Power Management – Fix Ubuntu Draining Battery Faster Than Windows


EDIT/UPDATE: Here is a screenshot of powertop tuning report: Link

I'm very new to Ubuntu. Sorry if there are a lot of similar question to this but the answers I found from others differ from one another. Anyway, I'm running a dual boot of Windows 8 and Ubuntu 13.10.

My problem is whenever I boot to Ubuntu, my laptop's battery gets drained rather quickly compared to when I boot Windows. I also noticed excessive air blowing from the side vents of my laptop whenever I'm on Ubuntu. Also, if it's worth mentioning, my laptop is a Lenovo G505s.

After doing research, I found out about these:

  • Laptop mode – I read that it is not needed in 13.10 but I also read from other guides that I need to install it?

  • TLP – Must not be installed with Laptop mode. Is this a good power management tool?

  • Jupiter – Do I need this as well?

  • I installed powertop but I don't know how to use it. Please help with this. Here's the report (I think this is the relevant one): Link

  • I also did the necessary tidbits like lowering brightness, only using WiFi when I need it, etc.

Any other suggestions would be extremely helpful. Thank you in advance.

Best Answer

You can use either laptop-mode-tools (which come pre-installed) or TLP, but not both at the same time. There is no big practical difference between the two, the consensus appears to be that TLP is somewhat more advanced, while laptop-mode-tools is somewhat more stable.

You can use powertop (sudo powertop) to see your biggest energy consumers, and to check (under "Tunables") if laptop-mode-tools/TLP are working properly - most parameters are supposed to switch to "Good" once the laptop is unplugged. Sample:

enter image description here

Some minor parameters (like VM writeback timeout, swappiness etc.) which are not auto-adjusted can be adjusted manually. Google will help you to find out how.

However, if your laptop has AMD/Nvidia graphics, power drainage is probably caused by the opensource X graphic driver. In which case, as much as we all like opensource, you have no option but to install proprietary video drivers (fglrx/bumblebee respectively). You will easily find the how-to's on the web.

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