only 3 hours..

    Does your machine have hybrid graphics?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: Ubuntu 12.10 MacBook Pro 8,1 Battery only 3 hours..

    Quote Originally Posted by nwalkey View Post
    That seems weird. I can get 2-3 hours on a much less efficient laptop... How many cycles are on your battery? Might be time for a new one. The macbook pro that I had went from getting 4-6 hours on a charge down to 1-2 hours after two years... It doesn't take time for their batteries to get less and less from a charge. Could also be the ubuntu set up. Do you have the right display drivers? Also what version of the macbook is it? (look up the year it should say something like macbook (8,1)
    My laptop is a 13" Mid 2010 MacBook Pro 8,1. I mentioned it above that my laptop is a MacBook Pro 8,1 and I used a guide specifically for the 8,1 8,2 8,3 etc so it would load the correct drivers for my laptop during install which is why I'm so thrown off by this battery problem.

    Also, the afternoon before doing this I would get just over 11.5 hours of battery life on a full charge with the brightness at it's lowest, keyboard backlight off, and volume on mute but after installing Ubuntu 12.10 I get 4 hours on a full charge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chav View Post
    Does your machine have hybrid graphics?
    I have integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000, comes standard on the 13" Mid 2010 MacBook Pro.

    It just has something to do with the battery not being set properly. My battery reads as a 57.7wH battery, rather then Ubuntu running in between 9wH and 10wH on demand it's running it at 21.7wH so I need to lower that so it's between the regulated usage. I'm also assuming that draining my battery like this is not good for it at all.

    So 57.7 watt hour battery divided by the 21.7 watt hours the laptop is using (21.7 watts per hour of use) drains the battery in 2.65 hours but since these laptops run "on demand" the watt hour changes as the computer needs more/less power so that's right around the 3 hour mark I'm getting with brightness, keyboard, and sound on full.

    I just don't know how to change the way the OS sees my battery because it's reading it wrong thinking it requires 21.7wH when really it only needs about 9wH to 10wH
    Last edited by helios16v; February 25th, 2013 at 11:17 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Re: Ubuntu 12.10 MacBook Pro 8,1 Battery only 3 hours..

    Have you tried setting all of powertop's tuneables to see if it is a power setting issue?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    10

    Re: Ubuntu 12.10 MacBook Pro 8,1 Battery only 3 hours..

    Even running OSX on my 17" model I barely got 3 - 4 hours from 2 new batteries. 8 - 12 hours is amazing.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Re: Ubuntu 12.10 MacBook Pro 8,1 Battery only 3 hours..

    Quote Originally Posted by helios16v View Post
    Thanks for any input, I looked into laptop-mode but that is apparently been disabled in 12.10.
    I have a 2011 Macbook Pro 8,1 (13"). When running powertop I see about 17-25W of power consumption, so with a ~60Wh battery that is about 3-4 hours of battery life. In OS X I get the advertised 7-8 hours. At one point I tested turning everything off (including X) and got it down to about 12W, but at that point the system is useless for web browsing.

    I have other laptops as well, with the same effect. Battery life seems to be about half as long as in OS X, or about 75% of Windows running time. I think Windows is less efficient power-wise than OS X.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    SWFL
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    30
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    Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

    Re: Ubuntu 12.10 MacBook Pro 8,1 Battery only 3 hours..

    There is a key piece of information incorrect about this post: you claim to have a mid-2010 13" MBP 8,1 with HD 3000 graphics. Either you have the 2011 8,1 model with HD 3000 graphics or you have a mid-2010 7,1 with Nvidia graphics. The information you've given is a combination of both.

    That is just not possible. I work as an Apple technician and can tell you that model doesn't exist. I personally own the mid-2010 13" and it comes with Nvidia GeForce 320m graphics.

    IF you do have the mid-2010 7,1 model, then I strongly advise installing the proprietary Nvidia drivers and enabling powermizer settings to either default or the next step up. This dramatically scales down the amount of power that the graphics draw and really help to extend the battery life. For example, my MBP is coming up on 3 years old and can still get a solid 4-5 hours on a charge while under OS X. My battery life has never been as good under Ubuntu but I can still squeeze at least 3.5-4 hours out of a charge, depending on the usage. Here's a useful link to enable the powermizer settings: linux.aldeby.org/post/nvidia-powermizer-powersaving.html

    IF you have the 2011 model with HD 3000 graphics, I don't have much experience with this but I'd look to see if you can't downclock the graphics.

    Also, you may want to look into installing tlp. A quick google search of tlp power ubuntu should bring that up.

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