Laptop power saving on Linux

Hi guys, recently after coming back to my country over summer holidays I’ve been really frustrated with all the daily power-cuts (yes, I’m from a third world country).

So I decided to research some cool tools for Linux that would help conserve power on my laptop.

First of all, how is power usually conserved on a laptop? Without the use of utilities, if we use logic it’s pretty obvious…we can manually lower the screen’s brightness and set it to a minimum at the same time we can turn off audio completely and I think that would help a lot in conserving power. But beyond that what other stuff can be done to conserve power on our Linux system that perhaps we are not aware of? Well that’s one of the reasons these power saving utilities exist, so let’s investigate.

Today I’ll discuss my personal favorite power saving utility, it’s called “laptop-mode“. The name fits it’s purpose right? 🙂

It is a commandline based utility and the best thing about this utility is that it takes care of handling everything on the fly…everything from auto disabling unused USB devices/ports to scaling down CPU frequency…to lowering hard-drive spinning rates, etc. is dynamically adjusted when you plug in/out of power.

Also it comes with a really well documented, simple configuration file located in “/etc/laptop-mode/laptop-mode.conf” which you can change to adjust how you want to manage your power.

Usually, before using laptop-mode I had approximately 1.5 hrs  of battery life on my old laptop provided brightness & sound was set to a minimum. But after using laptop-mode & under the same condition it seems that my laptop power lasts for approximately 2.5 hours…an hour more saved! That is something isn’t it? 🙂

So how can you get your hands on laptop-mode? Search for it in your package manager and I’m pretty sure it is available, if not then perhaps you might look for it’s source & compile it manually.

As for me, everything is available on the land of Gentoo:

Well how does it save power you may ask? Well just look at the list below:

* ac97-powersave
* cpufreq
* dpms-standby
* eee-superhe
* ethernet
* exec-commands
* hal-polling
* hdparm
* intel-hda-powersave
* intel-sata-powermgmt
* nmi-watchdog
* runtime-pm
* sched-mc-power-savings
* sched-smt-power-savings
* terminal-blanking
* usb-autosuspend
* wireless-ipw-power
* wireless-iwl-power
* wireless-power

That list has been taken directly from my configuration and perhaps it is generated according to my laptop’s hardware.

Another good utility to look out for is “powertop“. It’s similar to laptop-mode with similar features but the only disadvantage that I can think of is that it doesn’t dynamically switch between power saving modes or remember your power saving settings so you may need to manually enable/disable various options from it’s commandline, menu driven program which I think is quite annoying.

Anyway that’s about it from me, hope this post has helped you in your quest for conserving power!

Also please leave some feedback if this post was useful to you and do let me know if you know of any better ways to save power.


3 thoughts on “Laptop power saving on Linux

  1. :DD U r fucking genius,bro!!! I never thought abt this good idea by myself b4. Hey.there’s another way we can use laptop in an unlimited hours. U know solar power backup within ur command line as well. 😀 lol. I mean,if we put solar panel systematically then it would help us by pillowing outside like veranda or rooftop under the sun for solar energy absorption and use it later until it shows 100% full battery charged. 😀 So,bro,what do u think abt my new feedback for u? 😀

    1. Lmao man…pretty cool feedback hehehe….but not everyone can afford that….plus a laptop is meant to be portable…and I don’t see how you can take solar panel with you every where…may be hire someone to carry for you? xD


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