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I'm planning to install Ubuntu Server on a netbook to minimize power consumption.

Are there any special considerations I should make for this kind of setup? Will Ubuntu Server properly manage the laptop's power settings and CPU scaling by default, or will I need to make changes to the configuration or install packages that would normally only be found in Ubuntu Desktop?

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If you really want to save power, it's probably better & cheaper to use something like a plugcomputer (unless you already have the netbook of course). – JanC Nov 9 '10 at 20:17
I'm hoping to snag a netbook with a smashed LCD for cheap, but you're right, a plugcomputer would be ideal. – ændrük Nov 9 '10 at 22:46
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Yes, CPU scaling will work as expected, this is part of the core OS that isn't different between Desktop and Server. If you want things like suspend-on-lid-close to work, though, you may need have some of the Gnome stack running to gain gnome-power-manager.

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if you want to use your netbook as server, then you can install ubuntu-server, but if you want to install a server-dedicated system to make some economy on resources usage then simply install xubuntu or zenwalk (a slackware based system)

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