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Thread: How to extend the battery life while in Ubuntu?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Question How to extend the battery life while in Ubuntu?

    Hello there!
    So after reinstalling Ibex on my Dell Latitude D620 I am falling in love all over again with Ubuntu.
    But heres my question! I have the regular 6 cell battery on my computer, and it's a fairly new machine at onlyl a few months old, and I'm really sad because i only get about two hours and ten minutes battery life on full charge For reference in XP (dual booti) i get about four and a half hours
    So my question is how do i extend the battery life as much as possible without sacrficing too much functionality.
    Does anyone have any tips from personal experience? Or is Ubuntu/Ibex just a powerhungry beast by nature?
    If you need to i can post the specs of my laptop if it helps
    Thanks in advance!!!!!

    In Him,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Re: How to extend the battery life while in Ubuntu?

    Are you using Conky? I noticed that when you lower it's refresh rate, or disable it altogether, it does improve battery life somewhat.

    I also believe that disabling fancy desktop effects affects battery consumption.

    As for your question regarding Ubuntu's energy efficiency, I think that this is due to that when you get a computer, it is usually optimized for the operating system it comes with. When I first got my macbook, I had around four and half hours in OS X, and around three hours in windows XP. When I later installed ubuntu 8.04, I had slightly less useful battery life. When I upgraded to Ibex, that went up to around three and a half hours. (Bearing in mind that these are all approximate values)

    I could be wrong, but this is what I have noticed from personal experience.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Ubuntu Gnome 13.10 Saucy Salamander

    Re: How to extend the battery life while in Ubuntu?

    Hi Indrid!
    Do you use laptop-mode on battery power?

    For knowing if laptop-mode is active when you unplug the AC cable type this line in a terminal

     cat /proc/sys/vm/laptop_mode
    If the answer is 0 the laptop-mode isn't activated. If the answer is a number above 0 then laptop-mode is activated.

    If your laptop-mode isn't activated, you can set it up to run when you unplug the AC cable.

    1. open a terminal
    2. Type
    sudo gedit /etc/laptop-mode/laptop-mode.conf
    3.then go to this line
    and change 0 with 1
    4. Save and close
    5. Unplug the cable and check if laptop-mode active by typing in terminal
    cat /proc/sys/vm/laptop_mode
    Now, normally you must have a number above 0 as answer. thats means that laptop-mode now turns on when you unplug your AC cable

    You can also control manually laptop-mode:

    if you type in a terminal
    sudo laptop_mode start
    you turns laptop-mode on

    if you code
    sudo laptop_mode stop
    you turns laptop-mode off

    bye bye Valde_91
    Proudly running UbuntuGnome on a Lenovo x230t

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    $here ? $here : $there
    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    Re: How to extend the battery life while in Ubuntu?

    Though not specific to your model, you may find the information and links in this thread useful: HOWTO: XPS m1330 power savings
    Don't try to make something "fast" until you are able to quantify "slow".

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Re: How to extend the battery life while in Ubuntu?

    Hey all, great tip, however, mine doesn't seem to be working as it should...

    I checked the conf file and it shows:

    when I'm on battery and I run 'cat /proc/sys/vm/laptop_mode' it shows 0

    any ideas?

    edit: found a fix here:
    Last edited by Ryan2009; November 25th, 2008 at 06:52 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Re: How to extend the battery life while in Ubuntu?

    if you don't mind helping me test it out you can use the gui I'm working on here .. .

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